Sudan has reportedly decided to move forward with normalizing ties with Israel, after the US reportedly issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the country demanding that it recognize Israel in order to be removed from a US blacklist, a source close to Sudan’s leadership told i24News.
The decision was made after a heated discussion on Wednesday, according to the news station.
The ultimatum reportedly included an offer to remove Sudan from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, work to remove Sudan from a list of travel ban countries, work to increase aid to Sudan, commitment to facilitate private investment in Sudan, arranging an investment conference in Sudan and forgiveness of billions of dollars of Sudanese debt to the US, among other benefits, according to a Sudanese journalist.
In September, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that the country does not want to link its removal from a US terrorism list, which is hindering access to foreign funding for the country’s economy, with a normalization of relations with Israel. However, Sudan’s leaders did not rule out establishing ties with Israel as part of a US offer of $300 million in economic aid, as well as $3 billion in debt relief and investments.
Earlier this month, deputy chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo told TV station Sudania 24 that his country ascribes great importance to establishing ties with Israel so that it can be removed from the United States’ terror list.
Sudanese Researcher: Our Normalization with Israel Will Lead to Normalization with the U.S.
First, the Abraham Accords sound the death knell for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. BDS was built on the foundations and legacy of the Arab Boycott of Israel, initiated as a boycott of the pre-state Yishuv by the Arab League in 1945. With key Arab states now formally embracing trade and diplomatic deals with Israel, it looks ridiculous and out of touch with the reality of the region or Arab opinion for radicals in Europe and North America to continue to pursue a boycott policy.
Secondly, the Abraham Accords demolish the narrative that Israel is engaged in a race-based and hence racist oppression of the Palestinians, and hence the apartheid smear and the BDS policies that flow from the false comparison with apartheid South Africa. Emiratis and Bahrainis are the same ethnicity as the Palestinians: Arab. If Israel is able to have normalised and mutually beneficial relations with other Arab states it stands to reason that the occupation is down to a political impasse with the Palestinians, not a race-based desire to subjugate them.
Thirdly, the Abraham Accords destroy the narrative that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is based on an inevitable religious clash between Jews and Muslims. The UAE and Bahrain are predominantly Muslim societies just like Palestinian society. If anything, they are more monolithically Muslim than Palestinian society is. This deal proves Israel can have good relationships with Muslim countries. The way in which the deal uses language about the mutual heritage of the three Abrahamic religions acknowledges that Jews are indigenous to the Middle East.
This last point links to the fourth aspect, which is that the Abraham Accords draw a line under historic Arab delegitimisation of Israel and the narrative that saw it as a temporary, colonialist imposition that could be destroyed. The deal shows the rest of the Arab world is growing impatient with Palestinian intransigence, and has moved to seeing Israel in pragmatic rather than ideological terms, as a permanent feature in the region that doesn’t just have to be accepted but can actually be a useful trading partner and security ally against Iran and its proxies. The contrast between practical steps by other Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority’s history of rejecting Israeli offers, even when its people would be the main beneficiary, is very stark.
As well as opening the door to a better life for many people in the region, the Accords have just made it a lot easier for all of us who have always proudly defended Israel here in the UK to win the ideological arguments with the delegitimisers, who increasingly find themselves on the opposite side to much of the Arab World, let alone Israel and its traditional allies.
David Singer: Jordan and Saudis tighten screws on PLO and Hamas
Saudi Arabia and Jordan have engaged in a twin-pronged attack on the PLO and Hamas seemingly intended to get them to bury the hatchet and begin negotiations with Israel on allocating sovereignty in Gaza and Judea and Samaria (‘West Bank’) under President Trump’s 2020 Peace Plan.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud – Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States 1983 – 2005, secretary general of the National Security Council 2005-2019 and director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency 2012 – 2014 – provides a fascinating insight into the many failures of the Palestinian Arab leadership he witnessed from 1978 to 2015 in an Arab News article headlined “Setting the record straight”.
