May 23, 2019

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10/04 Links Pt1: Ben Shapiro: Support of Israel in U.S; Ron Prosor: Why didn’t we stop funding UNRWA years ago?; Israeli minister: We can defeat Russian S-300 air shield in Syria

From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: Support of Israel in U.S.
There’s a trendy view these days that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed the grave sin of turning support of Israel partisan. This is the view of many on the Democratic left, who seem perturbed at Netanyahu’s close relationship with President Donald Trump. “Netanyahu refuses to even pretend that he cares what liberal American Jews think or feel about Israel,” sneers Eric Alterman of The Nation.

But what, precisely, is Netanyahu supposed to do in the face of the left’s gradual move against Israel over the past two decades? Alterman, for all his sneering, is a harsh anti-Israel critic — he says that Israel is either practicing apartheid today or on the verge of doing so, and has endorsed the idea behind boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel on the international stage. Can that be attributed to Netanyahu?

The left’s anti-Israel move has been brewing for decades. Republicans have been somewhat more pro-Israel than Democrats since the Six-Day War — Israel’s victory in that war led to an onslaught of Soviet propaganda against the Jewish state as the Soviets attempted to consolidate the support of Muslim states. Still, until 2001, the two parties remained largely pro-Israel; in 2001, 38 percent of Democrats supported Israel against the Palestinians, with 50 percent of Republicans doing so.

Then 9/11 hit. Suddenly Republican support for Israel began to climb and Democratic support for Israel began to drop. That drop was exacerbated by the advent of former President Barack Obama’s administration, which took the line that Israel’s failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians lay at the heart of broader conflicts in the region. The American left began to parrot the line of the European left that Israel’s intransigence represented the root of imperialistic Western power politics.

Ron Prosor: Why didn’t we stop funding UNRWA years ago?

When the State Department announced that the US would stop funding UNRWA, many believed it to be an ill-considered move. Some argued that it would increase the chance for another round of violence, destroy the United States’s position as an honest broker, and create a humanitarian disaster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. One comprehensive look at UNRWA’s record over the years should leave anyone with only one question: how in the world was this not done many years ago?

The United Nations Relief Works Agency was established in 1949 for the exclusive benefit of Palestinian refugees. Its core mandate was to assist and house those Palestinian refugees displaced in the war. Sadly, it has done neither of those, and in an epic way.

How do we know? Because the numbers don’t lie.

Since 1948, despite wars with neighboring countries and internal flare-ups, there has not been one single event that has left “new” displaced refugees. Yet, during these 70 years, the number of refugees under UNRWAs auspices ballooned from 700,000 to almost 5.5 million. This phenomenon of a growing, rather than decreasing, number of refugees is of course a farce. Over 50 percent of the so-called refugees found homes across the globe many years ago, and would not be considered refugees by any other standard other than that of UNRWA. UNRWA has made little progress toward “ending” the refugee status of the other 50%.

Most people are not aware of it, but the UN actually discriminates between types of refugees. Next to the UNRWA Palestinian refugees, there are all other 30 million refugees in the world, UNHCR refugees. While the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working overtime over the past decade due to the Syrian civil war, UNRWA operates with a budget that is four times larger — $246 per person annually. The contrast in numbers is quite astonishing. While UNRWA only treats 5.3 million people, it has 30,000 employees, three times as large than UNHCR, which treats a population that is more than 10 times larger.

Following Defunding, UNRWA to Spend $100 Million on Trump Piñatas (satire)

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization established to provide essential services to Palestinian refugees, has responded to US budget cuts by ordering 10 million Donald Trump piñatas, for the refugees to take out their anger on the American president.

The agency, which has been criticized for wasting money by perpetuating refugee status across generations, is holding an emergency fundraise for the $100 million needed to buy the piñatas.

“Throughout the Middle East and beyond, Palestinian refugees face dire conditions due to President Trump’s decision to end funding for UNRWA,” said UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl. “Without these piñatas, the refugees will have no outlet to express their anger.”

As of press time, US Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio Cortez had demanded the US raise taxes to send 10 million piñatas to the Philippines.

Israelis on Gaza border mull evacuation due to rioting

Some six months after the Palestinian “March of Return” campaign began in Gaza, the violent rioting near the fence, which took place only during the day so far, has in recent weeks began “stretching” into the night.

