November 20, 2019

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09/06 Links Pt1: What Palestinians Mean When They Talk about a "Two-State Solution"; Shift to UNHCR criteria would strip refugee status from millions of Palestinians

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/09/0906-links-pt1-what-palestinians-mean.html

From Ian:


What Palestinians Mean When They Talk about a “Two-State Solution”
To American ears, the meaning of “two states” is straightforward. The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians, to them, is a struggle between two indigenous peoples fighting over the same space of land in which they share a history.

As Shlomo Avineri, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Hebrew University, wrote in Ha’aretz, “According to the Palestinians’ view, this is not a conflict between two national movements but a conflict between one national movement (the Palestinian) and a colonial and imperialistic entity (Israel). According to this view, Israel will end like all colonial phenomena – it will perish and disappear. Moreover, according to the Palestinian view, the Jews are not a nation but a religious community, and as such not entitled to national self-determination.”

From my extensive experience speaking with Palestinians, I have come to learn that the Palestinian version of the two-state solution leaves no room for a Jewish state.

This year, I led an in-depth seminar in Israel trying to understand what Palestinian citizens of Israel want. To almost all Palestinian citizens of Israel I spoke with, a state of the Jewish people is illegitimate in their eyes; Zionism is a colonizing enterprise of Jews stealing Arab land. They view the Jewish historical claim to the land as fictional and Zionism as racism.

Their idea of a fair “two-state solution” is one completely Arab state in the West Bank and one democratic binational State of Israel that allows the right of return for descendants of Palestinian refugees.

They said they would not consider Israel a legitimate democracy until the Jewish star is removed from the flag, Hatikvah is no longer the national anthem, and the right of return for diaspora Jews to Israel is rescinded.

Shift to UNHCR criteria would strip refugee status from millions of Palestinians

At a cabinet meeting in January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to gradually take over the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Netanyahu argued that the former, the UN agency charged with aiding refugees fleeing persecution and conflicts around the world, has legitimate criteria for granting refugee status, whereas the latter, the UN body tasked with supporting Palestinian refugees, does not.

He also contended that UNRWA “perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Netanyahu’s comments raised the question of how UNHCR and UNRWA differ in their definitions of a refugee, which they use to determine to whom they grant refugee status.

Eight months later, that question is even more resonant after US President Donald Trump’s administration announced that it is completely defunding UNRWA, with a reported goal of shutting it down altogether.
The UN flag at the Fawwar Palestinian refugee camp, southern West Bank, near Hebron, on September 2, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)

Were responsibility for the designation transferred to the UNHCR, millions of Palestinians would lose their refugee status — which is a key factor in the longstanding demand by the Palestinian leadership for refugees to be granted a “right of return” to today’s Israel. How many exactly of the 5.4 million Palestinians registered by UNRWA as refugees would lose that designation under UNHCR? It’s complicated, as we will see.

But based on a comparison of UNRWA’s refugee figures and the assessments of James Lindsay, a former UNRWA legal adviser who has written extensively on the differences between UNHCR and UNRWA, almost all of Jordan’s 2.2 million UNRWA-designated refugees would likely lose their status under UNHCR criteria, as would most of Syria’s 560,000 and just under half of Lebanon’s 521,000. All 2.17 million UNRWA-designated refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem would lose that status were those areas to become parts of a sovereign Palestinian state. This would leave a refugee total of a little over half a million.

Is Jordan Palestine?

For all of his talk about wanting to see a sovereign, independent Palestinian state on the West Bank, that is about the last thing Jordan’s King Abdullah II wants if he expects to keep his job. As my mother would say, he needs it “like a loch im kopf,” and that goes for the latest recycled idea being floated by the Trump administration.

First son-in-law Jared Kushner has been tasked with putting together the “deal of the century” to bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians – even if neither side has shown any real interest. The Trump plan, according to those who’ve been briefed, notably Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, recycles a short-lived 1972 proposal for a confederation between Jordan and the West Bank. It envisioned no Palestinian state and no peace with Israel.

Israeli officials denied Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the one who sold the idea to his friend Jared. Netanyahu has long regretted his heavily conditioned 2009 endorsement of the two-state solution in favor of what he calls “state-minus,” a semi-autonomous state with Israeli security control – a proposal no Palestinian leader, present or future, is likely to accept.