Bandar is particularly critical of the PLO and Hamas – after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah brought PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to Mecca for crisis talks in February 2007 to end the deadly PLO-Hamas violence that had followed the January 2005 presidential election won by Abbas and the January 2006 legislative election won by Hamas:
“After (King Abdullah) checked what they had written and read it in front of everyone and asked them to vow before God and in front of everyone that they agree to this deal, he asked them to shake hands and congratulated them, saying, ‘God is our witness, and we are in his holy land. (Prince) Saud (bin Faisal), take the brothers to the Kaaba and let them pledge their word before God and before the Palestinian people.’ Only a few days after they left Saudi Arabia, we received news they had already gone back on their word and started conspiring and plotting against each other once again.”
No elections since 2006 and no reconciliation between the PLO and Hamas continues.
Bandar recalls the many times the Palestinian Arab leadership asked Saudi Arabia for advice and help – took the help but ignored the advice:
“Then they would fail and turn back to us again, and we would support them again, regardless of their mistakes,” he said. This nature of the relationship, he felt, might have convinced the Palestinian Arab leadership that “there is no price to pay for any mistakes they commit towards the Saudi leadership or the Saudi state, or the Gulf leaderships and states.”
Reconciling their differences is the price the PLO and Hamas have to pay for future Saudi help – following peace treaties signed by Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain whilst Saudi Arabia has granted Israel’s commercial airlines the right to fly in Saudi Arabian air space.
Opening the Knesset debate on Israel’s normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday hailed a “warm peace” coming amid a paradigm shift in the way Middle Eastern countries view Israel.
Netanyahu asserted that the so-called Abraham Accord with Abu Dhabi did not contain “any secret annex or hidden agendas,” rebuffing critics who reject the deal because of reports that Israel tacitly agreed to the sale of advanced weaponry to the UAE.
In a lengthy speech, he reviewed Israel’s decade-long quest for peace, calling on the Palestinians and Lebanon to negotiate agreements with the Jewish state and predicting many other Arab and Muslim countries will follow the Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel.
“Since the beginning of Zionism, one of our hands has been holding a weapon in defense and the other hand was stretched out to everyone who wants peace,” he declared. “They say peace is made with enemies. False. Peace is made with those who have stopped being enemies. Peace is made with those who desire peace and who no longer remain committed to your annihilation.”
In that context, the prime minister mentioned Wednesday’s onset of maritime border negotiations with Lebanon and expressed the hope that those indirect talks could in the future lead to full normalization with that country as well.
“I always believed that true peace will be achieved only from a position of power, not weakness. The strong are respected. Alliances are forged with the strong, while the weak are trampled,” he said. Israel has become a “superpower” in the fields of technology and intelligence, and that has turned the country into a “diplomatic power,” he posited.
“Israel under my leadership is not tempted to make dangerous withdrawals, to bow of the head, to appeasement that brings war closer rather than move it further away.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for peace with Lebanon during Thursday’s historic Knesset vote to ratify the normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates that was initially signed in Washington last month.
“Since the dawn of Zionism we have held a defensive weapon in one hand, while the other has been outstretched in peace — to anyone that wants peace,” Netanyahu said. “It is said that peace is made with an enemy. No – peace is made with someone who has ceased to be an enemy. Peace is made with those who want peace and not with those who remain committed to your destruction.”
An example of such an enemy, he said, is Hezbollah, which continues to exercise de facto control in Lebanon, and whose presence makes peace with that neighboring country impossible.
Still, Netanyahu said, he saw a ray of hope in the talks that began Wednesday between Israel and Lebanon to resolve the maritime dispute between them.
This is “something that has enormous potential economic significance” for both countries, Netanyahu said. “I call on the Lebanese government to continue to complete these talks, to demarcate the maritime border.”
He added that he hopes these negotiations mark the breach of potential for a future day, when it will possible “to achieve true peace” between Israel and Lebanon.