Almost every evening, hundreds and at times thousands of Palestinians gather at different spots along the Gaza border fence and continue rioting until midnight.

The protests, which have become even more violent, include the hurling of firecrackers and explosive devices, grenades and stones at IDF forces, and the launching of incendiary balloons and kites—all of which cause damage to the border fence and the nearby area.

In some cases, the Palestinians succeed in infiltrating Israeli territory and causing damages to the heavy equipment being used by the defense establishment to construct the underground obstacle on the border.

The night protests have been gaining momentum after the rioters realized the IDF is having a harder time stopping the masses from reaching the fence in the dark.

The IDF soldiers on the border, meanwhile, strictly adhere to the rules of engagement, and at the same time avoid coming near the border for fear of sniper fire.

Air pollution from burning tires smoke
Israelis living near the Gaza border have been suffering from the rioting for months. Every night, they can hear the explosions of the firecrackers and other explosives being hurled at the IDF troops.

The Palestinians have also taken to playing recordings of the Code Red rocket-alert siren using megaphones to scare the residents, and at certain sections of the fence Palestinians can come close enough to shout abuse at the residents. In one town on the border, residents have been hearing shouting in Hebrew saying: “We’re coming to kill you through the tunnels; we’ll burn down your town.”

The Israeli residents also have to deal with the daily incendiary balloon terrorism, which causes an average of 10 fires a day.

IDF beefs up troops in Gaza border as rioting grows in the South

The IDF will significantly reinforce troops in southern Israel to prevent terrorist infiltration from the Gaza Strip, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit announced on Thursday morning.

The decision to send reinforcements, including snipers as well as infantry and armored forces, was made following a situational assessment by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot along with senior IDF and Shin Bet officials.

“The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and sees Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip and out of the Gaza Strip,” read the statement.

In addition to the reinforcements, the IDF has reportedly deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system over concerns of mortar and rocket fire from the blockaded coastal enclave.

Later in the day, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, along with Eisenkot, the head of the Intelligence Unit and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, conducted a situational assessment meeting on the developments in the Gaza Strip, the Defense Ministry announced.

Liberman noted that the forces near the Gaza Strip are at the ready and instructed the IDF to remain on high alert and prepared for any scenario.

Hamas leader Sinwar: ‘I don’t want any more wars’

While the clashes on the Gaza border and the incendiary balloon terrorism continue unabated, Yahya Sinwar seeks to send a message to Israelis. In a rare interview to Yedioth Ahronoth and La Repubblica, he says: ‘There’s a true opportunity for change. War is not in our interest, but in the current situation, an explosion is inevitable.’

I know that for the great majority of Israelis, Yahya Sinwar is an enemy. A man who spent 22 years in Israeli prison and released seven years ago in the Shalit deal, only to become the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip shortly afterwards. That is why this interview will not be easy to read. I also know I would never be able to truly feel what you feel. But one thing I can promise: I tried to do the most professional journalistic work, ask the hard questions, and not let Sinwar off easy.

When I tell people I met Sinwar, the first question I’m asked is where did we meet: Inside a tunnel? In a secret bunker deep underground? No, I reply. Most of our meetings were in his office, in Gaza City. Sometimes we met in private, with only an interpreter, and at other times the interview was held in the presence of aides and advisors.

I spent five days in the Gaza Strip and the result is Sinwar’s first interview as the leader of Hamas in Gaza to an Israeli media outlet, which will be published in full in Yedioth Ahronoth and La Repubblica on Friday.

Why did you decide to give this interview now, to an Israeli newspaper no less?

“Because now I see a true opportunity for change.”

An opportunity? Now?

“Yes, now.”

It appears the most realistic thing right now in Gaza is another war.

“A new war is in no one’s interest, certainly not our interest. Who really wants to confront a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War doesn’t achieve anything.”

Guardian quotes Gaza ‘protester’ claiming new night time riots are meant to save lives

You don’t need to be a journalist, Mid-East analyst or expert of any kind to come up with a list of practical steps ‘protesters’ participating in the Hamas organised Great Return March can take to save Palestinian lives.

Here are just a few:

Stop firing at soldiers on the border.
Stop throwing grenades and other explosive devices at soldiers on the border.
Stop attempting to damage the security fence and infiltrate into Israel in order to kill Jews.

