Tuesday, February 20, 2018

According to Mahmoud Abbas, Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of the State of Palestine.” Then again, Abbas is the Palestinian Arab dictator whose term in office ended in 2009. Not only do Abbas and the Palestinian Arabs know that Jerusalem is the capital of "Palestine" -- they also think they have a pretty good idea of just what "Palestine" looks like.

Here is the logo of the Fateh Youth Movement. The boundaries of what they call "Palestine" are basically the borders of Israel, except that they also include Gaza and the West Bank.

Not surprisingly, that map bears little resemblance to reality -- not because they are trying to co-opt the State of Israel, but because there was no country called Palestine that corresponds to that map.

For example, in his article "Palestine: On The History and Geography of a Name," Bernard Lewis writes about the borders of the area that bears that name. And those borders were forever changing:
During the later Roman and Byzantine periods a number of changes were made, in the course of which Roman Palestine was extended by the annexation to it of neighbouring territories and then subdivided. Under Diocletian, the province of Arabia, founded by the Emperor Trajan in the year 105, was attached to Palestine, but in 358 this area, consisting of the Negev and southern Transjordan, was constituted a separate province and named Palestina Salutaris. In about 400 ad, Palestine proper was split into two provinces known respectively as Palestina Prima and Palestina Secunda, while Palestina Salutaris was renamed Palestina Tertia
How convenient: three Palestines!

Source: Wikipedia. Uploaded by Haldrik

In this setup you had:
Palestina Prima - included Judaea and Samaria, including Edom and extending east into Transjordan. Its capital was was Caesarea.
o  Palestina Secunda - included the valley of Esdraelon, Galilee, northern Transjordan, and the Golan area, Its capital was in Scythopolis (Beth Shean)
o  Palestina Tertia - included the Negev, southern Transjordan, and part of Sinai. Its capital was at Petra
Three Palestines - but no capital in Jerusalem.

After the Muslim invasion and conquest of the area, there were some changes made.

Lewis explains:
After the Arab conquest in the seventh century, the new masters of the country seem substantially to have retained the existing administrative subdivisions; Palestina Prima and Palestina Secunda remained but with new names and new capitals. The first became Filastin, an obvious Arabic adaptation of the Roman name, and was administered first from Lydda and later from Ramla. Palestina Secunda was called Urdunn, that is, Jordan, after the river, and had its capital at Tiberias. Jerusalem, which in the earliest Arabic texts is referred to by its Roman name of Aelia, was not a provincial or even a district seat of government [emphasis added].
Bottom line, during this period of Muslim rule, there was still no capital in Jerusalem, and no independent country called Palestine either:
In early medieval Arabic usage, Filastin and Urdunn were subdistricts forming part of the greater geographical entity known as Syria or, to use the Arabic term, the land of Sham.

This subservient status of Palestine existed not only under the Romans but also under the Byzantine Empire and Muslim rule as well - until the Crusaders conquered the land. Then that changed:
During the period of the Crusades, the name Palestine or Filastin fell into disuse. The Muslims no longer administered it, and the Crusaders preferred to call the country which they had conquered the Holy Land and the state which they had established the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Finally, Jerusalem got some recognition -- but it was not by the Muslims.

Later, after the Muslims recaptured the land back from the Crusaders, there were still more re-divisions of the land.
After the Muslim reconquest, the names Filastin and Urdunn disappear from administrative usage. Under the successors of Saladin and still more under the Mamluks who ruled from the mid-thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, the country was redistributed in new territorial units, usually known by the names of towns which were district administrative centres. [emphasis added]
That last point is important: From this point going forward, there was no Filastin or Palestine.
The name Filastin or Palestine...had never been used by Jews, for whom the normal name of the country, from the time of the Exodus to the present day, was Eretz Israel. It was no longer used by Muslims, for whom it had never meant more than an administrative sub-district and it had been forgotten even in that limited sense.
So who did use the word 'Palestine'?