Netanyahu called the expected passage of the deal in the Knesset historic and expressed hope that more Arab countries would follow.
Dear Members of Knesset,
We wish to call your immediate attention to the following report we compiled for you on the Abraham Accords you are to ratify today..
Are the Abraham Accords a RETURN OF HOPE or HOPE OF RETURN?
Will 100,000 Palestinian emigres now in the UAE be invited back to help populate an emerging Palestinian Arab state?
The UAE positions itself to spearhead the Ingathering of the Palestinian Exiles
Two years ago, an Op-Ed piece in Haaretz’ English language Israeli news site carried this headline: Hope of Return Keeps the Palestinian Refugees Going, dateline: 10.4.2018
Last week, this headline was carried by dozens of internet news sites, quoting the UAE state news agency:
UAE foreign minister emphasizes return of hope, Palestinians and Israelis to work for two-state solution – WAM [UAE state news agency] dateline: 10.6.2020
The UAE has its own Palestinian problem and Israel is the solution.
The UAE is host to upwards of 100,000 people who claim their homeland to be the lands of the Jordan Valley and west to the sea. These “guests” of the UAE are among the 8 million or so residents in the Emirates who do not have status as citizens – which is more than 80% of the resident population.
The Joint List announced on Wednesday that it plans to vote against the UAE-Israel peace deal at the Knesset plenum on Thursday.
“We in principle are in favor of peace and work for true and permanent peace. In our view, the agreement with the United Arab Emirates will actually alienate peace with the Palestinians and perpetuate the occupation and settlements,” said Joint List MK Mtanes Shehadeh on Wednesday.
“This agreement gives a reward to the settlement project and to the Right, and rewards Netanyahu’s policy. This reward will encourage the Right to deepen the settlements and increase the appetite for more Israeli control and weaken the Palestinian Authority, so we will vote against it tomorrow,” added Shehadeh.
“An agreement that perpetuates the occupation is not a peace agreement but a bloody agreement that will bring another war,” said Joint List MK Ofer Casif. “The attempt to sweep away the occupation and deny the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination is not a sincere attempt for peace, but a partnership of interests between three regimes that benefit from the fighting.”
A Defense Ministry body on Wednesday advanced plans to build 2,166 settlement homes in the West Bank, the first new construction approved beyond the Green Line in eight months. The approval was also the first since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s project to annex all the West Bank settlements was indefinitely suspended last month as part of the Israel-UAE peace deal.
The Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee gave final approval for 1,313 housing units, and okayed 853 homes for “deposit,” an earlier planning stage they must clear.
Of the 1,313 homes approved for final construction, 382 are in Beit El, 205 in Nokdim, 200 in Metzad, 157 in Telem, 140 in Talmon, 132 in Kfar Adumim, 84 in Shim’a, 11 in Ma’ale Efraim and 2 in Giv’on.
The Higher Planning Committee will convene again on Thursday to advance the construction of around 2,000 more homes.
Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman, who oversees several settlements set to benefit from the decision, hailed the approval, saying: “The mission of developing the communities in Judea and Samaria continues to be one of the key issues for the State of Israel and the entire nation in this era, and we are grateful for the right to be at the forefront here in Gush Etzion.”
The Palestinian Authority condemned the move as “madness.”
Israel is allowing Jews to build more houses in Judea&Samaria even as Gulf peace deal gets approved by Knesset. This shows how extreme Obama was: he pushed for settlement freeze that even Arab states now aren’t insisting on.
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) October 15, 2020
Nearly 80% of Saudis are in favor of working towards normalizing ties with Israel within the next five years, with 71% even thinking it likely that other Arab states will normalize ties without a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new poll from Zogby Research Services.
The study surveyed attitudes among Israelis and Arabs from five different countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine and Jordan) from the period spanning June 24 and July 5. This was over a month before the landmark peace deals between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain were announced, which had resulted in the annexation of 30% of the West Bank, in line with US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, being pulled off the table. As such, annexation remained a real possibility at the time.