Unlike its predecessors, the administration of US President Donald Trump has avoided endorsing the two-state solution, which is opposed by top Jewish Republican donors, Kushner and his team of Orthodox Jewish lawyers and the president’s evangelical Republican base.

Abdullah has personally urged Trump not to rush into reviving peace talks. He knows better than most that neither side is ready to get serious, maybe not even ready to begin talking about beginning. For now, Palestinians can’t make peace with each other, much less with Israel.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman privately told a group of American Jewish visitors that regional powers are no longer pushing for revival of peace negotiations. He added that the rollout of the Trump peace plan is “not imminent,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

Two Thirds of Israelis Believe Palestinians ‘Would Destroy’ Israel ‘If They Could’

As the Jewish New Year 5779 approaches, half of the Jewish Israeli public supports an independent Palestinian state, while 43 percent do not.

In the monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, published on Wednesday, support for a Palestinian state increased with age: Some 35 percent of those aged 18-34 were in favor, as were 54 percent of those aged 35-54 and 61 percent among the oldest age group.

However, unlike 72 percent of Arab-Israelis, 83 percent of Jewish-Israelis said that “the Palestinians must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people before peace talks with them can be revived.” This relates to 66 percent of Jewish Israelis who agree that “most of the Palestinians have not come to terms with Israel’s existence and would destroy it if they could.”

Additionally, while most Israelis support negotiations with Hamas, 78 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that Israel should not abandon the return of IDF soldiers’ bodies held by the Hamas, even in exchange for a ceasefire in the south.

Compared to 73 percent of Arab Israelis, just 47 percent of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Yisrael Medad: Arabs-called-Palestinians and De-Nazification

As I was saying goodbye to a group of students who had come to Shiloh to hear the ‘other side’ of the story, an accompanying adult pressed me as to how I saw the future.

I informed him that one of the central elements of the Arab conflict with Israel and Zionism was the inability of the Arabs, it seemed to me, to acknowledge any Jewish national identity in this area. Moreover, with no such groups as a “Peace Now” or “Yesh Din” within the Arab society, without pro-Israel demonstrations in Ramallah and Hebron, the extreme inequality of the populations and their perceptions make the situation worse. In addition, as a result of 25 years of the Oslo Process with the establishment of a “Palestinian Authority”, today’s 25-year old Arab’s thinking has been conditioned by the educational system Arafat and Abbas created. That system, as has been documented, has inculcated the very worse of the 1920s and 1930s Mufti-thinking along with erasing Israel from maps, calling Jews dogs, inciting to violence and terrorism, glorifying such and excluding any educational programming that would facilitate coexistence, if not peace.

The very first thing I’d suggest is dealing with this younger generation to condition them for peace and acceptance of the Jew-as-Zionist.

I then began saying, “without making any direct comparison, if, after World War II, there was a need by the Allies to institute a de-Nazification program…” but was loudly interrupted. My interlocutor raised his voice a bit: “you cannot make any comparison with the Nazis.”

The demise of ‘Kissingerism’

For decades, the international community has sought to maintain stability in the very turbulent Middle East through a policy approach forged by US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. However, under the leadership of US President Donald Trump, we are now witnessing the demise of “Kissingerism.”

In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Kissinger brought the world back from the brink of nuclear war. Once Israeli forces had recovered from the surprise Arab invasion and started advancing on Cairo and Damascus, the Soviet Union threatened to intervene militarily, even with nukes. Some historians say it was the closest the world has ever come to an actual thermonuclear exchange. Alarmed, Kissinger rushed to resolve the deepening crisis.

Shuttling between the various capitals, Kissinger managed to halt the IDF advance on Cairo at Kilometer 101 and 20 miles short of Damascus. His intervention positioned Washington as the primary mediator between Israel and the Arabs going forward. Kissinger’s model for Middle East diplomacy was built on the premise that America is the only country that can bring Israel to heel, and thus the Arabs were wise to accept Washington as the main broker of peace between them.

Largely a product of the Cold War, this approach strengthened the West’s relations with the Arab world and ensured the free flow of Mideast oil to thirsty global markets for decades to come. Yet it required that the US (and its allies) adopt an even-handed approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This eventually meant that Israel’s historic rights and claims to its ancient homeland had to be put on a par with the much more novel Palestinian nationalist claims.