The word became widely adopted in the Christian world. During The Renaissance, there was a revival of interest in classical antiquity and as a result, the Roman name Palestine became the common word used to describe the country in most European languages. And under the British, the word was again used to refer to that area bordering on both sides of the Jordan River - for the first time since the early Middle Ages.

Under Arab rule, the area kept being divided and re-divided. Just to give you an idea of the state of flux in the area:
At one point the areas on the two banks of the Jordan were divided into six districts with their capitals in Gaza, Lydda, Qaqun, Jerusalem, Hebron, and Nablus, all six districts forming part of the province of Sham, with its capital in Damascus. (Jerusalem was finally a capital - a district capital - with the actual capital in Damascus.)
o  At certain times Gaza and Lydda became separate provinces.
o  During the late Mamluk period, most of Palestine seems to have been divided into the Niyabas (lieutenancies) of Gaza and Safed. The Niyaba of Safed included much of what today is south Lebanon, with the districts of Tyre and Tibnin. All these were still under the rule of Damascus.
o  After the Ottoman conquest in 1516-17, the country was divided into the Ottoman administrative districts (Sanjak) of Gaza, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Safed west of the Jordan and Ajlun in Transjordan. An additional district, Lajjun on the west bank, was later added. All these again were subject to the authority of Damascus.
o  These districts were from time to time subdivided and rearranged during the four centuries of Ottoman rule.
o  In the last phase, before the British took over, the center and north of the country were part of the vilayet of Beirut, while the Transjordan was made part of the vilayet of Damascus and the rest of "Palestine" became the indepedent district of Jerusalem -- independent in this case meaning it was directly dependent on the capital in Damascas, but not subject to any of the Pashas of the surrounding provinces.
By 1887-1888, the map of the area looked like this:

Source: Wikipedia. Map by Tallicfan20 based off of Efraim Karsh's Palestine Betrayed

There was never a sovereign country called "Palestine" matching the maps that Abbas and Fatah like to parade around. In the end, there was a district called Jerusalem, taking up a portion of what the Palestinian Arabs claim as their state.

As far as capitals go, there were so many -- usually subject to the authority in Damascus -- that if anything, instead of being the eternal capital of "Palestine," Jerusalem was the ephemeral capital of a very truncated district in an area in part of Palestine.

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  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Wafa reports:
President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to present the United Nations Security Council during his keynote speech later Tuesday a Palestinian peace initiative and plan, according to Foreign Minister Riyad Malki
Cool! What's the plan?
He told Voice of Palestine radio that the speech will propose ideas to counter the American aggression, mainly US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US embassy to the occupied city, closing the Palestinian delegation office in Washington and cutting aid to the Palestinians, specifically to the UN refugee agency, UNRWA.
That sounds like a series of complaints, not a plan. Maybe the next paragraph will explain.
The president will also speak about Israeli oppressive measures in the occupied territories, foremost its settlement policy and activities and racist and discriminatory laws issued by the right-wing dominated government and parliament.
OK, more complaints. Where's the plan? Oh, here it comes:
Malki said the new Palestinian peace plan calls for ending unilateral Israeli measures including settlements, annulling the Trump decision on Jerusalem and preparing for a broad international conference that would come up with terms of reference for negotiations and commitment to the two-state solution based on the establishment of the independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He said the thoughts and ideas that President Abbas has raised in his latest speeches and meetings with world leaders were translated into a Palestinian peace plan that will be presented to the Security Council and then to the world at large with a hope that it will lead to serious discourse on a proper mechanism that would allow for return to negotiations.
In English: Give us a state for free on the borders we demand and don't expect us to compromise on any of our demands, ever. Use the reliably anti-Israel UN to force Israel to do what we demand. No bilateral negotiations with Israel, ever.

Abbas is also expected to say that giving a state to people who openly support terrorism will reduce terrorism. And the UNSC members will nod at his sagacity.

His speech is set for 10 AM EST.