What is notable, however, is that the survey still showed that many Arabs were being in favor of normalizing ties with Israel at the time, provided steps were taken to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
Bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was shown to be important for a large majority of both Arab and Israeli respondents (80%) though opinions were divided on how likely a resolution could be achieved within the next five years. As such, it is unsurprising to see that a majority of Arab respondents said normalizing ties with Israel, without there being peace with the Palestinians, was undesirable – with the exception of the UAE where 56% said it was still desirable.
And despite the importance placed on resolving the conflict, a majority of Arab respondents thought that some Arab states were still likely to establish ties with Israel without the conflict ending.
More Israelis want the country to deepen relations with Saudi Arabia than with any other country in the region, a new poll by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies found.
About a quarter of respondents (24%) said it is “most important for Israel to develop cooperation” with Saudi Arabia, followed by Egypt at 12%, the United Arab Emirates at 11% and Jordan at 4%.
The most popular answer to that question was “no Arab country” at 28%; Arab-Israelis were far more likely to give that answer, with 54% of them saying so, while only 23% of Israeli Jews did.
The UAE is the country the most Israelis would like to visit, at 23%, followed by Lebanon at 7%. Here, too, a plurality (42%) answered “no Arab country,” and slightly more Arabs said so than Jews.
Nearly half of Israelis (44%) said the economic field – specified to mean tourism, trade and technology – is the most important to develop in cooperation with the UAE. That was followed by security at 24%, political at 16% and civil at 5%.
Following peace with the UAE, 67% of Israeli Jews believed the next most important step is for Israel to reach similar agreements with other Arab countries, while 24% said it is to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. Among Arabs, 29% said to make deals with other Arab states, while 48% preferred the Palestinians.
Forty percent of Israelis said they believed the agreement with the UAE did not impact the prospects of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace, while 34% said it increased those prospects, while 12% said it decreased them.
Roundtable Discussion: Prof. Uzi Rabi and Yoram Ettinger on UAE Peace Agreement
The United Arab Emirates and Israel have reached a preliminary agreement on avoiding double taxation, as part of moves to encourage investments between the two countries, the UAE Finance Ministry said on Thursday.
Israel and the UAE signed a normalization deal on Sept. 15, forging formal diplomatic ties. Several commercial agreements have been signed between the two countries since mid-August, when they agreed to normalize relations.
“There is a preliminary agreement between both countries to start negotiations with Israel on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement soon,” the UAE Finance Ministry said in a statement, citing Undersecretary Younis Haji Al Khoori.
“The Ministry of Finance is keen to expand its international relations network by signing double taxation avoidance agreements and agreements to protect and encourage investments,” Khoori said.
Such tax treaties help prevent similar taxes being imposed by two countries on the same tax payer, and are aimed at encouraging the exchange of goods, services and capital.
The Abraham Accords, bringing peace between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, are a victory for defeating extremism in the Middle East, a counterterror adviser to the UAE government told The Jerusalem Post. He said a new approach was long overdue and the time had come to finally acknowledge the central place of Jews and Christians in the region’s history.
“We need to pool all resources to work together, to counter terrorism. They [terrorists] are across borders, they are everywhere,” Dr. Ali al Nuaimi told the Post. “It’s our responsibility as Muslims to get back our religion and to show it to our kids as a religion of peace.”
Since 9/11, the UAE has developed a comprehensive strategy to target terrorism in the region, symbolized by its sending troops to Afghanistan alongside the US, in the wake of the attacks which shook the world. “Terrorism does not have a religion. Terrorists are a threat to all of us, to the world, and no single nation will, by itself, be able to counter terrorism,” he said.
After decades of the UAE waging a war against extremism both on its shores and abroad through the likes of soft power such as foreign aid and education, Nuaimi said that such an approach was an essential path to preventing radicalization and combating extremism.
