March 7, 2021

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09/04 Links Pt1: Taylor Force’s Father Urges Joe Biden Not to Resume Funding for Palestinian Terrorists; Iran breaches nuclear deal, stockpile 10 times larger than set limit

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The West’s blind eye to Palestinian incitement
Why do so many well-meaning people committed to ending abuses of power ignore the evidence of who is actually committing these abuses and blame their victims instead?

An official investigation funded by Britain and the European Union into textbooks used in Palestinian schools has descended into farce.

In April 2018, finally responding to concerns about anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian-Arab schools, the United Kingdom pushed the EU to commission a report on Palestinian textbooks from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Germany.

In April last year, the Institute published as a preliminary what it called its “Inception Report.” This, it said, developed a framework for “an academically rigorous review” of “how peace, tolerance and an understanding of the other are incorporated into Palestinian textbooks.”

This report, however, was itself riddled with so many mistakes that the European Union ditched it. Bafflingly, however, the EU has continued to use the Georg Eckert Institute to finish the project.

Its final report is due out next month. But it has now produced an interim report, which the EU is choosing to keep secret.

Marcus Sheff, chief executive of the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, managed to obtain a presentation of this interim report. This has shown the project lurching from bad to worse.

Calling the review “a comedy of errors from start to finish,” Sheff says the researchers have looked at the wrong textbooks. They have actually used as examples textbooks that are used in Israel’s Arab schools in Jerusalem, praising them and presenting them falsely as part of the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum.

On the basis of this egregious mistake, the researchers have claimed that the Palestinians’ educational materials have been “transformed” for the better.

They make no mention of the vile language and images used in many of the Palestinian textbooks, such as describing the burning of Jewish bus passengers with Molotov cocktails as a “barbecue party,” or teaching Arabic through a story promoting suicide bombings and illustrated by a Palestinian gunman shooting Israeli soldiers in a tank.

GOP Congressman Calls Biden’s Pledge to Restore US Funding to Palestinians ‘Mental Incoherence’

A Republican member of Congress has slammed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for pledging to restore US funding to the Palestinians in accordance with the Taylor Force Act, calling Biden’s pledge a display of “mental incoherence.”

“You can’t restore funding to the Palestinians and comply with the Taylor Force Act except for some very, very limited humanitarian types of funding,” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) told JNS in a recent interview. “Basically, if you agree with the sentiment behind the Taylor Force Act, you don’t restore funding to the Palestinians.”

“I think Joe Biden is showing some mental incoherence when he says something like that,” he said.

Lamborn introduced a version of the Taylor Force Act in 2017 and a version of it passed Congress and became law in March 2018, cutting off virtually all US funding to the Palestinian Authority due to it financially rewarding terrorists and their families. It requires the secretary of state to verify that the PA has taken certain steps to stop such activity in addition to other requirements.

Lamborn warned that a Biden administration could try to certify that the PA is taking those concrete steps against rewarding terrorism, even if Ramallah isn’t actually doing so.

“There might be people out there in a Biden administration who would try to do that,” he said. “We would have to be diligent to watch over them and get oversight in trying to permit them from doing something that would be dishonest like that.”

Taylor Force’s Father Urges Joe Biden Not to Resume Funding for Palestinian Terrorists

Stuart Force, whose son Taylor was killed by Palestinian terrorists during a visit to Israel, is urging former Vice President Joe Biden not to resume assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if elected in November.

In a campaign launched by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) on Monday, Force defended the Taylor Force Act, named after his son. The law, passed by Republicans in 2018, prevents the PA from receiving economic assistance from the United States until it dismantles the Palestinian Authority Martyr’s Fund. Known as the “Pay to Slay” policy, the fund gives monthly-payments to the family of individuals killed committing terrorist acts against Israeli or American citizens.

“Our son, Taylor, was stabbed to death, while visiting Israel by a Palestinian terrorist. The terrorist’s family became eligible immediately for a monthly payment, for life, for killing an Israeli or American,” Force says in a new ad. “U.S. taxpayers sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the PA, which they use to fund those payments.”

“There is talk that some politicians want to resume sending U.S. tax dollars to the PA, even though they have refused to end their ‘Pay to Slay’ policy,” Force says, as a photo flashes across the screen of Biden shaking hand with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu gave Israel a place among the nations in a new Middle East

Two major books envisioning a better future for Israel were published in 1993: The New Middle East, by Shimon Peres, foreign minister at the time, and A Place Among the Nations, by then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Both saw a future in which Israel had relations with many more of the world’s nations than it had at the time, just as the Oslo peace process began, but they had a core disagreement on how they thought this would happen.