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  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Times of Israel reports:
Palestinian activists and journalists on Monday launched a campaign to protest against Facebook after the social media giant removed dozens of pages in recent weeks, saying they incited and glorified terrorism.

“Facebook is waging war on the Palestinians,” the activists and journalists complained in a statement as they launched a Twitter hashtag entitled “#FBfightsPalestine” to protest the Facebook measures.

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According to the Palestinians, the Facebook crackdown intensified after the killing of Ahmed Jarrar, the Hamas terrorist who was part of a cell that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach in the northern West Bank last month.

Israeli security forces killed Jarrar in a shootout on February 6 in the village of al Yamoun, near Jenin.

Since then, the Palestinians said, Facebook has temporarily suspended or permanently removed more than 50 private and public pages and posts, most of which were dedicated to glorifying Jarrar. One of the deleted pages belonged to the Jarrar clan in Jenin.
That's interesting, because there are more Palestinian pages glorifying terrorists than there is time in the day to remove them.

Here is a post from Fatah earlier this week kicking off what will probably be a month long celebration of the anniversary of the Coastal Road Massacre. The poster shows all the Fatah members involved in the murders of some 38 Israelis, featuring Dalal Mughrabi.

And the poster is not about "martyrs" because two of the terrorists were not killed but captured.

113,000 people follow this official Fatah Facebook page. 113,000 people celebrate terror when Fatah celebrates terror.

And Mahmoud Abbas, who pretends to be against violence, is the leader of Fatah.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Hamas/Fatah infighting reached a new bizarre level on Monday.

Qatari Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani sent $9 million worth of medicines, medical supplies, foodstuffs and fuel for the operation of hospital generators in the Gaza Strip. Qatari ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi held a press conference to announce the grant.

What could be wrong with that?

Apparently, the janitorial staff that is on strike for non payment of their salaries protested Al Emadi's visit and besieged his car.

Apparently they were upset that he didn't address their plight in his speech. He responded that only the PA is responsible for their salaries.

It is weird enough, although common, for Palestinian Arabs to protest the very people who are helping them.They protest UNRWA and the Red Cross regularly, often shutting down offices that help their own people.

But even weirder is that Fatah was proud of this protest, putting it up on their Facebook page, twice. As best as I can tell, any protest that appears to be against Hamas is worth publicizing - even if the entire reason the protesters aren't getting paid is because the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority refuses to.

At any rate, Fatah is supporting protesting those giving their own people millions.

It is a special kind of sickness.

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From Ian:

“Everyone Agrees”: Second Draft on the MSNM’s Contribution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
I have, over the past year, slowly put together a video using my archive of recordings of BBC Global and CNN International’s news broadcasts. It portrays a mindset among journalism that has them “in the name of the ‘whole world’,” misinforming the whole world by reciting Palestinian war propaganda as news. “Everybody knows it’s Israel’s fault” that there’s no peace settlement.

Among other violations of journalistic principles of presenting the relevant evidence, I indict the MSTVNM (mainstream TV news media) for not letting their audiences know what Palestinian leaders – both PA and Hamas – say in Arabic, thus compounding the misdirection involved in highlighting and affirming what Palestinian spokespeople say in English. I therefore include footage generously provided by both Palestinian Media Watch and the Center for Near East Policy Research.

Given the strong claims that I make, I also post two items:
the links to the sources that I used in the video other than BBC and CNN.
my source, that is the logging and transcription of much of the footage from which I drew my material, which includes time stamps.

Anyone who thinks I have unfairly “cherry-picked” my passages is welcome to review the body of material from which I drew them. I think research will confirm that I left out many more examples that strengthen my case (too long or too complicated, so repetitive), and that any counter-examples of the MSTVNM presenting the Israeli side offer neither the open endorsement of the journalists (that so often accompanies their presentation of the Palestinian position), nor at any point, their repetition in the journalists own words.
Everyone Agrees: The BBC and CNN on UNSC Resolution #2334 and Kerry’s Speech

No Hate of Halimi? The French Won’t See Antisemitism for What It Is
In taking stock of this monstrous event, the French authorities focused primarily on Traore’s psychological state, allowing reports of his supposed mental frailties to seep into the press. Irritatingly, they never addressed the question of how someone who was allegedly stoned and in a state of hysteria still had the presence of mind to climb from one building to another.

