September 27, 2021

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11/04 Links Pt1: Micahel Oren: A fateful election for Israel; Europe battles Islamists, Jews remain canary in the coal mine; France’s War on Islamism Isn’t Populism. It’s Reality.

From Ian:

Micahel Oren: A fateful election for Israel

Nevertheless, a Biden administration would challenge Israel on two core issues: The first is a diplomatic process that would see the government shirk US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” and return to the framework adopted by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, meaning a two-state solution based upon the 1967 borders and a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem.

The government would reopen the Palestinian Embassy in Washington, closed by Trump as well as the American Consulate in east Jerusalem, which prior to Trump served as the de-facto US Embassy to the Palestinians. The administration would further renew American aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, as well as other Palestinian institutions cut off by Trump. The administration would also revert to opposing Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as in unified Jerusalem, which it considers to be an “obstacle to peace.”

From our perspective, however, it is Biden’s stated intention of bringing the US back into the Iran nuclear deal and rolling back sanctions on the Tehran regime that is more problematic. Such a move would spare the Iranian regime from financial ruin and aid Tehran in once again conquering significant portions of the Middle East to be used as outposts against Israel. This would present a real strategic threat.

In contrast, should US President Donald Trump win a second term in office, he will certainly adhere to his current policy, which has been the most pro-Israeli of any American president since the founding of the Jewish State. These are not just gestures, like the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, but significant steps, like standing with Israel at the UN and other international organizations.

For the first time in history, there has not been one American condemnation of any Israeli military of political activity in the four years of Trump’s tenure. Nevertheless, Trump has made no secret of his intentions of entering negotiations with Iran. Should he win re-election, Israel should be prepared for such a scenario.

A steadfast partnership

The pervasive view of these shared interests throughout the world, and even in the US and in Israel, stems from either deep ignorance or deliberate distortion. This view seeks to present US-Israel ties as the fruit of American affinity for Israel, US Jewish support, or the work of the pro-Israel lobby, all of which go against the “genuine” American interest in support for the “Arabs.”

Yet almost all of the Arabs that matter to the US act on the advice of Israel and trust Israel. In addition, even those presidents who were less sympathetic to Israel, and even anti-Semitic like Richard Nixon, implemented policies that assisted Israel. Presidents, like Barack Obama, who saw themselves as supporters of Israel, sought to “save” the country from itself. And while the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a dedicated and savvy sales agent for the State of Israel, if the “goods” Israel was selling were flawed, not even the most talented agent could continue to sell the country as well as it has for the past three generations. It is also worth noting that Jews make up less than two percent of the American electorate. A majority of them do not see Israel as a top issue and cast their vote automatically for Democrats.

Israeli “goods” are sought after because of the afore-mentioned ethos but largely due to American interests. From the US standpoint, Israel, situated in the one of the most important regions in the world, encompasses important virtues that no other ally does: Israel is strong, stable, responsible, determined, and always pro-American. Israel is the only US ally that does not ask American soldiers to fight its wars. It is militarily, economically, and technologically strong. It is a democracy that has proven its stability even in times of crisis. Its responsibility is reflected in its restraint in the face of the ongoing threats it has faced for generations, the likes of which no democratic country has ever experienced, and in the extreme caution it has exerted in relation to the strategic capabilities attributed to it.

Among democratic countries, it is difficult to find a comparable determination to act in times of crisis. At no point in time has Israel ever not stood with the American camp. While Israel is still the junior partner of the US superpower, it is not a negligible one. The US has been forced to downsize its physical presence in the Middle East in order to focus its attention on Asia, and the South China Sea in particular. But it can only allow itself to pivot this way if it knows it is leaving a coalition of pro-American countries interested in maintaining relative stability in the region behind. Strong, stable, loyal Israel is a vital tier in this coalition.

Presidents come and go. Some act in consultation with Israel, while others are for less receptive to its needs. Beyond these important differences, we must remember there exists a strong ethical and strategic framework for deep partnership, one that has survived unfriendly governments in the past.

Suggestion to Israel: Forget about the Jews of America

No matter who wins the American elections, I have a suggestion for the State of Israel – forget about the Jews of America.

Election surveys reveal that 72-75 percent of the Jews in America are voting for Biden, turning their backs on the Jewish State, which clearly favored the re-election of President Donald Trump. In effect, they voted against Israel, against Judaism, and against G-d.