This contrived ‘neutrality’ required that everything had to be balanced. So for every condemnation of Palestinian terrorism or incitement, there had to be an equal denunciation of Israeli settlements. Every foreign leader who visited Jerusalem and laid a traditional wreath at Yad Vashem was also obliged to visit Ramallah and lay a wreath at Yasser Arafat’s grave.

Today, however, the Kissinger paradigm is collapsing. We saw this evidenced already when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a historic visit to Israel and Jerusalem in summer 2017 and very pointedly skipped Ramallah and the Palestinian Authority.

The waning of Kissingerism has become particularly obvious under the leadership of US President Donald Trump, who has not been afraid to take sides. For starters, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without making any parallel concessions to the Palestinians.

Haley: ‘Deal of the Century’ fate is in Abbas’s hands

The fate of the United State’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the hands of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, US Ambassador to the United Nations told reporters in New York.

When quizzed by a reporter if the “deal of the century” was possible, Haley immediately responded: “Only if Abbas comes to the table.”

She added, “We have ensured that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will come to the table. Abbas for the good of the people needs to come to the table.”

She spoke with reporters in New York on Tuesday, during an extensive press briefing in which she outlined her country’s program of work for September when it holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.

Speculation has been high that the US could unveil its peace plan, which Trump has referred to as “the deal of the century,” at the UN in New York.

Haley said that the peace plan is getting close but won’t be unveiled during the 73rd opening session of the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

She added that she had read the very detailed proposal which was put together by US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt who have engaged with many world leader in the process of its preparation.

“It is thoroughly done. It is well thought out from both sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis. It takes into account every aspect of everything,” Haley said.

White House slams Abbas for rejecting US peace negotiator Greenblatt

The White House leveled criticism at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday, a day after Israel Hayom reported that the Palestinian leader was demanding the ouster of a leading member of the U.S. team attempting to mediate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

A senior PA official and close associate of Abbas told Israel Hayom that Abbas was demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt be replaced as mediator because of his alleged pro-Israel bias.

The official said that Abbas had set Greenblatt’s ouster as a condition for ending the PA’s boycott of the Trump administration, which Abbas declared in December 2017 following the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

National Security Council spokesperson Garrett Marquis shot back on Wednesday saying: “Rather than engage in personal attacks against Jason Greenblatt or other members of the administration, we continue to hope that the Palestinian Authority will engage with the U.S. positively and constructively to advance our mutual goal of a better future for the Palestinian people.”

Marquis also poured cold water on the Israeli news report Tuesday that suggested that Trump’s efforts to convince Abbas to meet him at the U.N. later this month were rebuffed. Marquis clarified that the “report that President Trump requested a meeting with President Abbas is untrue. Channel 2 unfortunately continues to broadcast misleading reports without checking their veracity.”

US ambassador believes Golan will be ‘part of Israel forever’

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman believes that the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty, and certainly won’t be placed back in the hands of Syria’s current leader, President Bashar Assad.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, which will be published in full on Friday, Friedman says that “I can’t imagine a circumstance where the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria. I cannot imagine, frankly, a circumstance where the Golan Heights is not a part of Israel forever. There’s not even an indigenous population in the Golan Heights seeking autonomy.”

“So I think you’d put Israel at a great security disadvantage by giving up the high ground of the Golan Heights,” he continued. “Needless to say, I can’t think of a less deserving person to receive this kind of reward than Bashar Assad. So there are a whole host of reasons why I would expect the status quo to remain.”

Friedman stressed that the Trump administration may consider official recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory in the future.

Two weeks ago, during a visit to Israel, National Security Adviser John Bolton remarked that the Trump administration is not discussing possible U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Responding to this remark, Friedman said that “it is certainly possible” that the U.S. would recognize Israeli sovereignty, explaining that Bolton’s remark “was simply a statement of fact. It’s simply not on the list of things that are happening right now.”

Friedman also dismissed any possibility that any future U.S. administrations would reverse President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital late last year.

Friedman to Post: Jerusalem embassy move never meant to win Israeli concessions in future talks

At no point was the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “designed to extract any concessions from Israel,” US Ambassador David Friedman said in an extensive Rosh Hashanah interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Friedman – in an interview that took place prior to US Donald Trump’s recent comment that Israel will have to pay a “higher price’ in future negotiations with the Palestinians because it won a “very big thing” with the embassy move – said: “There’s nothing we have in our back pocket that says, ‘Well, Israel, you’ve got to give up X, Y and Z because the embassy was moved.’