Peres wrote his book after the high of the Oslo Accords, which he believed would reshape the region for better, while Netanyahu named his chapter on the accords “Trojan Horse,” believing that it was a danger to Israel.

“At the heart of the conflict that has been going on for some 100 years,” Peres wrote, “a conflict that escalated with the founding of the State of Israel 45 years ago, stands the Palestinian matter.”

If Israel makes peace with the Palestinians, then the rest of the Arab world will follow, and “open the way for a fundamental transformation,” creating the titular new Middle East, he posited.

Peres held this position for the rest of his life, even negotiating with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he was president of Israel and Netanyahu was prime minister. It was a view that made him an international superstar. He had a lot of support behind it, from politicians around the world and the experts in their think tanks. The 2002 Arab Peace Plan was predicated on that very idea, that the Arab League states would have official relations with Israel only if there is a two-state solution to their liking.

UAE deal shows Arab-Israel conflict starting to come apart before our eyes

The historic agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a direct continuation of the profound changes in the Middle East that have been quietly taking place in recent years. The Israeli-Arab conflict is starting to come apart before our very eyes, and Israel finds itself in a place of honor in the moderate Sunni camp against the extremist Shiites.

Located between these two groups are several sub-groups, including the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar, Turkey, Hamas). The PA is sometimes backed by the moderate Sunni camp, especially by the countries bordering Israel (Jordan and Egypt), although sometimes they, too, lose interest.

As for the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, Turkey still maintains diplomatic relations with Israel; Qatar is officially mediating between Israel and Hamas – with its representative, Mohamed al-Emadi, meeting openly with Israeli security agency and IDF personnel; and even Hamas may no longer be quite what it used to be.

The most prominent symbol of this apparent, tentative Hamas shift — from terrorist group to governing authority that sometimes takes up the “mantle of terror” — is its all-powerful leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Netanyahu decries ‘false allegation’ he secretly okayed F-35 jet sales to UAE

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Friday that he had privately removed any opposition to the sale of American F-35 fighter jets and radar-blocking planes to the United Arab Emirates as part of the normalization deal, saying it was a “false allegation.”

“Repeating a false allegation against Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make it true,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “At no point in the talks with the United States leading to the historic breakthrough with the United Arab Emirates on August 13 did the prime minister give Israel’s consent to the sale of advanced weapons to the Emirates.”

The response came after a New York Times report on Thursday said the premier privately stopped opposing the sale of the planes to Abu Dhabi, despite repeated public assurances that he is against the deal.

Yesh Atid-Telem MK Moshe Ya’alon, a former defense minister under Netanyahu and IDF chief of staff, asked for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to discuss the UAE’s purchase of F-35s.

“I intend to demand close parliamentary oversight of the strategic dialogue between Israel and the US. This dialogue can’t be managed any longer by Netanyahu and the national security adviser [Meir Ben-Shabbat] because there’s a heavy suspicion that the decisions being made are tainted with considerations not in line with the strategic interests of Israel,” Ya’alon was quoted saying by the Walla news site.

The report, which cited unnamed sources involved in the talks, claimed that along with the ultra-advanced jets and Reaper drones, the deal also includes radar-blocking EA-18G Growler jets, which could erode the effectiveness of Israel’s air defense capabilities and put the UAE at a considerable military advantage.

Bahrain to allow flights between Israel and UAE to cross its airspace

Flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will be able to fly over Bahrain after the kingdom on Thursday said all services to and from the UAE can cross its airspace.

The decision, which the kingdom’s aviation authority said came at the request of the UAE, follows a historic agreement last month between Abu Dhabi and Israel to normalize ties.

In August, Israel’s intelligence minister said Bahrain and Oman could be the next Gulf countries to follow the United Arab Emirates in formalizing ties with Israel.

“All flights to and from the UAE can use Bahrain airspace,” state news agency reported on Thursday, citing the aviation authority, without mentioning Israel.

The decision cuts flying time between the Middle East states by several hours.

Serbia to move embassy to Jerusalem, mostly Muslim Kosovo to recognize Israel

Serbia announced Friday that it would move its embassy to Jerusalem, while Muslim majority Kosovo is to recognize Israel. The moves come as part of US-brokered discussions to normalize economic ties between Belgrade and Pristina.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the moves and said Israel would establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo.