Who needs them?

In contrast, the 25% who, it is predicted, voted for Trump, by and large support the State of Israel and cherish the values of Judaism. They are true friends of Israel.

True, when it comes to making Aliyah, they balk, for whatever reason. If they choose to join us, great, they are more than welcome. If not, they will perish with the Jews for Biden.

So why should Israel continue to waste a fortune of money on programs of Diaspora education and aliyah? With the expensive programs or without them, roughly the same number of idealistic Jews would make Aliyah each year.

US Election and Ramifications on Iran Nuclear Deal

Jonathan S. Tobin: Europe battles Islamists, Jews remain canary in the coal mine

The kind of separatism that Macron rightly fears in France has not happened in the United States. In this case, American exceptionalism appears to have continued to hold true since the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans want nothing to do with those who justify terror even if some of those who claim to represent them, such as an extremist group like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—founded as a front for supporters of Hamas terrorists, yet masquerades as a civil-rights group—would indicate otherwise.

Europe, however, faces a very different situation, and the predicament of European Jewry illustrates the problem. The rights of American Muslims, like that of any other ethnic or religious minority group, are not in question the way they are in France. But by the same token, neither are Jews at risk when walking down the streets of major U.S. cities as they are in every Western European capital for those who wear kippahs or other identifiable articles, let alone clothing that indicates their Jewish identity.

By tolerating the kind of anti-Semitism that is largely driven by Muslim extremism in Europe, Jews have become—and not for the first time in history—the canary in the coal mine, which is an early indicator of peril for everyone.

Macron’s strong response to terror, like the French republic’s vigorous reaction to the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher murders, is encouraging. Still, as long as Jews feel insecure, the notion that Western freedom will survive and ultimately triumph over the Islamists should not be taken as a given.

That insecurity is measured by the fact that the Jewish population in Europe is in serious decline. As a study recently published by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research indicated, the European Jewish population is the lowest it has been in a thousand years. The reason for this is obvious. In addition to European Jews having a low birth rate like their Christian neighbors, they are recognizing they don’t have a future even in countries where communities were reconstituted in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

There are serious doubts as to whether Western Europe will fight to defend its liberal values as vigorously as Macron is trying to do. Until Jews feel secure, any optimism that those who agree with Macron will prevail over threats from the Middle East is more of a hope than a realistic prediction.

Collapse of the Kerry Doctrine and End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

In January 1919, Chaim Weizmann, who would become the first president of Israel, signed an agreement with Emir Faisal, who would rule Syria and Iraq. Signed on the eve of the Paris Peace Conference at which the victors of World War I would determine how to administer the former colonies of the Ottoman Empire, the Weizmann-Faisal Agreement pledged Arab support for the restoration of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

As he signed the agreement, Faisal added a hand-written note making his support for a Jewish state conditional on the Arabs receiving the new states they had demanded across the region.

Faisal’s agreement with Weizmann remains significant for a number of reasons.

First, it is a crucial recognition by an Arab leader of the right of the Jewish people to an independent state in what had become Palestine. Faisal’s father, the Sharif of Mecca, had earlier referred to the Jews as the “original sons” of the land, claiming that their return would “materially and spiritually” aid their “Arab brethren.”

Second, it showed that Arab leaders were happy to concede Palestine if their greater territorial aspirations were met.

Third, and perhaps most significantly, the Weizmann-Faisal Agreement, and more precisely, Faisal’s hand-written afterthought, bound up the future of a Jewish state in Palestine in broader regional affairs. Whereas the original agreement dealt with Palestine as a discrete issue, the amendment explicitly connected the question of Palestine to what transpired elsewhere in the region.

This, in turn, enabled Palestinian-Arab leaders to frame the conflict with Israel not as a territorial dispute between rival claimants, but as a matter of pan-Arab pride and Islamic duty. This internationalized the conflict, resulting in an Arab boycott of companies that traded with Israel, three invasions of the Jewish state and the harnessing of collective Arab influence to seek Israel’s international isolation in multinational forums and civil society.