Co-existence is a key facet of a more stable future, he added. “The roots of the Jews and Christianity are in this area, not in North America or Europe. They belong here, they are part of us,” he said. “Those who help Christians or Jews move out of [countries such as] Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, are doing something that’s a threat to all of us. Those who are part of our history should be part of our future.”
Al-Qaeda’s main media wing, Al-Sahab Media Foundation, released a statement on Tuesday condemning the normalization deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It also urged Muslim scholars to mobilize Muslims to overthrow what it called “the toadies of the West” and “despotic regimes,” revealed a report shared exclusively with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
According to the MEMRI JTTM report, the terrorist group’s central command also stated that American and Israeli interests, embassies, companies and combatant nationals “shall be legitimate targets.”
In the two-page statement titled “Statement on the Normalization of Ties With Israel by Arab Zionists,” released in Arabic and English, Al-Qaeda began by condemning the deal, saying: “The complete sell-out of the Palestinian cause by the rulers of the Gulf statelets and the normalization of political, economic and diplomatic relations with the Zionist state that occupies Jerusalem and the Masjid Al-Aqsa, the destination of the night journey of the Prophet (peace be upon him), should hardly surprise anyone.”
The group further said: “This is what was precisely expected from the rulers of the Gulf statelets who are spearheading the Crusade in the Arabian Peninsula. Nor should it surprise anyone that their Crusader master, [US President Donald] Trump, exposed their treachery.”
Each speech supposed (!!) to take no more than 4 mins. So, will be evening at earliest before vote (expected to pass easily). https://t.co/pMfk9cfU8x
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 15, 2020
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) October 15, 2020
Beautiful! Listen to this exchange between Ben Gurion Airport and @etihad, as the #UAE plane flies over #Israel airspace for first time, en route from Milan to Abu Dhabi. 🇮🇱 ✈️ 🇦🇪 https://t.co/HhwZrJVGzt
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 14, 2020
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) October 15, 2020
The frayed diplomatic relationship between Israel and Turkey does not seem to be damaging trade ties between the two Eastern Mediterranean states. But it does create a deepening public shadow.
Antagonistic government statements, currently the norm, provide glimpses into diplomatic crisis after diplomatic crisis. Yet shared commercial interests are creating a foundation upon which to build relationships between the two states.
This month, an 18-day virtual trade mission for the food and beverage industry, organized by ASHIB, Turkey’s Mediterranean Aquatic and Animal Products Exporters Association, is attracting interest from a range of Israeli companies including supermarkets, retailers, importers and manufacturers seeking the best in Turkish food, beverages, fruits and vegetables.
Sponsored by Turkey’s Mediterranean Exporters Association (AKIB), a semi-government organization, the virtual trade mission is taking the place of a physical mission due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Israeli supermarket chains such Rami Levy and Baladi and food importer Neto Group, are among those holding virtual meetings with Turkish exporters. By the end of the virtual mission later this month, organizers expect some 50 one-on-one video meetings to take place.
The @UNRWA has been one of single biggest impediments to peace of any UN agency, by continuing to entertain #Palestinian thoughts they can flood #Israel en masse & annihilate the Jewish state. #EU has only encouraged this. https://t.co/KHgHydEYnU
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 15, 2020
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 15, 2020
Palestinian Authority courts will soon begin looking into cases filed by Palestinians against Israeli settlers, PA Justice Minister Mohammed al-Shalaldeh announced on Wednesday.
This would be the first time since the establishment of the PA in 1994 that Palestinian courts look into cases against Israeli citizens. No Israeli citizen has ever been sued in a PA court.
According to agreements signed between Israel and the PLO, including the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Agreements, the PA’s territorial and functional jurisdiction does not apply to Israeli citizens, including those living in the settlements.
Shalaldeh told the PA’s official news agency Wafa that the Palestinian Justice Ministry, in cooperation with other government agencies and civil society institutions, “will facilitate the task of victims whose rights have been violated by settlers.” He said that according to the [Palestinian] Basic Law, any Palestinian “whose rights are violated has the right to Palestinian national judge.”