After two days of meetings with Trump administration officials, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti agreed to cooperate on a range of economic fronts to attract investment and create jobs. The White House announcement provided US President Donald Trump with a diplomatic win ahead of the November presidential election and furthers his administration’s push to improve Israel’s international standing.

“Truly, it is historic,” Trump said, standing alongside the two leaders in the Oval Office. “I look forward to going to both countries in the not too distant future.”

Serbia’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a nod to both Israel and the United States. The Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved the US embassy there in May 2018.

Why Americans in Israel must vote for Trump – opinion

Were it not for the agreement reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party on Monday night, Israelis would have gone to the polls in November.

Despite Israel’s crisis being solved, some 300,000 Israelis can still exercise their democratic right to cast ballots in an election in November.

That is roughly the number of residents of Israel who are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in the November 3 election in the United States.
Four years ago, there was a high-profile campaign in Israel for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Stickers bearing Trump’s name in Hebrew were handed out in Israeli malls, and the president addressed a campaign rally in Jerusalem’s Old City by video.

This time, Americans in Israel have been relatively silent about the US election, when they really should be shouting out loud and going to vote in droves.

On the one hand, it is understandable why there was such so much more enthusiasm and motivation about voting four years ago. Americans who care about Israel had just endured eight years of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in power and saw the way they advanced a deal with Iran while throwing Israel under the bus at the United Nations.

They had every right to be terrified that Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, would continue his policies that endangered Israel’s future existence and the special relationship between Israel and the United States.

US’s O’Brien: We’re committed to 2-state solution; Palestinians need new leaders

US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the Trump administration is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We want to see the Palestinians in their own state with their own government, hopefully a democratic government, and one that thrives economically alongside Israel,” O’Brien told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview broadcast Thursday.

He said the Palestinians had a “unique opportunity” to reach a peace agreement with Israel under US President Donald Trump and that “he’d love to get a great deal done” for them.

“And we’ve got a lot of credibility with the negotiations to work with our Israeli friends to make sure that happens. And so this is an opportunity for the Palestinians to come to the table and get a great deal for themselves,” he said.

O’Brien was speaking after visiting Israel and the United Arab Emirates this week to follow up on the US-brokered agreement between the countries to normalize diplomatic ties. As part of the normalization deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to shelve his campaign pledge to annex the 30 percent of the West Bank slated for Israel under Trump’s peace plan.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the US peace proposal, which provides for the conditional establishment of a Palestinian state on the rest of the West Bank territory and in the Gaza Strip, with some additional territory inside Israel. He has also railed at the UAE for agreeing to normalize ties with Israel before a Palestinian state is established.

Why is your Israel so different from my Israel?

As an American-born Jew living in Israel, I find the divide between American and Israeli Jews on Israel incredibly frustrating. I believe that there is such a great divide between American and Israeli Jews when it comes to Israel because we are envisioning two different Israels. The American view of Israel is stuck in the 1990s, at the high point of the optimism of the Oslo Peace Process. Most Israelis have abandoned that vision, while American Jews overwhelmingly still support it. It seems that the few remaining Israelis who view Israel with the rose-colored optimism of the mid-90s live outside of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It is rare to find an Israeli within or near Judea and Samaria who views things the same way.

In today’s discussion about Israel there are two Israels. The first Israel, “Israel One” is a strong, secure and growing Israel. The second Israel, “Israel Two,” is a moral, just and equal Israel. These two Israels aren’t mutually exclusive of each other; they coexist, but Zionists in America and Israel focus on the Israel that resonates with their values.

The advocates of “Israel One” focus on Israel’s security. They will spend more time talking about the threats that Israel faces. They will advocate growing Israel’s footprint on the land of Israel, including in Judea and Samaria. They will be excited about Israel’s global influence and point to this new influence as a proof to the success of their position.

The advocates of “Israel Two” focus on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, Israel’s Arab citizens and minorities in Israel. They want to ensure that all of Israel’s policies and actions treat all people within Israel and under Israel’s control equally, including non-citizens. For most of the “Israel Two” advocates, they see equality in Israel fulfilled by the creation of a Palestinian state and the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict coming through the two state solution.

Halting West Bank annexation resurrects the ‘67 line: 10 things to know

The decision to suspend annexation almost automatically resurrected the pre-1967 line in the West Bank, excluding in Jerusalem.
This transition last month was swift and sudden, because the two concepts are opposite sides of the same conceptional coin.