Lessons From a Terrorist’s Death

A Palestinian Arab terrorist was killed last week near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in the West Bank. What made the incident unusual was that he was killed in a clash with Palestinian Authority security forces. One wishes it was a sign that the PA is finally cracking down on terrorists. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The terrorist, Hatem Abu Rizek, was affiliated with the Fatah movement, the largest faction of the PLO. Fatah was chaired by Yasser Arafat for four decades, then succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas, who heads both Fatah and the PA

Fatah, however, has various factions, and they often settle their disputes in ways reminiscent of the Wild West. Abu Rizek was part of a faction headed by Mohammed Dahlan, who is a rival of Abbas.

Last week, Abu Rizek and others from the Dahlan faction got into some sort of quarrel with members of Abbas’ PA security forces. Everybody reached for their guns. “Armed clashes” ensued, according to the Associated Press. There are two versions of how Abu Rizek ended up dead. His side says the PA security men shot him. The PA says he was about to throw a hand grenade at them, but it exploded in his face.

Media reports vaguely noted that Abu Rizek “previously spent time in Israeli prisons for security-related offenses,” which is a polite way of saying that he either was planning to, or tried to, murder Jews (or Arab rivals). The families of his victims, or intended victims, aren’t mourning his death.

According to the Oslo Accords, the PA was obliged to disarm terrorists like Abu Rizek, outlaw terrorist groups, and extradite fugitive terrorists to Israel for prosecution. Twenty-seven years later, the PA still isn’t doing any of that.

Abbas is holding out for a Biden White House

The historic Abraham Accords have exposed the profoundly weakened position in which the Palestinian Authority now finds itself.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is almost certainly hoping for the return of a US Democratic administration – one he believes will turn back the clock on several recent US policies regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Barely any ties remain between Abbas and the Trump administration. Relations are at their lowest point since the start of the Oslo peace process in the early 1990s.

Spawning that deterioration is a series of US decisions that constitute a major departure from long-held American positions toward the Palestinians.

Attempting to convey the PA’s ability to implement unified, decisive positions in the face of US treatment it views as unfair, Abbas has abandoned any pretense of cordial relations with America and has ramped up his condemnation of what he views as Trump’s unbalanced positions and bias. His audiences are the Palestinian street, the Arab world and the international community.

It’s worth recalling what led to this breakdown.

Following his election, the American president delayed his response to Abbas’ request for a congratulatory phone call. That conversation, which took place some 10 days after the request was made, was interpreted as a clear attempt by Trump to downgrade Abbas’ status as head of Fatah and the PA.

Cori Bush, Democrat who supported BDS, wins Missouri congressional race

Cori Bush, a Democrat who expressed support for the movement to boycott Israel, is set to become the St. Louis area’s next congresswoman.

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who also support the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — known as BDS — are also expected to win.

A now-deleted page on Bush’s campaign website had said she supported BDS. If she still holds those views, it will bring the number of BDS supporters in the Democratic caucus to three.

Projections are showing that Bush will win St. Louis’ traditionally Democratic seat handily, defeating Republican Anthony Rogers. She defeated Lacy Clay, the longtime Democratic incumbent, in a primary earlier this year.

BDS was not a notable issue in the Bush-Clay race, which hinged on the divide between progressive and establishment politics. Bush is a racial justice activist who was backed by progressives including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Clay, a more centrist Democrat who had succeeded his father in the seat, had attempted to use Bush’s BDS support against her late in the campaign, highlighting it in a mailer.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Man Can Argue Regardless Of Who Won, Election Results Prove Jews Control US (satire)

Last night’s presidential contest may have produced a winner, but one Caldwell resident had explanations ready even before the results became known, to the effect that those results indicate a vast Jewish conspiracy that manipulates the government and its institutions behind the scenes, from the shadows.

Malcolm Rashid, 33, held forth Wednesday morning for a small group of like-minded regulars at a local hangout, explaining that only the existence of a near-omnipotent Hebrew cabal can explain the outcome of yesterday’s elections.

“They control the media,” he began. “That’s how it starts. All the polls are fake – they’re engineered to make you think the elections are going to swing a particular way so that the preferred candidate’s base gets energized and puts that side over the top. Stories drop at strategic points in the campaign to influence the maximum number of people, even things that the media people knew about months or even years ago. The sheeple swallow it because they’ve been blinded by the Jewish puppetmasters.”