He said that work is under way “to collect criminal evidence and to file the first case against settlers, whose names are known, for committing crimes and violations against citizens in the Old City of Hebron and the town of Burin, south of Nablus.”
The PA government has decided to form a “national team to prosecute settlers and hold them to account before Palestinian courts for their crimes against the Palestinian people,” Shalaldeh said, noting that the decision was taken in accordance with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to renounce agreements and understandings with Israel and the US.
A key refrain in the Israeli-Palestinian narrative is the issue of the Palestinian poverty, allegedly resulting from the Israeli occupation. Surveys cite statistics that anywhere from 26 to 53 percent of Palestinians are poor. In October 2018, the United Nations warned that humanitarian aid to the Palestinians is at an all-time low, a sign of increasing Palestinian poverty.
This raises several key questions: How poor are the Palestinians relative to other economies? Is Palestinian poverty evenly distributed at all levels of society? What is being done to remedy Palestinian poverty and is it effective? Are there other nationalities that are poor, but do not get the attention that poor Palestinians get? Is Palestinian poverty a legitimate reason for the belligerent actions of its leaders?
The default reason for Palestinian poverty is “Israeli occupation.” Thus, by extension, since Israel wishes to prolong the occupation, Palestinian poverty is in Israel’s interest. As the argument goes, Israel wishes to force its enemy into submission and therefore keeps the Palestinians impoverished. This argument however doesn’t account for something befuddling – the wealth of the Palestinian leadership. If a nation wishes to defeat another nation, it looks to weaken the other nation’s leaders. In the case of the Palestinians: Professor Ahmed Karima of Al-Azhar University in Egypt claims that Hamas has some 1,200 millionaires among its members, but is unwilling to reveal his sources.
PA threatens “bloodshed and chaos,” “escalation of the resistance,” and “national rebellion” – PA’s response to Arab states making peace with Israel
PA Chairman Abbas’ special emissary Jibril Rajoub continues to meet and plan a unified “escalation of the resistance” together with “the factions” – terror organizations that include Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and PFLP. According to Rajoub, this “escalation” will include “sacrifice” of Palestinian children: “We are prepared to sacrifice… We will sacrifice our children”[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub, and Al-Mayadeen (Lebanon), Oct. 7, 2020]PA leader Saeb Erekat threatens and exemplifies in words what Rajoub is possibly planning with the terrorists: “Bloodshed and the spread of chaos in the region” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 4, 2020]
PA libel: Israel “murders” Palestinian prisoners through “systematic and deliberate medical neglect”
Israel seeks destruction of Arab world through normalization – Fatah spokesman
Palestinians expressed outrage after militants from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement allegedly stormed the al-Ansar Mosque in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, kidnapping and beating three worshipers on Wednesday, according to Palestinian reports.
About 15 militants reportedly stormed the mosque during the dawn prayers on Wednesday and kidnapped three people who are also militants in the terrorist movement. Shots were fired into the air during the incident.
According to a statement by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), the incident was part of a factional dispute.
The three kidnapped people were brought to a site belonging to the PIJ in Khan Younis and were beaten with batons and rifles.
The three were identified as Ammar Ra’fat Abu al-Ola, Mohammed Ra’fat Abu al-Ola and Kamal Salem al-Brim.
Al-Brim was released within half an hour and was told that he was detained by mistake. The other two were released later in the morning suffering from fractures and bruises.
“The gunmen took me, my brother and our neighbor and friend Kamal Salem al-Brim and put each one of us in a different vehicle,” said Ammar to PCHR. “As soon as they put me in the car, they blindfolded me and covered my face with a bag and handcuffed my hands to my back. Then, they started beating me with their rifles.
“After 10 minutes of driving, they stopped in a yard; I later found out that it was a site belonging to al-Quds Brigades, west of Khan Younis. We were beaten with sticks and rifle’s butts, I was hit in the knees and hands, and I felt my bones breaking in my right arm.”