“The embassy was moved to Jerusalem because the American people have, through their elected officials for the last 25 years, directed the president to do exactly that, and Donald Trump was the first president to do so. That’s the beginning and the end of the Jerusalem decision,” he said.

Friedman said that he believes “we’ll see more embassies moved” to Jerusalem. “I think there are a lot of countries that are really interested in it, and I would give it a little bit more time.”

Israel Closes Embassy in Paraguay After South American Nation Reverses Jerusalem Move

Israel has closed its embassy in Paraguay following the South American country’s decision to move its embassy in the Jewish state from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.

The step by Paraguay — announced by its foreign minister on Wednesday — marked a reversal of a previous decision made in May by former President Horacio Cartes to follow the US and Guatemala in establishing embassies in Israel’s contested capital city.

“Paraguay wants to contribute to an intensification of regional diplomatic efforts to achieve a broad, fair and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni told reporters on Wednesday.

Cartes had traveled to Jerusalem to inaugurate the new embassy in May. His successor, Mario Abdo, also a member of the conservative Colorado Party, took office last month.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday, “Israel views with great severity the unusual decision of Paraguay, which will cloud bilateral relations.”

The Palestinian Authority said its foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, met Abdo two weeks ago, and hailed Paraguay’s change of mind as “a new Palestinian diplomatic achievement.”

Abbas: The Same Mistakes as Arafat

Abbas has chosen to endorse a legacy that he himself denounced in 2011. This legacy does not consider the lack of a Palestinian state to be the problem, but the existence of a Jewish and democratic state. It is a legacy that does not believe in peace with Israel but peace without Israel.

Abbas’s endorsement of the rejectionist legacy has, in fact, been an integral part of his rhetoric and deeds since 2003.

Has Abbas been trying to prove to his people that he is a hardliner and a strong, national leader in order to win their support? If so, his desperate attempt does not seem to have gained him any significant support. Currently, 63% of Palestinians are dissatisfied with Abbas’s performance as president of the Palestinian Authority, while 68% would like to see him step down.

Moreover, Abbas’s chances of winning if there were another presidential election are slim. Palestinians do not trust him or believe in his radical rhetoric. It appears that 65% believe Abbas will not implement the decisions made by the PLO’s Central Council in January.

In his speech before the Council in January, Abbas was again revealing an inconvenient truth: that he and his people do not believe in peace with Israel. This is a legacy that consists of a correlation between Palestinian national goals and the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Abbas is an oppressive dictator — now in his 14th year of his four-year-term in office. He is, however, also a weak leader. The majority of his people do not trust him, are dissatisfied with his leadership, and demand that he resign. He is unable and unwilling to help his people abandon nationalist and Islamist delusions and myths representing outdated objectives, beliefs, and rhetoric. At this point, he cannot grow out of them. In short, Abbas has duplicated the mistakes of Arafat.

EU warns Israeli plan to raze West Bank village ‘undermines peace’

The European Union on Thursday urged Israel to reconsider the razing of a Bedouin village in the West Bank, warning it would undermine efforts to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

A High Court of Justice ruling the day before cleared the way for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar after it rejected a final appeal in a case that has drawn international criticism.

“The consequences of a demolition of this community and the displacement of its residents, including children, against their will, would be very serious and would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospects for peace,” the EU said in a statement. “The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in a sensitive location in Area C, of strategic importance for preserving the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.”

“The EU expects the Israeli authorities to reconsider their decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar,” the statement continued.

On Tuesday the UN Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov similarly warned that demolition of the village would impact peace efforts.

Mladenov said the planned demolition of the village would “undermine the prospect for two-state solution and is against international law.”

A U.S. Court Reverses a Troubling Decision on Hamas Terror

In June, a U.S. court of appeals ruled on the case of Fraenkel v. Islamic Republic of Iran, in which the family of Naftali Fraenkel—a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014—sued Iran and Syria over their support for the terrorist group. According to federal statute, American citizens, like Fraenkel’s mother and siblings, are allowed to sue foreign governments for their role in committing and assisting acts of terror. The federal district court that first heard their case found in the Fraenkels’ favor, but it awarded them a sum far smaller than what precedent would dictate. Michal Navoth explains:

[The district court] determined that Rachel Fraenkel and her six surviving children had provided satisfactory evidence that Iran and Syria, two state sponsors of terrorism, are legally responsible for the abduction and murder of Naftali, because of the longstanding material support and resources provided to Hamas by Iran and Syria that allowed Hamas to flourish as a terrorist organization.