One either operates within a conversation about the application of sovereignty or within a dialogue about a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines.

That is because the West Bank’s Area C, where over 700,000 Israelis and Palestinians live, cannot be frozen in time.

The going wisdom of US President Donald Trump’s regional peace plan as it has now unfolded, is to hold the West Bank in some suspended reality, to be handed out by priority to whichever side is most compliant with the process.

Ideally, settlers and the Israeli Right should simply wait until the process is done, knowing that sovereignty awaits them like some golden cup prize at the end of the race.

The problem has little to do with the issue of political trust that would result in this prize being theirs. Every day – in what is otherwise known as the battle for Area C – Palestinians and Israelis engage in activities in the West Bank that either help strengthen an inevitable annexation or assist in ensuring a two-state solution at the pre-1967 line.

FDD: U.S. Needs a New ICC Strategy

The response to Trump’s executive order demonstrated the potential for backlash from sanctions. ICC chief judge Chile Eboe-Osuji declared the ICC is “undeterred” by what he called a “grotesque” executive order contrary to international law. Meanwhile, 67 ICC member nations issued a joint statement rallying around the Court and promising it their “full support.”

The furor generated overseas and in the United States by the executive order and sanctions have obscured the strong bipartisan support in Washington for the view that the ICC investigations of the United States and Israel are illegitimate and should be halted. For example, Obama administration lead officials for ICC and detainee issues have asserted the two investigations are not legitimately within the ICC’s legal purview. In May, 262 House members, led by Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI), asserted that the ICC does not have “legitimate jurisdiction” in the two cases, and urged the ICC to “cease its politically motivated investigations into the United States and Israel.” Meanwhile, 69 Senators, led by Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), asserted the ICC does not have “legitimate jurisdiction” in the Israel case and opposed that case’s “dangerous politicization of the Court.”

The stakes for U.S. and Israeli security are high. The Military Coalition, representing more than 5.5 million current and former U.S. service members, recently warned the ICC investigation of the United States “could lead to the arrest, prosecution, and detention of American military personnel and veterans in foreign countries.” Experts have speculated that the ICC could indict former president George W. Bush and former CIA directors including George Tenet and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Israel faces similar risks. Its government has reportedly prepared a list of several hundred current and former Israeli officials, including the prime minister, who could be subject to arrest abroad if the ICC moves forward against Israel.

The United States can more effectively attempt to block the ICC’s illegitimate investigations by building on bipartisan support at home and leveraging common ground with allies. The United States should emphasize that potential ICC steps forthcoming in 2020 that are hostile to American interests could cause damage to the court’s relationship with the United States that would outlast the current administration.

In recent years, more than half the ICC’s €155 million annual budget has come from a handful of close U.S. allies: Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, and Spain. These allies can remind the ICC of the substantively strong arguments that its investigations of the United States and Israel are contrary to the ICC’s own rules and clash with its founding principles. By steering the ICC away from confrontation with the United States, these allies can protect their own overseas military personnel from problematic precedents.

By December, the ICC will elect a new chief prosecutor and may take pivotal steps in its investigations of the United States and Israel. A sophisticated, measured, and bipartisan U.S. strategy could help point the ICC in the right direction for the next decade.

Israel’s COVID death toll nears 1,000 ahead of localized lockdown

The death toll from coronavirus since the start of the epidemic in Israel stood at 991 on Friday morning following three more deaths after midnight Thursday, the Health Ministry reported.

In total, the number of Israelis who have contracted coronavirus stood at 125,755, 2,766 of whom were identified from Thursday to Friday. The rate of positive test results for that same period stood at 6.3%, or 666 positives from 10,751 tests processed.

As of Friday, there were 25,277 active or symptomatic coronavirus patients in Israel, with 828 hospitalized. Of the hospitalized patients, 416 were listed in serious condition, including 123 on ventilators. Another 131 patients were listed in moderate condition.

There were 2,140 medical workers in quarantine, including 333 doctors, 589 nurses, and 1,218 members of other health care professions.

Israel’s national coordinator of the battle against coronavirus Professor Ronni Gamzu has issued a clarification about the partial lockdown set to begin Sunday in cities, towns, and local authorities designated “red” under the traffic light system.