Certainly, the psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Zagury, who interviewed Traore, concluded that he had indeed engaged in an antisemitic attack while under the influence of drugs. At the same time, he emphasized that Traore was not sufficiently intoxicated to be unaware that he was inflicting torture and then murder on a defenseless woman. Moreover, Zagury pointed out the Islamist-inflected antisemitism embedded in Traore’s labeling of Halimi as “Satan,” noting that the idea that “the Jew is on the side of evil, of the evil one” is a common antisemitic theme.

But Zagury also observed that by going through the process of a trial, Traore was at risk of a “delusional relapse.” That was enough for the magistrate, Ihuellou, to remove the charge of an aggravated hate crime.

As things stand, Traore will not be tried for murdering Halimi because she belonged, as her brother William Attal put it, “to the Jewish people.”

Sarah Halimi’s Jewish affiliation will be, at most, a subsidiary element in a trial that will become a cautionary tale about drug use, rather than the antisemitic hatred that has established itself as an integral part of the culture of France’s Muslim immigrant communities. If the French judiciary continues refusing to see what the executive branch — all the way up to President Macron — sees all too clearly, future grandiose assurances that antisemitism is fundamentally alien to French values won’t be worth the paper they’re written on.
The British activist who went from radical Islam to staunch Israel ally
In the summer of 2001 Maajid Nawaz traveled to Jerusalem for the first time to visit the Al Aqsa mosque. He journeyed via Jordan, so desperate was he not to set foot in what he considered “Israel proper.”

“I pretty much would describe my views as typically anti-Semitic and typically anti-Israel,” he recalls. “I denied the legitimacy of the State of Israel and believed that it had no right to exist and that the caliphate would one day come to… liberate the land and return it to Muslim dominion.”

Still only in his early 20s, Nawaz, the child of a middle-class British home, was a university student and rising star activist in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a revolutionary Islamist organization founded in Jerusalem in 1953.

But shortly after arriving in Alexandria to continue his studies, his activities on behalf of the group — which seeks to resurrect and recreate the caliphate in Muslim-majority countries and impose its strict interpretation of Sharia law — landed him in an Egyptian jail. Nawaz would spend five years as a political prisoner before being released and returned to the UK in 2006.

In Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s grim prisons — notorious for their widespread torture and mistreatment of inmates — Nawaz began a journey which would radically change his views and his life.

  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Ennahdha Party is one of the few political parties in Tunisia that has an explicitly Islamic orientation. it is said to have been inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian revolution when it was started.

Since then, it has sought to make itself look more moderate and democratic, and it has been part of the ruling coalition of Tunisia since 2011.

Analysts are confused whether Ennahda is truly moderate or an more extreme Islamist party. Wikipedia captures parts of the problematic and fuzzy parts of its political positions:

On 13 November 2011, the party's secretary-general Hamadi Jebali held a joint rally in Sousse together with a parliamentary deputy of the Palestinian Hamas party. Jebali referred to the occasion as "a divine moment in a new state, and in, hopefully, a 6th caliphate," and that "the liberation of Tunisia will, God willing, bring about the liberation of Jerusalem." While the tone was said do be sharply in contrast to official statements of the party,[73] Jebali was appointed Prime Minister of Tunisia a mere month later.
When in January 2012, Hamas leadership arrived for another visit to Tunisia, people at the airport were heard shouting "Kill the Jews." Tunisian Jews said Ennahdha leadership was slow to condemn the shouting.[74]
Ahmed Ibrahim of the Tunisian Pole Democratique Moderniste political bloc complained to a foreign journalist that Ennahdha appears "soft" on television, "but in the mosques, it is completely different. Some of them are calling for jihad".[30] The general manager of Al Arabiya wrote an editorial expressing the opinion that Ennahdha is fundamentally a conservative Islamist party with a moderate leadership.[75] Ennahdha has been described as a mixed bag with moderate top layers and a base defined by "a distinctly fundamentalist tilt".[76]
Now Ennahda is surprising people again by working to nominate a Jew for an upcoming municipal election.  Simon Salama will be an Ennahda candidate, in a move that the party says "reflects the openness of Ennahda and its civilization."