We don’t mean to be cheeky, but to introduce a larger point: that the Guardian’s coverage of the region is characterised, as much as any other factor, by the denial of Palestinian agency, with reports invariably describing the cause of Gaza’s woes as some sort of act of nature or, much more often, the result of Israeli malevolence.

Reports on Palestinian deaths and injuries during the Gaza border riots which have taken place since March 31st are a case in point, with their correspondents at pains to obfuscate Palestinian responsibility for initiating the deadly confrontations with Israeli soldiers.

A recent article (Two children among seven people shot dead by Israel, say officials, Sept. 29) by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Oliver Holmes, on the most recent border riots, where he noted an alternative idea for saving lives, one that doesn’t rely our ‘conventional wisdom’.

Here’s the relevant sentence:
During the past two weeks, the Hamas-led Friday rallies have grown in size and also moved to evenings and night-time, a move protesters say is to save lives as people can move under the cover of darkness. Piles of tyres have also been burnt to obscure the snipers’s vision.

David Singer: Jordan Enclave in West Bank could be Trump’s “Two-State” Solution

Trump’s upcoming peace plan slated for release in 2-4 months needs to deal with Netanyahu’s concerns if it is to win Israel’s backing.

Israel’s security demands would best be satisfied by part of the West Bank being reunified with Jordan to create a Jordanian enclave in the West Bank – with the remainder of the West Bank being annexed by Israel.

This solution would enable Israel to:

Control access and egress between the West Bank and Jordan
Maintain security control for the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea
Ensure the enclave be demilitarized and remain demilitarized

The enclave’s residents would acquire Jordanian citizenship. Jordanian law would apply in the enclave – which could be divided into any number of electoral divisions whose residents would choose their representatives to sit in the Jordanian Parliament.

The PLO has already rejected Trump’s peace plan – sight unseen – opening the door for Jordan – at peace with Israel since signing their 1994 Peace Treaty – to fill the negotiating void necessary to create this Jordanian enclave.

Israel’s former Foreign Minister Moshe Arens presciently stated on 11 January1989:
“Jordan is a Palestinian state. And it is with Jordan that we must decide where the border will run…. Should the border follow the Jordan River, as it does today, or should it be west of the Jordan, as the Jordanians would like?”
I would suggest therefore that, when it comes to talking about territory there is only one negotiating party acceptable to the government of Israel. That party is the existing Palestinian state of Jordan.”

Creating a Jordanian enclave in the West Bank with Israel annexing the remainder could be – in Trump’s own words:
“the ultimate deal…as a deal maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

Don’t underestimate Trump’s deal-making ability to end what he himself has called “the war that never ends”.

PLO envoy: Palestinians believe UK can play leading role in achieving peace

The new head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in United Kingdom said that the Palestinians believe London can undertake “a leading role” in efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

Husam Zomlot — who took over as the PLO’s top envoy in London on Monday, after the Trump Administration shuttered the PLO’s DC mission he headed — made the comments Tuesday at an event on the sidelines of the annual gathering of the Conservative Party, the UK’s ruling party, in Birmingham.

His speech was attended by UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, British lawmakers, Arab ambassadors and others.

“We firmly believe that the UK can play a leading role in achieving that desired peace in the Middle East,” Zomlot said.
PLO envoy to the UK Husam Zomlot addresses a meeting at the Conservative Party conference on October 2 (Courtesy)

“The UK already has the vision–the vision of a two-state solution on the 1967 borders. The UK has already invested in that vision for many, many decades.”

The UK has long supported a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The UK could actually lead the rest of the world… to peace and justice.”

French government suspends demand for West Bank product labeling

French authorities reportedly have suspended their insistence on special labeling for West Bank products following a lawsuit alleging that the practice is discriminatory.

The France office of Amnesty International complained about the suspension in a statement Wednesday.

“Instead of complying with the request to end imports [from the West Bank], the government has chosen to roll back and suspend the demand for labeling,” the human rights group wrote.

The Israel Broadcasting Corp., or Kan, reported independently on Tuesday about the suspension of the measure, which was adopted in 2016.

That year, the French Economy Ministry’s General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention published an advisory circular requiring retailers to use the word “colonies,” French for “settlements,” to specify goods originating in Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.