Mr. Rashid had a different argument in reserve in the event of the opposite election result, insiders reported. “The surveys showing a likely result were to lull the leading side’s voters into complacency,” he would have contended, had the outcome proved opposite of what in fact occurred. “All the coverage of the leading candidate’s positions could have been lot more critical, or at least skeptical or challenging, but the Jew-owned media had a role to play in manipulating the masses, and they played that role well.”

France’s War on Islamism Isn’t Populism. It’s Reality.

But blaming the French state for the attacks and the rise of radicalism shows a dangerous moral confusion. Nor is secularism to blame here. While French secularism laws prohibit “ostentatious” religious signs (such as hijabs, kippas, or large crosses) in schools and state buildings, Paty’s killing and the new wave of attacks are linked to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and most recently to the trials of the accomplices of the 2015 attacks. Whatever one thinks of the magazine—which regularly mocks all religions, the far-right, or any politician for that matter—its staff is entitled, in a liberal democracy, to draw cartoons without being murdered. Besides, secularism or not, France is not alone in this fight. While France harbors the largest Muslim population in Europe, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden, none of them harbingers of laïcité, have sent higher proportions of foreign fighters to Syria. Terrorist attacks have struck Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and others. France is at the forefront of a deeper battle striking major European societies.

A key fact often overlooked in this context is the diversity of France’s 5 million Muslims, of their political opinions, and of their religious practice. In public service, in the business community, in journalism, and in politics, a new generation of French citizens of multiple religious, ethnic, and social backgrounds are making a name for themselves. They often don’t want their public or political identities to be conferred by their religion. Other French people carry their religious identity more visibly, and that’s their full right, even if it is not always well received in a deeply secular, even atheist society. It is paradoxical that so many news outlets in the world claim to care for Muslims in France without giving a voice to the different opinions they have or even speaking with them. It is up to them, not Erdogan or Khan, to speak for their identity. Meanwhile, denouncing policies targeting Islamists as “Islamophobia” bundles all Muslims together with the radical minority that is precisely attempting to prevent their integration with society as a whole. It’s a trap.

To name things wrongly is to add to the world’s misery, Albert Camus said. In 2017, after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, after two years of terrorist attacks and structural economic difficulties, the French electorate chose to resoundingly defeat the far-right and opt for a centrist, pro-European government. Today France is the front line of another fight against illiberalism, and it is leading that fight with the same values. It deserves better than denial and accusations from its friends.

Questions mount over tracking of Vienna attack gunman

The streets of Vienna were returning to normal on Wednesday — albeit under the virus restrictions — after schools and shops had largely stayed closed after the attack.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has described the decision to release Fejzulai — who was shot dead by police on Monday evening — as “definitely wrong.”

“If he had not been released then the terror attack would not have been possible,” Kurz told public broadcaster ORF on Tuesday.

Austria’s top security chief Franz Ruf told local media that at his last session of a publicly funded de-radicalization program in late October, Fejzulai had condemned the recent jihadist attacks in France.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Tuesday the attacker had successfully “fooled” the programs in order to achieve his early release.

Nehammer said his case had shown up a “fracture” in the system and that raids at Fejzulai’s home after the attack revealed plentiful evidence of his radical views.

He referred to a Facebook post in which Fejzulai posed with the Kalashnikov and the machete he would go on to use in the attack, together with IS slogans.

“Nobody would have thought him capable of something like this,” Nikolaus Rast, the lawyer who represented Fejzulai last year, told AFP on Wednesday.

He also raised questions about possible oversights by the de-radicalization programs Fejzulai had attended.

“Without wanting to put the blame on someone, if they are the experts, why didn’t they notice anything?” Rast said. “They must have had the most — and the last — contact with him.”

Police are now working on the assumption that Fejzulai was the sole gunman, after the authorities initially feared in the aftermath of the attack that more than one assailant could be at large.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Vienna terror attack

The Islamic State terror group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the shooting attack in Vienna the night before, which left four dead and 15 wounded.

In a statement delivered over an IS-linked Telegram channel, the terror group said “the Caliphate’s soldier, Abu Dajana al-Albani” attacked “gatherings of Crusaders” in downtown Vienna.

“All praise and favor to God,” the statement concluded.

The alleged perpetrator, Kujtim Fejzulai, was shot and killed by police during the incident. Fejzulai was an ethnic Albanian, which could explain his Arabic nom de guerre, which literally means “the Albanian.”