Critics assert that this is a "political maneuver" to win the support of more voters in the next municipal election.

There are over 7000 municipal seats up for grabs in the next election.

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  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Guardian:

Iceland is poised to become the first European country to outlaw male circumcision amid signs that the ritual common to both Judaism and Islam may be a new battleground over religious freedom.

A bill currently before the Icelandic parliament proposes a penalty of up to six years in prison for anyone carrying out a circumcision other than for medical reasons. Critics say the move, which has sparked alarm among religious leaders across Europe, would make life for Jews and Muslims in Iceland unsustainable.

One in three men globally is thought to be circumcised, the vast majority for religious or cultural reasons. Many Jews and Muslims fear the issue of circumcision could become a proxy for antisemitism and Islamophobia, pointing to similar tensions over religious dress and the ritual slaughter of animals for meat.

The Icelandic bill says the circumcision of young boys violates their rights and is incompatible with the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. It draws a parallel with female genital mutilation, already outlawed in most European countries.

The bill says circumcisions are performed without anaesthesia, and claims the procedure is often carried out “in homes that are not sterile, and not by doctors but by religious leaders. There is a high risk of infections under such conditions that may lead to death.”
This is antisemitic and Islamophobic. The Icelanders aren't concerned with medical complications from the minor procedure.

And it is easy to prove.

Because in Israel, the complication rate for circumcisions is an astoundingly low 0.34% in 2001. A very high percentage of Israelis have the circumcisions done by mohels in their homes, not hospitals.

Given the tiny number of Jews in Iceland, I would be very surprised if there was a single case of complications from a Jewish circumcision in the past decade.

(I cannot speak to the percentage of complications from Muslim circumcision.)

Now, let's compare this with another minor, elective surgical procedure that parents often have their kids go through without medical expertise: body piercings, specifically ear piercings. One study showed up to 35% of people with ear piercings experience complications like infections, tearing and allergic reactions - a 10000% higher chance of complications than circumcisions.

But there are plenty of non-medical piercing and tattoo shops in Iceland. (Tattoos, incidentally, have a 3% infection rate and there are other complications, making them 10 times as likely as circumcision to get infected. )

As far as I can tell, parents are allowed to give their children ear piercings in Iceland, just as they are pretty much everywhere else.

Obviously the people pushing the bill aren't interested in any sort of public health issue. Nor do they really care about children's rights. The bill is pure hate for religion.

Every act of hate hides behind a moral front. This is no exception.

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From Ian:

JCPA: The Gaza Escalation: A Message from Iran
Is Iran Involved in the Recent Clash with Gaza?

Because Iran is behind this escalation, things might deteriorate in the future. What we know is that the Iranians, actually General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who is in charge of the terror activities of Iran in the Middle East, is in direct contact with the leaders of the military wing of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He is trying to escalate the situation in order to send a message to Israel not to carry out any further attacks on Syria.

Is This a Severe Escalation with Gaza or Simply a Temporary Threat?

The message Iran is sending is that if Israel continues to hit Syrian targets, it will find itself fighting on a new front, in Gaza. This way, Israel will find itself fighting on two fronts at the same time, in both Gaza and Syria. This is the message of the Iranians, and their intention is to continue and escalate the situation, especially because President Trump is planning in the future to publish his new peace plan for the Middle East. The Iranians, together with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are working together to sabotage this peace plan by terror activities from the borders of Gaza and Syria. So, Israel has to watch the borders very carefully and be ready to retaliate whenever a new attack is planned because the intention is to escalate and not to calm things down.