Israel considers the Golan and all of Jerusalem an integral part of its territory, as well as the West Bank disputed land where most Jewish settlements are legal municipal entities. But much of the world, including the European Union and its member states, views the land as occupied and the settlements as illegal.

Merkel in Jerusalem: Iran must not have nuclear weapons

German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to prevent a nuclear Iran as she spoke with Haifa University students in Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

Israel and Germany “share the view that everything must be done to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” Merkel told the students during a question-and-answer session.

The threat to Israel from Iran has become stronger due to its presence in Syria, Merkel said, noting that Iranian troops had been close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

“It was a good thing that Russia saw to it that a withdrawal took place,” she added.

The point of disagreement with Israel, she said, is the question of the 2015 Iranian deal with the six world powers, including the US and Germany, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The question is whether the JCPOA “is the right way to prevent [Iran’s] nuclear armament, or is it too weak,” Merkel said.

Netanyahu: Israel and Germany’s relationship is an example for the world

While acknowledging differences on the Palestinian issue and on how to keep Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed at a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday their countries special and close ties.

“I think the strong ties between Israel and Germany can provide an example to this region and the world. We overcame the horrors of the past – we will never forget them, and you will never forget them – but we have transformed our relationship into a warm and constructive friendship. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have disagreements, but there is an underlying commitment that I respect and appreciate,” he said.

I think the example of Israel and Germany offer hope to all the people of the world,” he added. “It shows how we can transform history and come together to work to build a better and safer world.”

Merkel, who in a speech to the Knesset in 2008 said that Germany’s responsibility for Israel’s security was part of Germany’s raison d’etre, repeated those sentiments on Thursday, saying that Germany is committed to “everlasting responsibility” to Israel “due to the crimes of the Holocaust.”

Rivlin urges Merkel to join Iran sanctions to ensure global ‘stability’

President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday urged visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to join the US in imposing economic sanctions on Iran to ensure global “stability.”

In a speech ahead of a luncheon at his official Jerusalem residence, Rivlin called on Berlin to stop looking for ways to skirt the sanctions and keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.

“From our point of view, now is the time to join the effective sanctions on Iran and not to circumvent them,” Rivlin said. “The Iranian beast must be starved and not fed. This is the only way to guarantee the stability of the world.”

In her own remarks afterward, Merkel brushed past Germany’s differences with Israel regarding the nuclear deal, saying the two allies would continue their dialogue about the issue.

Rivlin also thanked Merkel for her staunch support of Israel and the German government’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism.

“The lesson of history is this: We must show zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and racism. Zero tolerance. Wherever there is fruitful ground for such a thing, we need to uproot these terrible threats, as you all know,” he said.

At Yad Vashem, Merkel says Germany has ‘everlasting’ duty to fight anti-Semitism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel continued her 24-hour visit to Israel on Thursday with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, and said Germany bore an “everlasting responsibility” to remember the tragedy and oppose anti-Semitism.

“Nearly 80 years ago, on the pogrom night of November 9, the Jewish people in Germany faced unprecedented hate and violence,” she said after her visit, reading out the message she wrote in the museum’s guestbook.

Merkel was referring to the Night of Broken Glass. or Kristallnacht, pogroms on November 9, 1938.

“But what followed were the unprecedented crimes of the Shoah and its break with civilization,” Merkel added. “From this comes the everlasting responsibility of Germany to remember this crime and to oppose anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hatred and violence.”

Later on Thursday, Merkel was meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and will also receive an honorary doctorate from Haifa University.

Culture minister warns visiting Merkel not to interfere over Palestinian village

Culture Minister Miri Regev on Wednesday warned visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel against bringing up the fate of Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village slated for demolition.

“I advise her to deal with internal problems of her own country,” Regev said.

“We respect Mrs Merkel and we are pleased with the cooperation between our two countries, but with all due respect, regarding our internal problems, I expect that foreign leaders who come here don’t interfere,” said Regev.

Residents of the West Bank hamlet were bracing for the demolition of their homes after the passing of an Israeli-imposed deadline of the beginning of the month for Khan al-Ahmar’s inhabitants to evacuate before forced removal.

The deadline followed a ruling from the High Court of Justice that rejected a final appeal from Khan al-Ahmar residents to prevent the demolition of their village in a case that has drawn international condemnation of Israel.