In a video distributed by the terror group, Fejzulai can be seen pledging allegiance to the IS caliph, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, while he holds a gun and a long, serrated knife.

Fejzulai, a 20-year-old Austrian-North Macedonian dual citizen, had a previous terror conviction for attempting to join the Islamic State group in Syria. Police searched 18 properties as well as the suspect’s apartment, detaining 14 people associated with the assailant who are being questioned, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said.

“The fact is that the terrorist managed to deceive the judicial system’s deradicalization program” to secure his release, Nehammer said, adding that the system should be reevaluated.

Austrian leader: Islamic terrorism won’t threaten us

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has seen long and difficult days since forming his second government at the beginning of January this year.

Shortly after forming a coalition that set a precedent in Europe – between his own conservative party and Austria’s Green party – COVID hit the country. Now it’s back, worse, requiring a very heavy shutdown throughout the country.

On Monday evening, shortly before lockdown began, an Islamist terrorist attack was carried out in the heart of historic Vienna that ended with at least four dead and some 20 wounded, some seriously. Despite the emergency situation, and under the shadow of an ongoing investigation to determine whether the terrorist, who was killed, was operating alone or was part of a cell, the chancellor on Tuesday found time to give an interview to Israel Hayom.

“The terrorist attack in Vienna, which is clearly an Islamist terrorist attack, is not an isolated incident, but part of a series of many attacks carried out against Europe,” Kurz says.

“This was an assault on our democracy, on our basic values, on the European lifestyle. We will not let these terrorist acts threaten us. We will hunt down anyone who lent their hand to this attack and bring them to justice,” he continued.

Former Israeli Ambassador to UN Danny Danon on Anti-Israel Bias in UN

How Normalization With Israel Represents a Welcome Boost for Sudan (and Vice Versa)

Khartoum, Sudan, was the setting for the infamous Arab League summit in 1967 that produced the Khartoum Resolution known as “The Three Nos”: no negotiations with Israel, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel. Now, 53 years later, Sudan has agreed to change these negatives into positives, meaning three yeses.

According to Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, the Sudan-Israel agreement “is a significant development because it provides added momentum to the ‘normalization’ wave now taking shape between Israel and the Arab world.”

Berman told JNS the deal is also “symbolically important” because Khartoum has “historically been extremely antagonistic to Israel.”

For this reason, the agreement is “more of a true ‘peace deal’ than Israel’s entente with the UAE and Bahrain,” he said, noting that “the main benefit for Israel is that it creates another political ally for Jerusalem in the Muslim world.”

Aside from practical purposes, such as Israel’s ability to fly through Sudanese airspace, once the deal is signed, Israeli security officials can also now sleep slightly better knowing that Sudan will no longer be used as a transit base for terrorists and terror-related activity.

For years, Sudan cozied up to Iran as one of its few Sunni Arab partners. In 2009, unidentified aircraft, largely believed to be Israeli, hit a convoy of terrorists in Sudan. In 2011, Israel was accused of launching a missile strike in Sudan, killing two Hamas terrorists. And in 2012, Israel was again accused of destroying a Sudanese military facility in an airstrike.

If these reports are true, then it is clear that Sudan was a major security concern for Israel. Those concerns could now be allayed by an agreement that would see Sudan join other Muslim nations in normalizing relations with Israel.

Netanyahu Thanks Romanian Counterpart for Presenting ‘Sensible Case’ to EU on Israel’s Behalf

During a meeting on Tuesday in Jerusalem with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for Bucharest’s assistance over the years in presenting a “sensible case” to the European Union on Israel’s behalf.

Referring to Israel’s recent forging of US-brokered peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, Netanyahu said that these Arab countries “obviously have a different view of the situation … in the Middle East than some of the traditional bureaucracies of the EU.”

Netanyahu also stated that Israel “will continue to value [Romania’s] assistance in explaining to the EU the changing circumstances in the Middle East that are advancing peace and prosperity for all.”

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu began the meeting by addressed in Monday evening’s terrorist attack in Vienna.

“A few moments ago, I spoke to our colleague, [Austrian Chancellor] Sebastian Kurz, [and] told him that the people of Israel stand with Austria, as I know the people of Romania do and so many others, against the savagery of Islamist terrorism,” said Netanyahu. “We are cooperating … with our intelligence and [in] every other way that we can.”