Gaza Health Crisis: WHO’s to Blame?
Fifty four Palestinians died in Gaza while awaiting a medical travel permit from Israel.

This is according to a joint statement issued last week by several NGOs (non-governmental organizations): Human Rights Watch (HRW), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), that slams Israel for a 54% decrease in medical travel permits to residents of Gaza.

Except on closer examination, it appears that in most cases relevant to this 54% decrease, Israel didn’t deny the permits: the Palestinian Authority did.
Joint statement

The joint statement statement purports to be based on a report by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO).

The NGOs (including the WHO) placed blame primarily on Israel, as in the following statement from HRW:
Israeli authorities approved permits for medical appointments for only 54 percent of those who applied in 2017, the lowest rate since the World Health Organization (WHO) began collecting figures in 2008. WHO reported that 54 Palestinians, 46 of whom had cancer, died in 2017 following denial or delay of their permits.

Yet what the statement leaves out is that the WHO numbers are actually related to permit denials by the Palestinian government.

The New York Times Says Gaza Poverty Causes War With Israel. Sorry, That Doesn’t Make Sense.
One of the ways the New York Times demonstrates bias in news reports from the Middle East is with unstated, and unquestioned, assumptions.

In two recent articles, the assumption is that if economic conditions worsen in the Gaza Strip, the result will be attacks on Israel.

An example comes in this paragraph from a Times dispatch over the weekend:

Already beleaguered by Israel’s decade-old blockade of the strip, Gazans were made to suffer even more last year when the Palestinian Authority, run by Fatah, imposed harsh new restrictions in a power struggle with Hamas, its archrival. An attempt at reconciliation between the two last fall has since bogged down, and a standoff over salaries and revenue has sent the territory’s economy into free-fall, with many expecting a war with Israel as a result.

A front page Times report from earlier this month, also under the byline of the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, David Halbfinger, sounded some similar notes. It appeared under the print headline, “Gaza Is Near Financial Collapse, Prompting Fears of Violence”:
whether out of bluster or desperation, Gazans both in and out of power have begun talking openly about confronting Israel over its blockade in the kind of mass action that could easily lead to casualties and escalation…

One way or the other, “an explosion’s coming,” said Mr. Abu Shaaban, the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority pensioner. “We have only Israel to explode against. Should we explode against each other?”

The barely unstated assumption here is that economic difficulties in Gaza cause war with Israel.

Yet there are at least two big holes in this logic that the Times might discover if it probed more skeptically.

  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

I noted yesterday that the official government run Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa liked to use the term "Talmudic" to describe anything that they didn't like that Jews were doing, as a dog whistle to incite Jw-hatred among their people.

Going through the archives of Wafa, I see over 150 mentions of "Talmudic" over the years, some quite absurd. Besides the "Talmudic clothing" mentioned yesterday (which they have done before,) we can find:

Temple Mount visitors performing "silent Talmudic rituals."

Reference to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot as "Talmudic holidays"

A replica of the menorah in the Temple as a "Talmudic candlestick"

An archaeological park near the Temple Mount referred repeatedly as a "Talmudic park" or "Talmudic gardens."

Visitors to the Mount referred to as "students at Talmudic seminaries."

Israel lighting up the walls of Jerusalem with "Talmudic pictures"

Nearly all of these articles have the word "Talmudic" in the headline.They regularly get picked up and reprinted, verbatim, in Palestinian and other Arab media.

The implication is that anything "Talmudic" is sinister and satanic. Yet all of normative Judaism is to some extent "Talmudic" from Chanukah and Purim to how to blow a shofar and the entire Passover Seder text.

This is pure, official antisemitism on the part of Israel's supposed peace partner, the "moderate" PA.