The evidence demonstrated that during the time leading up to the abduction and murder, the two countries provided funds, weapons, and training to [Hamas]. The district court noted that although no evidence has been given “directly linking a weapon or a dollar provided by Iran and Syria to the kidnapping and murder of Naftali,” both countries were hostile to Israel and knew of Hamas’s tactics and ideological goals and supported its efforts. The hostage-taking and murder were foreseeable consequences of Iran and Syria’s support and assistance to Hamas. . . .

Not only did the district court deny the motion for reconsideration of [the amount awarded], but in its decision on reconsideration the district court also stated that the Fraenkels accepted the risk by living in a community built across the Green Line [that divides the West Bank from the rest of Israel], and sending Naftali for high school in Gush Etzion, which is about six miles from Hebron, a predominantly Palestinian city. In so determining, the court imposed responsibility on innocent parents of an innocent victim, who was abducted and murdered by terrorists.

Satellite images show damage at Syria site from raid attributed to Israel

An Israeli satellite company published images Wednesday it said showed the damage at a military site in Syria from an airstrike a day before that was attributed to Israel.

The rare daytime strike reportedly targeted Iranian assets between the town of Masyaf and Wadi al-Uyun.

Photos taken from space showed two large hangars, 60 and 35 meters in length, destroyed in the attack, said ImageSat International (ISI).

The raids also revealed entrances to underground tunnels, one leading from each hangar, which were previously covered by tarpaulins, ISI said.

“Due to its location close to other surface-to-surface missile Iranian-Syrian facilities within the Russian S-400 [air-defense system] deployment range, and following recent media reports about past airstrikes, ISI assesses that this site might be related as well to the other mentioned sites,” the company said.

As 30-foot-tall border wall goes up, IDF says Hezbollah, Lebanese army colluding

The Israeli military this week publicly unveiled its 11-kilometer-long, nine-meter-tall concrete border wall along the Lebanese border — a barrier that is hotly contested by Lebanon, but that Israel maintains is lawful and fully in accordance with the international armistice line.

In a briefing to reporters near the border, a senior army officer also issued a stern warning to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist army, saying that “any of its forces who infiltrate into Israeli territory will not come back alive.”

The senior officer said the Israel Defense Forces has seen increased cooperation between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Lebanese Armed Forces in the past year.

“We see them working together, traveling in the same jeeps,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we see Hezbollah soldiers in LAF vests.”

While most Lebanese soldiers wear camouflage uniforms, some members of the LAF’s intelligence units wear what looks like civilian attire topped with a vest identifying them as servicemen. One such person — either an LAF intelligence officer or a Hezbollah member disguised as one — was clearly visible on Wednesday afternoon, standing in a watchtower overlooking the Israeli town of Rosh Hanikra and a construction site where the new border wall is being built.

IDF: No Hezbollah militant will return alive from infiltration attempt

As the IDF continues to strengthen Israel’s northern border by completing 11 kilometers of a concrete barrier along the Lebanese border, a senior officer in the Northern Command has warned any Hezbollah militant who infiltrates into Israel will be killed.

“Anyone who crosses into Israel will not return to Lebanon,” the IDF senior officer told journalists on the Lebanese border on Wednesday, stressing that “in the next war Hezbollah’s Radwan unit will be eliminated.”

The border fence with Lebanon was originally built in the 1980s and while sections of it have been upgraded several times it is said to be in poor condition.

According to a senior officer, the Northern Command would not stop an infiltration by Hezbollah’s elite Radwan unit who in the next war, is expected to attempt to capture an Israeli community or military outpost.

Due to the threat of infiltrations by Hezbollah, 22 Israeli communities along the border with Lebanon will be evacuated.