Gamzu put out a statement on Friday explaining that the decision to instate a full lockdown would apply only to “the eight towns with especially high infection rates.” However, a list of the cities deemed “especially high” would be compiled only this weekend, and subject to cabinet approval on Sunday, the statement said.

The statement noted that “the decision by the Corona cabinet gives the team of experts under Professor Gamzu the authority to expand the list of red cities that will come under a full lockdown.”

Gov’t publishes COVID-19 prayer service regulations for High Holy Days

With COVID-19 infections at all-time highs, the government earlier this week published regulations for prayer services during the High Holy Days.

The new regulations apply for the rest of the Jewish month of Elul and the High Holy Days.

Prayer services are being permitted indoors as long as the synagogue or prayer space is at least 40 square meters in size. The maximum occupancy cannot exceed one person per four square meters, a large space permitting relatively few worshipers in such buildings.

The maximum total occupancy of any building is 1,000 people, although few synagogues or places of prayer have the 4,000 sq. m.

Occupancy will be further limited by the “traffic light” system of red, orange, yellow and green zones. Red zones with high COVID-19 infection rates will have more restrictions on the number of worshipers, while green zones will have fewer.

Seating inside synagogues and other indoor spaces will be within groups in designated areas of the building, each of which will be allocated specific entrances to the building if it has more than one.

Israel readies for High Holy Days without foreign visitors

It is, apparently, “Next year in Jerusalem” for the High Holy Days.

Major Israeli-based tour operators tell The Media Line they do not expect the country’s skies to open for international visitors in time for some of the most important religious dates on the Hebrew calendar, which start in just a couple of weeks.

“I don’t see any kind of traffic coming to Israel. Not during Rosh Hashana. Definitely not Yom Kippur. And I don’t think that Sukkot is even an option,” Etay Furmen, business- development manager at Haifa-based G&S Travel, told The Media Line.

“Maybe – and it’s a big maybe – I hope that by Passover [in the spring] we’ll see some movement, some traffic,” he said. “But for the near term, I don’t see any.”

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, starts on Friday, September 18, followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 27, and Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, on October 2.

A “traffic light” plan by Israel’s coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, which takes effect on September 6, could prove a hamper on the holidays for local residents as well. It is an effort to lower the daily transmission rates and shows that Israel has a long way to go before it opens itself up to foreign visitors.

The number of coronavirus cases confirmed on Tuesday was 2,183, the same number as the day before, continuing a trend of high daily infections, according to the Health Ministry.

Israel’s so-called Coronavirus Cabinet on Sunday added nine more states to the “green” list of countries with low infection rates from which returning Israelis can avoid a 14-day quarantine upon arriving home. Foreign nationals are still banned, with some exceptions, including
thousands of yeshiva and other students who are supposed to start the new academic year.

As if to emphasize how long the road to recovery will be for Israel’s tourism industry, a new report from the hospitality consulting firm HVS indicates that the country’s hotel sector will not return to 2019 peak performance levels (revenue per available room, or RevPAR) until 2024.

That is certainly not good news for Benny Scholder, director of North America sales for Tel Aviv-based Kenes Tours.

“We are one of Israel’s leading tourism companies, but our entire office of nearly 40 employees is on furlough at the moment – and those of us who are doing work are doing administrative work in preparation for when tourism returns,” he told The Media Line.

Furmen and Scholder both say they hope that foreign visitors will again be welcome by next summer.

BBC News again amplifies false George Floyd comparison

Readers were not given any further information regarding the activities of the man described as “a well-known activist” despite some details being available in the local media.

“While Hannoun told WAFA he had been peacefully protesting, the former security prisoner and father of five from the village of Anabta told the Associated Press that the scuffle began when he pushed a soldier who had aimed his rifle at the protesters. […]

The Israel Defense Forces said that Hanoun, an activist in the Popular Committee to Resist The Wall and Settlements, was “well-known as a central instigator and participant in many violations of public order in Judea and Samaria.” The Popular Committee is responsible for several protests across the West Bank, including a weekly protest at Kufr Quddum, which regularly ends in violent clashes between protesters and Israeli soldiers.”

The BBC’s subsequent portrayal of the context to what it described as “a protest in the occupied West Bank” predictably included the corporation’s standard mantra concerning ‘international law’.

“It was filmed during a protest against Israeli settlement construction in the village of Shufa, near Nablus, on Tuesday. The settlements are seen as illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.”