Those who have suddenly become hyper-aware of right-wing antisemitism continue to be silent on official Arab antisemitism.

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  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Russia's TASS news agency:

Russia condemns Tehran’s remarks that Israel should be wiped off the map and also believes that solving any regional problems should not be viewed through the prism of a conflict with Iran, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

Tensions between Israel and Iran are escalating and there are historical reasons for that, Lavrov said at the opening of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s conference "Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields."

"We have stated many times that we won’t accept the statements that Israel, as a Zionist state, should be destroyed and wiped off the map. I believe this is an absolutely wrong way to advance one’s own interests," Lavrov stressed.
Russia has previously criticized Turkish president Erdogan's stance on Israel as well.

Certainly, Russia wants to be seen as an honest broker and power player in the Middle East - the name of the conference  "Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields." makes that clear.

But for those of us who remember the attacks against Israel by the Soviet Union - which was instrumental in passing the infamous "Zionism is Racism" resolution at the UN - it is still jarring to hear Russia criticize anyone for anti-Israel statements.

Part of the credit for this must go to Netanyahu, who has been in close contact with Vladimir Putin for years now.

Lavrov did try to be even-handed in his criticism:
"By the same token, we oppose attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran," he noted. This is happening in Syria, Yemen and even the latest developments around the Palestinian issue, including Washington’s announcement of its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, are largely motivated by this anti-Iranian stance," Lavrov emphasized.

It is pretty clear, though,  that Iran is indeed attempting to create a Shiite Muslim "crescent" from the Gulf to the Mediterranean, even if Russia doesn't like seeing people frame things that way.

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  • Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Shin Bet issued a press release last week:

On 1 January 2018, a Turkish citizen, Cemil Tekeli, a lecturer in law, was arrested on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists in Turkey. On 21 January, Dara'am Jabarin, an Israeli citizen and resident of Umm al-Fahm was also arrested.

During the investigation it was learned that the two had been recruited in Turkey by senior Hamas terrorist Zaher Jabarin, who was released in the Shalit deal. He is responsible for Hamas' budget and promotes ramified terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria on instruction from Salah Aruri, who serves as the deputy chairman of the organization and head of its operations in the West Bank.

In Tekeli's investigation, it was learned that Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas via – inter alia – the SADAT company that was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser who is close to Turkish administration officials. The company was founded to assist – with funds and war materiel – the creation of the 'Palestine Army', the goal of which is to fight Israel. One of its employees even helped senior Hamas officials to visit a 2015 weapons show in Turkey, during which they expressed interest in UAVs.

During the investigation It became clear that Hamas is in direct contact with Turkish authorities via Jihad Ya'amur, a terrorist who was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman and was released in the Shalit deal.

The investigation showed that, in 2012, Tekeli was asked to help Hamas terrorists who had gone to Turkey become personally and economically established. Most of the terrorists in question had been released in the Shalit deal and were involved in attacks that claimed Israeli lives. Tekeli assisted them in obtaining visas that allowed them to stay in Turkey, in purchasing and renting commercial and residential properties, in purchasing luxury vehicles and in becoming established in business via the registration of companies in their names.
The founder of SADAT,  Adnan Taniverdi is not only "close to Turkish authorities." He is a senior military advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And Cemil Tekeli is close to Taniverdi, as this photo from the SADAT website itself shows them next to each other (the two on the right.)

Makor Rishon, which uncovered the photo, says that Sadat is no longer just a security consulting company. Beyond its Islamist agenda, it is considered one of the centers of power in Turkey. Erdogan's opponents treat it as his private militia.

Now the Shin Bet has exposed that it appears that Hamas is also an integral part of its activity.

Makor Rishon reports:
Tekeli revealed in his interrogation that Hamas was operating in Turkey with close ties to the top echelon of the regime. He revealed that senior officials in the Turkish government are contributing to Hamas' military buildup through SADAT, which is helping funds and weapons to establish a "Palestinian army" to fight Israel.