The state says the structures, mostly makeshift shacks and tents, were built without permits and pose a threat to the village residents because of their proximity to a highway.

Israel’s COGAT problem

After Israel won the 1967 Six Day War, liberating eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip from Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian occupation, these areas were placed under the authority of the IDF and a military administration, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which operates the Civil Administration – CA.

Eastern Jerusalem and the Golan were incorporated into Israel in 1980 and 1981, respectively. The area of Judea and Samaria was divided into three parts (Areas A, B and C) under the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the Hebron Accords in 1996. Areas A and B were placed under the newly formed Palestinian Authority, while Area C remained under Israeli military control. In 2005, Israel withdrew the IDF and all civilian communities from the Gaza Strip in the “Disengagement.”

Because the Israeli government has not extended Israeli law into or annexed Area C, where all of the Jewish communities known as “settlements” are located, COGAT is the legal sovereign – in effect, a shadow government with a separate judicial system; Area C is considered to be under “military occupation.” The IDF’s judicial system run by COGAT/CA is backed by the Israeli government and Israel’s High Court. Technically under the Defense Ministry, it is virtually unaccountable. The current attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, was formerly head of the IDF’s legal administration in Judea and Samaria.

In response to Arab land claims brought to the High Court by Yesh Din, the legal NGO which is supported by Peace Now – and other left-wing organizations and NGOs, and assisted by anti-settlement left-wing employees of COGAT, the CA and the IDF Prosecutor’s Office – the legitimacy of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria came under attack.

Palestinian teen throws knife at IDF troops, runs away; none injured

A Palestinian teen threw a knife at an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint along a West Bank highway on Thursday, causing no injury, the army said.

The suspect fled the scene, prompting a manhunt by Israeli forces in the area.

“A Palestinian minor took out a knife and threw it at an IDF soldier at a checkpoint near the Route 443 highway. There were no injuries,” the army said.

Route 443 is one of two main highways that connect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and runs through portions of the West Bank.

The highway and Jewish communities alongside it have been the scenes of multiple terror attacks in recent years.

PA prevents Gaza from receiving Qatari fuel aid, increasing danger of violence

For the umpteenth time in recent months, Israel has received proof that severed relations between Jerusalem and Ramallah and between Ramallah and Gaza could significantly compromise security on the Gaza border.

Palestinian sources said Thursday that threats made by the Palestinian Authority to an Israeli gas company and to UN employees have delayed the planned transfer of emergency Qatari-funded fuel to Gaza.

The latest fracas shows how attempts by the US administration and by Israel to deal directly with Gaza — actually with Hamas, the terror group that runs the Strip — are time and again hindered by the PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.

As Haaretz reported Thursday, in recent days it was agreed in a meeting of donors to the Strip that Qatar would pay for fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant, under a UN-brokered deal that seeks to end the severe energy crisis gripping the Palestinian enclave.

According to a Palestinian report, Qatar will invest $60 million, which should be enough for six months in which Gazans will enjoy eight hours of electricity every day, instead of the current four.

Yes, that still means power for only a third of every day, but in Gaza terms that would be real improvement. Such a step could help calm tensions on the border and reduce the danger of imminent war.

Palestinians voice outrage over Rawabi song festival amid Gaza deaths

A song festival in the new Palestinian city of Rawabi north of Ramallah has drawn sharp criticism from Palestinians, with many expressing outrage that the event came one day after seven Palestinians were killed and dozens injured in clashes with the IDF along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Thousands of Palestinians converged on Rawabi last Saturday to attend the “Rawabi Extreme” festival, which was held under the auspices of the Palestinian branch of the XL Energy Drink Company.

Jordanian singer Aziz Maraka, the Israeli Arab Dam hip-hop group, and the App & the Apostles multi-lingual rock band from east Jerusalem and Bethlehem were part of the event, which drew thousands of young Palestinian men and women.

Critics complained about the “bad timing” of the festival because of the violence along the border a day earlier. Others pointed out that it coincided with the 18th anniversary of the start of the Second Intifada.

Critics noted that the festival also came two days before a general strike was declared by Palestinians in protest against the new Israeli Nation-State Law, amid mounting tensions over Israel’s decision to demolish the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar east of Ma’aleh Adumim, and visits by Jews to the Temple Mount during the recent Jewish holidays.