In fact – as stated by the umbrella organisation of the ‘Popular Committees’ to which Hanoon (also Hanoun) belongs – the violent demonstration on September 1st was against “Israel’s planned construction of an industrial zone” called Bustanei Hefetz near – rather than “in” – the village of Shufa in Area C.

Israel Advocacy Movement: Palestinians use George Floyd to protect a terrorist

High-Flying Drone Drops Weed Over Main Tel Aviv Square

A drone dropped packets of what looked like cannabis over a main square in Tel Aviv on Thursday after activists seeking to legalize the drug in Israel promised free weed from the air on social media.

Police said they arrested two men who operated the quadcopter that flew over Rabin Square, a site often used for street protests and political rallies.

“The time has come,” the Green Drone pro-legalization group said on its Telegram web messaging channel. “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Green Drone sending you free cannabis from the skies.”

In a statement, police said they suspected the baggies were filled with “a dangerous drug” and that officers managed to recover dozens of them. Photos distributed by the police showed what appeared to be cannabis inside.

The Maariv news website, which carried photos of the drone dropping the packets, said passersby took some of them before police arrived. Footage showed people walking through busy traffic to pick up packets that had fallen on a road.

Currently, medical use of cannabis is permitted in Israel while recreational use is illegal but largely decriminalized.

Khaled Abu Toameh: The Real Palestinian Tragedy

Unlike their leaders, however, the Palestinians living in Syria and Iraq do not appear to be worried about the Israel-UAE accord. These Palestinians have more existential concerns — such as providing shelter for their children and safe drinking water for their families. They are disturbed about the homes they have lost, and they are in a state of anguish about fate of their missing sons.

The Palestinian families complained that the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations, including the United Nations, have refused to assist them in their search for their beloved ones.

Palestinian writer Nabil Al-Sahli said that the 4,000 Palestinians who remain in Iraq are facing an “ongoing tragedy.” He said that according to some studies, at least 20,000 Palestinians have been displaced from Iraq to 40 countries around the world because of the “massacres” committed against them by sectarian militias.

By extreme contrast [to Syria and Iraq], the UAE and other Gulf states have long opened their doors to Palestinians and provided them with jobs and high living standards. Puzzlingly, Palestinian leaders have plenty of time to castigate the UAE, but no time at all to comment on the systematic abuse and killing of Palestinians in Syria and Iraq. For the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the true tragedy is when an Arab expresses willingness to make peace with Israel.

Abbas urges Arabs not to normalize ties with Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called on the Arab countries to abide by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and refrain from normalizing their relations with Israel.

Noting that the initiative calls for the Arabs to normalize their relations with Israel after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, Abbas said: “The Arabs must abide by their decisions. The Arab Peace Initiative was presented by Saudi Arabia in 2002 and since then it has been endorsed by the Arabs and the United Nations Security Council. The Arabs must reiterate their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative during the upcoming meeting of the Arab League, which will be chaired by Palestine.”

Abbas, who was speaking during a videoconference meeting of leaders of all Palestinian factions in Ramallah and Beirut, said that the Palestinians did not and will not mandate anyone to speak on their behalf.

In an implicit reference to the recent normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Abbas, who was speaking from his presidential Mukata compound in Ramallah, said: “Normalization schemes with the occupation are used as a poisonous dagger to stab our people.

The [Israel-US-UAE] tripartite agreement is the latest poisonous dagger with which they stabbed us. We are meeting today to confront all these conspiracies.”

Abbas told the faction leaders that the purpose of the meeting was to “move forward with a unified political position to end the division [between the West Bank and Gaza Strip], establish national and political partnership and hold presidential and parliamentary elections.”

Hamas eyes another Israel fight as Gaza teeters on brink of collapse

There are no understandings as far as Gaza is concerned. No agreements. No anything.

The way the latest escalation ended is nothing but an invitation to the next round, which may end up being more violent.

This can be attributed to the current leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, who’s steadily losing his grip on the Palestinian enclave his group took over in 2007.

If it were within his power, Sinwar would have gladly erased the last escalation from the collective Palestinian consciousness.

Not only did he fail to achieve any economical, national or military achievement to present to the people of the Strip, the situation in Gaza actually deteriorated.

During the three weeks Israel closed the land and ocean passageways into the Strip, the number of unemployed there jumped by no less than 10%, as thousands lost their jobs and their livelihoods.

Neither Sinwar nor his people can bury these numbers with mere words. This last round of violence against Israel was a colossal failure for him and his people.