The Sadat Company (SADAT) was established five years ago by General Adnan Taniverdi, former head of the special forces of the Turkish army, inspired by Erdogan. The Islamist Taniverdi, who was ousted in 1997 from the Turkish army because of his Islamist activities, later became one of Erdogan's closest advisers. The two have since had a deep ideological affinity and mutual trust.

Taniverdi knew exactly what he wanted. ...From the start the company was much more than a defense consulting company - it had a mission. In a manifesto on the company's website, Taniverdi wrote that "Sadat was established to help the Muslim world reach heights that match its status and realize its destiny among the great powers." At the core of this mission is a struggle against the State of Israel and the Taniverdi manifesto includes a detailed plan "How to conquer Israel in ten days." The program is based on the military and political cooperation of the Islamic countries. "The Islamic countries must give the Palestinians bases in their territory, from which they can demonstrate military power against Israel and produce a sea corridor to Gaza and an air corridor to Ramallah through Islamic geography."

A reader of the manifesto may erroneously think that it is an Islamist fervor, and that any connection between it and reality is strictly coincidental. This is not the case. In recent years, the company has operated in accordance with its principles. Including Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Now, it turns out, Hamas too.
Turkey is actively working to topple Israel through its ties with Hamas.

(h/t Yoel)

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

  • Sunday, February 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Iran's Abul Bayt News Agency reports:

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled various regional and local topics.

 Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that Lebanon must speak today from a strong position and away from any weakness. "We are strong and we must negotiate from this strong position. We are able to threaten "Israel" as it threatens us. If the American warns that "Israel" will attack us, tell him to accept our demands or Hezbollah will respond," he said.

"The Lebanese must not allow the devils to sow discord among them, and by devils I mean the Americans," Sayyed Nasrallah warned.

His Eminence went on to say: "Today the oil resources that are present in the south and across Lebanon are for all Lebanese. The Lebanese people that are suffering from a debt that might reach $100 billion and their only hope might be in the oil and gas that is present in the coast and land."

"Does Block 9 belong only to the South? No, it is that for all Lebanon," he added.

In a sounding message to the apartheid "Israeli" entity, the Resistance Leader said: "Lebanon is strong and "let us try". If the Lebanese Defense Council took a decides that the "Israeli" oil extraction positions must stop working, we [Hezbollah] are ready to stop it within couple of hours."
Background from Oil and Gas Journal, February 9:
Adding to the company’s Mediterranean operations in Cyprus and Egypt, Total SA has signed exploration and production agreements for Blocks 4 and 9 offshore Lebanon. The consortium includes Total as operator (40%), Eni SPA (40%), OAO Novatek (20%).

Lebanon’s Cabinet approved both licenses in December (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2018).

Despite several false starts, Lebanon’s offshore looks poised to enter the country’s long-awaited exploration phase, however, Block 9 continues in controversy due to an ongoing maritime border dispute with neighboring Israel.

Just last week, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman referred to Labanon’s Block 9 award as “challenging and provocative conduct.” Israel claims part of Block 9 and both blocks awarded are on trend with deepwater gas discoveries off Israel
Here is a map of the different blocks, showing the area of dispute between Israel and Lebanon:

In an excellent Jerusalem Post backgrounder, a salient fact is mentioned for the disputed Block 9:
Israel reminded all involved third parties, i.e., apart from Lebanon itself, that any activity "that would violate Israel's sovereign rights or otherwise involve them in non-consensual or unauthorized economic activity in this maritime area…would expose them to significant liability." On February 9, 2018, Total announced that it and its partners are aware of the conflict and therefore would not operate within 25 km of the disputed area.
Israel is not unilaterally drilling on its side of Block 9, so Nasrallah's warning is either complete hot air or it is an indication that Hezbollah might be pushing Lebanon to claim a much larger area that would include existing Israeli gas fields.

This is something that must be watched closely.

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