JPost Editorial: S-300 strategy

Russia claimed on October 2 that it had completed delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to Syria. The delivery came after Syrians shot down a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft last month during Israeli air strikes on Syria’s Latakia region. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has indicated that although the system will improve Syria’s defenses, it will also take time to train the Syrians to use the system.

This is of importance since Syrian air defense failures led to the killing of the fifteen Russians. If their defense had worked properly it would not have downed the plane of its own ally, even during the tense and confusing period after air strikes by another country.

The US views the deployment of the S-300 as adding fuel to the fire in Syria. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that if reports of the missile delivery were correct, it was a “serious escalation.” This is because the S-300 is part of a wider Russian regional strategy in Syria and will bolster the war-torn country’s defenses, which might potentially threaten US and coalition aircraft operating in eastern Syria. The US is still engaged in a war against the remnants of ISIS, and Washington has indicated that American troops will remain in eastern Syria.

The deployment of the S-300 also comes amid heightened tensions in the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the S-300 delivery prior to flying to New York for the United National General Assembly meeting last week.

During his speech, Netanyahu pointed to a secret nuclear warehouse in Tehran and referenced Hezbollah’s increasing entrenchment in Lebanon.

Israel wanted the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the Tehran site. “The IAEA should inspect the site and immediately send inspectors there with Geiger counters,” a statement from Jerusalem said.

Both Lebanon and Iran have mocked Israel’s claims. Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil took diplomats on a tour of an alleged missile site near Beirut’s airport. “We refuse to have missile sites near the airport,” he told ambassadors, while claiming Israel was using the allegation as an excuse for “aggression.” Jerusalem’s claims would impact the “stability of the region,” he said.

Israeli minister: We can defeat Russian S-300 air shield in Syria

Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi downplayed the impact of Russia’s recent delivery S-300 air defense systems to Syria, saying Wednesday that Israel’s stealth fighters could defeat the new upgraded system and possibly destroy it on the ground.

On Tuesday, Moscow announced that it had delivered the S-300 to Syria, a decision it took after accusing Israel of being responsible for the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian forces. The Syrian missile that downed the Russian plane and killed all 15 crew members was fired in response to an Israeli airstrike last month.

Damascus and Moscow have described the addition of S-300 batteries to Syria’s arsenal as a major deterrent. Israel and Washington have both voiced misgivings about the S-300 handover.

But asked in an interview if the Syrian acquisition of the S-300 would clip the IDF’s wings, Hanegbi said: “Unequivocally, no.”

“The operational abilities of the Israeli Air Force are such that those [S-300] batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act,” he told Army Radio.

Referring to F-35 Joint Strike Fighters that Israel began receiving from the United States over a year ago, Hanegbi said: “You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries are not even able to detect them.”

Iran Expert: IAEA Needs to Be Able to Inspect Everywhere

The International Atomic Energy Agency needs to be able to inspect everywhere in Iran, Dr. Emily Landau, who heads the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said in an interview on Wednesday.

“The point is to be able to inspect any suspicious facility: whether a warehouse, materials and equipment, archives or actual military bases.”

Part of the problem is that “the JCPOA [Iran deal] unfortunately doesn’t give them that authority. That’s why the P5+1 need to press for this. But the P5+1 are not pressing them to do that because they agreed to the miserably inadequate” inspection provisions in the first place.

Landau added that the JCPOA has meant that all IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear program in recent years have been gutted of anything but superficial information.

“In Netanyahu’s speech at the UN, he said: ‘Here are the coordinates. Here is the warehouse – check it out.'” Then IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano implies “that because the information comes from Netanyahu, he’s complicating their effort because he is undermining the agency’s impartiality.”

“Netanyahu made this information public at the UN because he had quietly passed information from [Iran’s nuclear] archives to the IAEA and he said nothing had been done. That was April 30. Now it was late September, and in order to push the IAEA to do something, he disclosed this at the UN.”

Iran justifies terrorism and 119 of 193 UN member states agree.

Libyan Researcher Dr. Ali Al-Siba’i: The Treacherous Nature of the Jews Appears in the Quran

Cleric Ali Talal at Mosque in France: We Will Uproot Zionism; Zionists Are Source of All Disputes

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