Palestinian terrorist’s home will not be razed due ‎to his mental illness

The home of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered an ‎Israeli security guard will not be razed due to the ‎fact that the terrorist was mentally ill, the ‎military recently ruled.‎

On March 18, Abed al-Rahman Bani Fadel, 28, from the ‎West ‎Bank village of Aqraba, near Nablus, attacked ‎Adiel Coleman, a married father of four ‎from the ‎Samaria community of Kokhav Hashahar, who was ‎working as a security guard in Jerusalem’s Old City.‎

Fadel was able to stab Coleman multiple times ‎before he was shot and killed by police ‎at the ‎scene.‎

Coleman was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he ‎succumbed to his wounds.‎

Following the attack, military officials informed ‎Fadel’s family that their home would be demolished. ‎

Using the services of the left-wing Center for the ‎Defense of the Individual, the family appealed the ‎decision before IDF authorities, claiming that ‎Fadel ‎was mentally ill and could not be held responsible ‎for his actions. ‎

The family further presented medical records ‎supporting its claims. ‎

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Wednesday issued a statement on the matter ‎said that “after an in-depth review of the claims ‎the family made and following consultations with the ‎relevant authorities, it was found that in light of ‎the claims made regarding the terrorist’s mental ‎state and the documents presented, the IDF cannot ‎order the demolition of the terrorist’s home.‎

Palestinian who isn’t Israel citizen seeks court okay to run for Jerusalem mayor

A Palestinian activist and educator from East Jerusalem is seeking to run for mayor in the city’s upcoming municipal elections, though Israeli law currently bars him from the race because he does not hold Israeli citizenship.

Aziz Abu Sarah is heading a new joint Jewish-Arab ticket called Al-Quds Lana (Arabic for Jerusalem is Ours), but first he must petition the High Court of Justice to overturn a law stipulating that mayoral candidates hold Israeli citizenship.

“We are 180,000 people who have the right to vote, we don’t have to be on the sidelines,” Abu Sarah told Haaretz in an interview published Wednesday.

“I imagine that if that happened, [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] would come up with all kinds of laws that would stop it,” he said. “But this way, people who think that the status quo in Jerusalem can continue will understand that it cannot.”

PMW: PLO official: Israel is trying to “flood the Palestinian street with drugs”

Drug use and growing of drugs is a big problem in the PA and Israel is behind efforts to “flood the Palestinian street with drugs,” according to Commissioner of the PLO Political and National Guidance Authority Nasser Nimr Ayyad. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 31, 2018]

Calling for a national campaign to fight drugs, Ayyad stated that there are “frantic attempts to turn Palestine into a producer of this destructive plague by turning agricultural lands into nurseries of death for the production of drugs:”

“During his meeting with Head of the General Directorate for the War Against Drugs in the police forces Abdallah Aliwi yesterday, Ayyad added… the frantic activity to which we are witness recently of criminals that are planting drugs in most of the districts, in addition to the efforts of the occupation and criminal drug dealers to flood the Palestinian street with all types of drugs and to make it easier to obtain them through low prices, constitute a dangerous sign that necessitates the enlistment of all of the government and civil sectors, and also of the factions and clergy, in order to come out against the destructive war that has been declared against the Palestinian people.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 31, 2018]

Last month, the head of the PA Preventive Security Force Muhannad Abu Ali similarly blamed Israel for being responsible for the growing of drugs and drug use among Palestinians.

Hamas commander dies in accidental explosion in Gaza Strip

A member of the Hamas security forces was killed Wednesday in an accidental explosion in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian terror group reported.

The military wing of Hamas announced the man was Abdel Rahim Abbas, 42, a local commander of the Hamas security forces.

The Hamas-run Gaza interior ministry said the explosion happened at the administrative headquarters for the police’s bomb disposal unit and was a result of explosive materials catching on fire during an inspection.

Police and civil defense units extinguished the fire caused by the explosion, the ministry added.

A Hamas security source said he was trying to neutralize an Israeli munition.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Adopt Israeli Plan To Make World Sick Of Palestinians (satire)

Materials distributed by the office of the president provided details of the dovetailing strategies. The materials pointed to unending incitement to violence, rewards for terrorist activities, the glorification of attempts to harm Israelis, targeting civilians, sabotaging infrastructure that both groups need, and persistent refusal to engage in good-faith negotiations to bring the decades-old conflict to a peaceful resolution, all in the face of growing international pressure to forsake violence and implement a solution based on existing proposals.