In October, Sinwar is set to run for the Hamas presidency, in an election season that begins in November and ends in March.

Hamas Representative In Lebanon: Relations Between Hizbullah And Hamas Are ‘Deep And Strategic’

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ representative in Lebanon, denied in a September 2, 2020 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that that there is any problem in the relations between Hamas and Hizbullah. He said that the two organizations maintain deep and strategic relations that cannot be ended or be reduced by an “incident here or there.”

Iran breaches nuclear deal, stockpile 10 times larger than set limit

Iran’s stockpile of low enriched uranium is more than ten times over the limit set by the Iran deal, according to a quarter reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency released Friday.

Those documents showed that Iran had violated the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran deal, but that its stockpile of low enriched uranium was still lower than it been prior to the deal.

Iran had granted the UN nuclear watchdog access to inspect one of the two nuclear sites, after a protracted standoff.

During the inspection the IAEA took environmental samples, one of the two reports obtained by Reuters said, referring to samples aimed at
detecting traces of nuclear material that may have been present.

The agency’s inspectors will visit the other site “later in September 2020 on a date already agreed with Iran, to take environmental samples,” the report said.

The other report said that Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) rose by 534 kg in the most recent quarter, roughly the same amount as in the previous three months, to 2,105.4 kg.

That is more than 10 times the 202.8 kg limit set by Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with big powers, which Iran has been breaching in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and reimposition of sanctions against Tehran.

IAEA Inspects One of Two Sites in Iran After Long Standoff

Iran has let the UN nuclear watchdog inspect one of the two sites it agreed last week to grant access to after a protracted standoff, while Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has risen further, quarterly reports by the agency said on Friday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspected one of the sites and took environmental samples there, one of the two reports obtained by Reuters said, referring to samples aimed at detecting traces of nuclear material that may have been present.

The agency’s inspectors will visit the other site “later in September 2020 on a date already agreed with Iran, to take environmental samples,” the report said.

The other report said that Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) rose by 534 kg in the most recent quarter, roughly the same amount as in the previous three months, to 2,105.4 kg.

That is more than 10 times the 202.8 kg limit set by Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with big powers, which Iran has been breaching in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and reimposition of sanctions against Tehran.

The stockpile, however, remains far below the many tons of enriched uranium Iran had accumulated before the 2015 deal.

Tehran is enriching up to a fissile purity of 4.5%, which while above the deal’s 3.67% limit is still far short of the 20% level it achieved before the deal. Roughly 90% purity is considered weapons-grade, suitable for an atomic bomb.

US blacklists companies for helping facilitate Iran’s exports of oil

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on 11 foreign companies, accusing them of helping to facilitate Iran’s export of petroleum, petroleum products and petrochemicals in violation of American sanctions.

The Treasury said it slapped sanctions on six companies based in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and China that it said enable the shipment and sale of Iranian petrochemicals and support Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company blacklisted by the United States.

The State Department also imposed sanctions on five companies for engaging in transactions related to Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industry, as well as on three executive officers of the blacklisted companies.

“Our actions today reaffirm the United States’ commitment to denying the Iranian regime the financial resources it needs to fuel terrorism and other destabilizing activities,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.

The move freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

The action targets Iran’s Zagros Petrochemical Co, which the Treasury said agreed to sell Triliance hundreds of thousands of tons of Iranian petrochemicals this year.

Triliance, a Hong Kong-based broker, was hit with sanctions in January over accusations it ordered the transfer of the equivalent of millions of dollars to the National Iranian Oil Co as payment for Iranian petrochemicals, crude oil, and petroleum products.

The Treasury also blacklisted UAE-based Petrotech FZE and Trio Energy DMCC, Hong Kong-based Jingho Technology Co Ltd and Dynapex Energy Ltd, as well as China-based Dinrin Ltd, accusing them of being front companies for Triliance and Zagros.

President Erdogan: Turkish Conquest Isn’t Occupation Or Looting, It’s Spreading The Justice Of Allah

On August 26, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech at Manzikert National Park in Turkey at an event celebrating the 949th anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert. He said that for Turkey, conquest is not occupation or looting. Rather, he said that it removes oppression and brings Allah’s justice to the conquered region. He said that Turkey will claim its right in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black seas, that it will do whatever is necessary politically or militarily, that it will never cede any of its territory, and that its patience, capabilities, or courage are not to be tested. He added: “If there is anyone who wants to stand against us and pay the price, let them come.”

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