The new Jordanian prime minister, Dr. Bisher Khasawneh, sworn in on Oct. 12, who was the king’s political adviser, has reportedly held extensive talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the past six months.
It was also reported that he has a close connection to Jared Kushner, President Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan architect, as well as special ties to Egyptian President al-Sisi.
In Saudi Arabia, the government has begun the evacuation of 20,000 people from the al-Huwaytat tribe from territory along the Red Sea coast in Hijaz province to construct NEOM, Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious plan for a future city based on hi-tech and tourism.
Human rights advocates claim the evacuation so far has been abusive and violent.
The al-Huwaytat tribe is a large tribe that established the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with the help of Great Britain.
Today, members of the tribe in Jordan are worried about the fate of their brothers in Hijaz.
In presenting his government, Prime Minister Khasawneh laid out 12 planks for his government’s platform. The Palestinian issue and the “Hashemite Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites” were only the 11th item.
In his July 11, 2020 column in the Jordanian Al-Dustour daily, ‘Abd Al-Hamid Al-Hamshari, who is a member of Jordanian human rights organizations, wrote that “Jewish families” took over the global economy in order to subordinate the countries of the world to the agenda of the Zionist movement, and that the Rothschild family even ordered the assassinations of American presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy because they threatened its economic interests.
The following are translated excerpts from his column: “Jewish families helped shape the Jewish identity and establish the Hebrew state through their hegemony in the domains of finance, the media, the hotel business and the weapons trade and industry. For hundreds of years, the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Baruch, Murdoch and Pritzker families imposed their hegemony on Europe and the U.S. by taking over most of the funds of the banks – especially the central banks – in their countries and also by taking over the oil and weapons industries, the hotel business and the media. These families all made steady progress, each in its own field of expertise, especially those involved in finance.
“By promoting their investment ventures, they shackled the peoples of these countries. The banks they owned provided [people] with funds to invest in the stock market that were supposed to yield [the lenders] millions [in profit]. In return, people mortgaged their lands to the banks, 90% of whose shares were owned by these [Jewish] families. Later, Jewish [brokers] employed by these families in the stock market would play their dirty game and disappoint the lenders, for they would lose the lenders’ money after speculating with it and stealing it. [The lenders] would thus be unable to pay back the loans or the interest on them, and would face the threat of eviction from their homes as the banks persecuted them to return their debts.
“The Jewish Rothschild family, which owns a financial empire and was a pioneer of global banking, was one of the richest families in the time of Napoleon I, and many believe that it encourages and sponsors most wars. Its founder, Amschel Mayer Rothschild… managed to build a vast international banking empire in the 1760s. His banking activity was spread throughout the world by his five sons, each of whom settled in one of the large economic centers of Europe at the time: in Germany’s Frankfurt, England’s London, Italy’s Naples, Austria’s Vienna and France’s Paris.
Iran keeps breaching its JCPOA commitments, attempting to secure the capability to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear device within a very short time.
News reports based on a restricted IAEA document extensively describe Iran’s experimentation and development of advanced centrifuges of various types for uranium enrichment. One news account refers to Iran’s intention to install, for the first time, advanced centrifuges that are now operating in the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) in Natanz, in underground enrichment Hall B.
The Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran declared on September 13, 2020, that his organization “activated an enrichment wing in the Fordow nuclear facility…in line with steps to reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal.”
The amount of enriched uranium in Iran’s possession and its current enrichment capacity will allow it to enrich the uranium to military grade and produce fissile material for two nuclear explosive devices.
All this is happening as Iran continues to develop long-range missiles that will allow it to launch nuclear weapons not only against Israel but also against targets in Europe.
Twitter today blocked a New York Post editor from posting their own news article because it was “potentially harmful.”