Netanyahu, Romanian PM Sign New Trade Treaty in Jerusalem

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Romanian counterpart Ludovic Orban held a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, announcing a new treaty that expands trade between the two countries.

Netanyahu hailed the strong “human” and historic relations that unite Romania and Israel in his opening remarks, calling them “ties of friendship” that have lasted for years.

“Israel and Romania cooperate in many areas: cybersecurity, water management, health and agriculture,” the premier said.

“The most important thing today is that our companies are working on innovation. … This is why we signed a treaty to prevent double taxation and prevent tax evasion,” Netanyahu added.

He then thanked his counterpart for his support and assistance to Israel, particularly to the European Union, in the process of peace and normalization with the Arab world.

“We need to explain to the EU how we promote peace and security for all,” he said.

“Our mutual interest is to extend and deepen our dialogue in various fields. I would like to express my gratitude to Israel for the cooperation with the authorities during the coronavirus crisis,” said Orban.

Conversations with friends: Palestinian journalist Issam Ikirmawi

Born in the old city of Jerusalem, near the Damascus Gate, Issam Ikirmawi has forged a 30-year career as a senior news broadcaster and producer working for CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, Channel 4 (UK), and TV stations in Canada, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere.

Issam discusses his career, the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, how Palestinians feel about their own leaders, and how, as a young man, he had roles as an extra in movies filmed in Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, including ‘Rambo’.

Issam talks about the leaders he has met as a journalist, including Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, Shimon Peres Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert. And he asks why there is so much international interest in the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict.

Active COVID cases in Israel drop below 10,000

The number of active or symptomatic COVID-19 cases in Israel has dropped below 10,000 for the first time in months on Wednesday, with the Health Ministry reporting 9,876 COVID patients with symptoms nationwide.

From Tuesday to Wednesday morning, 40,844 COVID tests conducted nationwide identified 831 new cases, a positive rate of 2.1%.

A total of 614 patients were hospitalized on Wednesday morning. The number of hospitalized patients listed in serious condition continued to drop, standing at 376, of whom 166 who were on ventilators. Another 107 patients were listed in moderate condition.

Israel’s total death toll since the start of the pandemic was unchanged on Wednesday at 2,592. A total of 316,892 Israelis have tested positive for the virus, and 304,424 have recovered from it.

PA security officer opens fire on IDF troops, is shot dead, army says

The Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday morning that a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security services opened fire at troops in the northern West Bank and was shot dead by Israeli forces.

Though not unprecedented, it is highly unusual for members of Palestinian security forces, which often coordinate closely with the IDF and other Israeli defense agencies, to carry out attacks against Israeli troops and civilians.

“IDF soldiers who were at a military post near the southern exit of the city of Nablus responded with fire after a terrorist armed with a pistol arrived from the direction of the city and shot at them from his vehicle,” the IDF said in a statement.

The military initially said that the assailant was “neutralized” and later confirmed that this meant he was killed.

The Palestinian Authority official WAFA news agency named him as 29-year-old Bilal Adnan Rawajbeh. Rawajbeh, a resident of Nablus-area village Araq al-Tayeh, was a legal adviser with the rank of captain in the Palestinian Preventative Security Forces, one of the PA’s most powerful intelligence organizations.

It appeared as though the pistol used belonged to the Palestinian security service as well.

Israeli Court Rules Palestinians Must Compensate Terror Victim’s Family

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that the Palestinian Authority must pay NIS 13 million ($3.8 million) in compensation to the family of Tzipi and Gadi Shemesh, who were murdered in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2002.

The ruling followed another two years ago that held the PA directly responsible for their murder and that of their unborn twins, Ynet reported.

Suicide bomber Muhammad Hashika carried out the attack, which also killed Yizhak Cohen, a father-of-six from Modi’in, and wounded 80 other people.

“This evening we finally have closure after many years of struggles in court,” said Shahar and Shoval, the murdered couple’s daughters, according to the report. “From the first moment what was most important to us is that justice be served.”

The PA’s argument in court was that the claim for compensation was irrelevant, and that it related to complex historical issues that should not be argued in court.

IPU Demands Israel Release Barghouti, Convicted of 26 Charges of Murder, Attempted Murder

The Committee on Human Rights of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organization of national parliaments whose primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and cooperation among its members, on Tuesday called on Israel to immediately release Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat, who are both imprisoned in Israel.