“Our adherence to a zero-sum game mentality flows directly from our organic, authentic selves,” explained Palestinian official Nabil Shaath. “It would be a grave mistake to think we resemble to a T what our enemies say about us simply because we mindlessly adopt what our enemies say. No, I must emphasize that our pathological need to attach ourselves to, and co-opt, every international issue so that we can remain in the spotlight at all times and position ourselves as ever-relevant, and deserving of funds that otherwise would go to worthwhile causes such as preventing famine or eradicating disease, and thus making us repugnant in the world’s eyes, is entirely ours. What purpose would ending malaria have if Palestinians are relegating to something other than the foremost victims of all time? Better to be reviled than ignored.”

“Besides, who’s going to keep making deposits in my Swiss and Cayman Islands bank accounts if we no longer sponge off international funding?” he added. “Think of what’s at stake here.”

Upcoming General Assembly Will ‘Spotlight Iran’s Aggressive Policy,’ Israel’s UN Ambassador Tells Jewish Leaders

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said on Thursday that Iran’s “aggressive policy” will be a key focus of this month’s General Assembly at the United Nations in New York.

In a briefing to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Danon said that at the UNGA’s 73rd session, which begins on Sept. 18, “the spotlight will be directed at Iran’s aggressive policy.”

“This will have significant implications,” Danon said.

Declaring that “Iran continues to encourage terrorism, test ballistic missiles and threaten the Middle East,” Danon added that “other countries in the world are expected to increase their pressure against Iran, which systematically violates Security Council resolutions.”

Iran’s leadership is presently exploring ways of circumventing the punishing sanctions reimposed on the Tehran regime after the US withdrew from the JCPOA — the 2015 Iran nuclear deal championed by the Obama administration — in May. The Trump administration has demanded that the full range of sanctions be locked into place by Nov. 4.

Cyber firm says Iran-run sites target Israelis with fake news

An Israeli cybersecurity firm announced Thursday it had uncovered three Iran-run fake Hebrew and Arabic news sites targeting Israelis, as well as a score of fake social media accounts.

ClearSky said one of the sites is the Hebrew-language Tel Aviv Times, which engages in “distorting news,” and the other two are Arabic language news outlets that promote the Islamic Republic.

It also said there were 14 fake Facebook profiles and 11 fake Twitter accounts that were part of this Iranian “infrastructure,” which have thousands of followers between them, though many of them closed down after being uncovered by ClearSky, the company said.

The Tel Aviv Times has been operating since 2013, according to the announcement, and has about 66,000 monthly views, the vast majority of them from Israel, according to SimilarWeb. The site carries articles ClearSky said were plagiarized from mainstream Israeli news sites, though the headlines and crucial paragraphs were changed to support Iran’s agenda.

JCPA: Iran and Turkey Divert Iraq’s River Waters, Leaving Iraq on the Brink of Catastrophe

The failing water infrastructure in Basra, Iraq, is causing plague-like conditions in the local population. Some 500 to 600 individuals are admitted to emergency rooms daily because of water poisoning accompanied by skin diseases.

The Tigris River, which crosses the city and used to be the main source of drinking water and agriculture, is almost dry and one can cross the river on foot. A few years ago, one needed to cross on bridges or take a boat because of the depth.

The main factors which contributed to this humanitarian catastrophe are the six-year-long ongoing drought and, more importantly, the fact that both Turkey and Iran are diverting water away from Iraq’s rivers.

The two countries have constructed dams on the Euphrates and the Tigris, reducing the flow of water into Iraq by more than 40 percent. At least 42 rivers and springs from Iran have been diverted by the Iranians. The Turks have built five big
dams on the Tigris and several minor ones (part of a grand design to build 14 on the Euphrates and eight on the Tigris).

Egyptian Researcher El-Zoghby: U.S. President Herzl Garnered Support for Zionist Enterprise

Egyptian researcher Mohamed Gad El-Zoghby said that like in Europe, which had “founded the [Zionist] enterprise, in the days of Napoleon, in order to get rid of the Jews,” the American people and government “could not tolerate the Jews.” In an episode of a series called “Know Your Enemy,” El-Zoghby said that only in the days of Herzl, the “powerful and popular president” who “led America during WWII” and was “the only president to serve three terms,” did the interests of the American Jews and of the Zionist enterprise converge. He went on to say that Herzl had brought in “man of shadows” Truman, “a most simple man,” as his VP because he did not want a VP who would rob him of his popularity. The interview with El-Zoghby aired on Safa TV on August 12, 2018.



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