Twitter today allows genocidal Iranian regime Supreme Ruler to make open nuclear weapons threats. https://t.co/nFnyqIcCsa
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 14, 2020
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that American sanctions “have caused serious monetary and financial damages to Iran,” Radio Farda reported.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said that Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign has created a shock effect on Iran’s financial stability. He also said that Tehran will pursue legal recourse by filing for compensation from the United States via the International Court of Justice.
“The United States must make up for all the damage it has done to Iran,” Khatibzadeh said. “Iranian people should not doubt that we will cash compensation for all damages cent by cent.”
In recent years, American sanctions have decimated the Iranian economy. The rial—Iran’s chief currency—has seen its value drop by over a third since June and now sits at an all-time low.
Last week, the Treasury Department further isolated Iranian financial networks by hitting 18 Iranian banks with sanctions. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “Today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people.”
In response to Washington’s crippling sanctions regime, Iran has reached out to American adversaries like Russia and China for support.
So why are there still shortages? Namaki warned lawmakers that corrupt networks are selling drugs on the black market, “hoarding medicines in warehouses, and distributing counterfeit drugs.” The health minister also blasted “a highly complicated network” within the government responsible for systemic corruption and theft, including the hoarding of “millions of antiviral masks.”
Such problems affect every sector of Iran’s economy. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Iran 146th out of 180 countries. The Financial Action Task Force also considers Iran to be a “high-risk jurisdiction” for corruption, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism.
Theft is what feuding politicians have in common, regardless of the faction with which they are aligned. The situation was the same under Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who fired his health minister, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she said on state television that “luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don’t know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine.”
Dastjerdi spoke out more forcefully after her dismissal. “At the height of sanctions [in 2012] when I joined the government’s Special Measures Headquarters, I saw that the foreign currency situation was very dire,” she recalled. “I told my colleagues that they must do their best to find currency to acquire medicine. We needed around $2.5 billion to buy medicine and medical equipment for treating heart illnesses and the like, but they gave the Health Ministry only $41 million. Our medical needs were the eighth priority.”
Even when allocated to medical imports, hard currency often goes missing. Rouhani’s chief of staff admitted that more than $1 billion reserved for the import of medicine and essential goods had just “disappeared.” Mehdi Mirasharrafi, the deputy minister of economy, said the regime “provided government dollars for specialty chemotherapy drugs but imported dry ice and narcotic substances instead.”
A group of Iranian dissidents and former political prisoners are demanding that Oberlin College terminate a tenured professor who formerly served as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, alleging that he was complicit in the regime’s crimes against humanity.
More than 600 Iranian dissidents, former political prisoners, and regime opponents wrote to Oberlin’s leadership to demand the school fire professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, a religion professor and Nancy Schrom Dye chair in Middle East and North African studies. Mahallati served as Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. in the late 1980s, when Iran killed thousands of dissidents over a span of several months.
Mahallati’s “role was to obfuscate and lie to the international community about mass crimes perpetrated by the Iranian regime,” the dissidents wrote, according to a copy of that letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The letter was sent to Oberlin last week after the dissident community learned that he had been teaching there for years.
Mahallati denies any knowledge of or role in the Iranian regime’s massacre, and Oberlin officials declined to take a stand on the matter when contacted by the Free Beacon. Mahallati is one of several former Iranian regime figures who work at American universities. The Iranian dissident community says these former officials’ work at American universities whitewashes Iran’s mass human-rights abuses over the years. The State Department this week demanded that U.S. think tanks and other institutions that work with the U.S. government disclose their ties to foreign governments, including Iran and other adversarial regimes such as China, the Free Beacon first reported.
Kaveh Shahrooz, an Iranian dissident and Toronto-based senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, organized the letter on behalf of the Iranian dissident community. He said that Oberlin could send a clear message about its support for global human rights by firing Mahallati.
IRGC Political Affairs Deputy General Yadollah Javani Threatens Gulf States, Adds: If We Need to close the Strait of Hormuz, We Can Do It; We Can Raze Tel Aviv, Haifa to the Ground pic.twitter.com/5MssO32bGD
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 15, 2020
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.