The IPU said in a statement that it is “deeply concerned” that, after being incarcerated for 16 years, Barghouti has “no horizon for an early release.” The IPU said Barghouti’s trial was unfair and that his conviction was unfounded.

Barghouti was indicted in an Israeli civilian court in 2002 on 26 counts of murder and attempted murder stemming from attacks carried out by the group he founded, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Barghouti refused to present a defense to the charges against him, maintaining throughout that the trial was illegal and illegitimate.

The IPU also claimed that Sa’dat was not receiving the medical treatment he needs, is not allowed to be visited by his family, and has been placed in solitary confinement. Also, according to the IPU, political considerations affect Israel’s decisions about his treatment.

Sa’dat was accused by Israel of organizing the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001. As part of an agreement with Israel, Sa’adat was tried by a Palestinian Authority court and sent to a Jericho prison in 2002. In the PA elections of January 2006, Sa’adat was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, and in March of 2006, he was going to be released from prison. The US and British team monitoring Jericho prison left the site over what they said were poor security conditions, and so, on the same day they were leaving, Israeli forces took Sa’adat and five other security prisoners into custody. In December 2006 he was sentenced to 30 years by an Israeli military court.

No security, no peace, unless all Israeli settlements are removed from West Bank

No security, no peace, unless all Israeli settlements are removed from West Bank – PA Deputy Prime Minister

Official PA TV News, Oct. 14, 2020

PA Deputy Prime Minister and PA Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina: The [Israeli] settlement[s] will disappear in the end. There will be no peace as long as there is one settlement on the Palestinian. Just as the settlements were removed from Gaza, they will be removed from the West Bank. Either a peace that is based on an independent, fully sovereign [Palestinian] state with East Jerusalem as its capital and without settlers or settlements, or else there will be no security, no stability, and no peace.

“Palestinian land” or “occupied Palestinian land” – Although the PA calls them “Palestinian land” or occupied “Palestinian land,” neither Jerusalem nor Area C of the West Bank, where more than 815,000 Israelis live, were ever in history “Palestinian land.” Designated for the Jewish state by international agreements, these areas were illegally occupied for 19 years by Jordan in 1948. Since 1967, these areas are under full Israeli jurisdiction and remain so unless otherwise agreed upon during negotiations. The Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO reconfirm this status. Since both Israel and PA claim all or parts of Area C, the more accurate term for these territories today is “disputed territories.”

Nabil Abu Rudeina also serves as PA Minister of Information, Fatah Commissioner of Information, Culture, and Ideology, and Fatah Central Committee member.

Rouhani says for Iran it is not important who wins US election

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday the result of the US election was not important for the country’s clerical rulers, but that the next president in Washington should respect international treaties and laws.

“For Tehran, the next US administration’s policies are important and not who wins the US election,” Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has promised to rejoin Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers if Iran returns to compliance with it. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. In retaliation, Iran has gradually reduced compliance with the deal’s terms.

“We want to be respected, not subject to sanctions (by the United States). No matter who wins the US election … For us, policies and principles are important,” Rouhani said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: America Will Fall Regardless of Who Wins the 2020 Election

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a November 3, 2020 address that aired on Channel 1 (Iran) that the West’s “attacks” on the honor of the Prophet Muhammad are a sign of the oppressive, unjust, ignorant, and barbaric nature of Western civilization. He also said that the U.S. is suffering from political, civil, and moral decadence that will spell its end regardless of who wins in the 2020 Presidential Election, however, Khamenei added, certain candidates would accelerate America’s demise more than others. In addition, he said that Israel will be destroyed.

Iran official to students: Burn Israeli flags at home this year due to COVID

Iran’s traditional Student Day march, which marks the anniversary of the Iranian seizure of the United States Embassy in 1979, will not be held for the first time in 40 years, due to coronavirus concerns, the London-based Iran International reported on Monday.

Iran, which has recently seen another major surge in coronavirus cases, has also been dealing with the financial fallout of the ever-expanding list of US sanctions on the country.

However, one official from the student section of the Basij militia organization is getting creative with his methods of protesting the US regime.

While talking to a local television news station, Mojtaba Bastan, Acting Head of the Student Basij Organization announced a new campaign, titled ‘Everyone together [says] down with the USA.”

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.

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