Thursday, January 24, 2019

Prosecution Efforts at UCLA and UCI Following Shutdown of Pro-Israel Event - Edwin Black


by Edwin Black

StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center confront campus anti-Semitism.





Organized disruptors—both students and non-students—who shut down a pro-Israel gathering at University of California Los Angeles in May 2018 might not be prosecuted, according to information from LA City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office. Instead, they will be called to a confidential but mandatory proceeding called a “City Attorney Hearing,” an alternative to prosecution which can be described as a “warning” not to repeat the conduct. One legal expert compared it a “deferred prosecution,” but stressed a full trial could still result. Victims generally do not appear at such a hearing, the City Attorney’s office explained, and generally no criminal record attaches. Still, the prosecutor retains the right to issue charges later if he feels the illegal conduct has recurred or may recur. Los Angeles conducts hundreds of such closed-door hearings each year to dispose of minor misdemeanors arising from, for example, neighbor disputes, domestic disharmony, or curfew violations.

To the south of Los Angeles, newly-installed Orange County Prosecutor Todd Spitzer is still undecided about prosecuting rambunctious disruptors of a pro-Israel event at University of California Irvine which also took place last May, according to official university sources. Spitzer’s office has asked for additional police investigation to develop more facts.

With or without actual prosecution, the two incidents and the Jewish community’s response have potentially changed the landscape for belligerent disruption of pro-Israel events on California campuses, which last year arguably yielded some of the most pernicious in the nation. Those involved in the two California events—the affected students and the Jewish communal groups who rose to invoke prosecutions—expressed a range of reactions as to whether justice has been minimally obtained or seriously delayed.

StandWithUs and Brandeis Center for Human Rights pivotally intervened to jump-start the criminal referral process on both UC campuses. Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO, commented, “It shows good progress that the [Los Angeles] authorities are holding the disruptors accountable for attempting to remove the freedom of speech from those they disagree with.” Alyza Lewin, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, added, “We are gratified by this development. At long last, the universities are holding responsible the perpetrators of these egregious event disruptions. We trust this will deter similar behavior in the future and demonstrate that universities must take such criminal conduct seriously.”

A spokesperson for Canary Mission, the anonymous online watchdog that closely monitored both cases, commented, “This is not a strong enough response.” Justin Feldman, president of Students Supporting Israel, himself victimized by the harassment, agreed, stating, “As one of the proponents of the effort to hold disruptors accountable at UCLA, I am deeply disappointed that such accused students will merely face a ‘slap on the wrist’ for their deliberate misconduct in silencing student voices on campus.”

Outrage first emerged after two separate but particularly belligerent disruptions of pro-Israel UC student events in May 2018. On May 7, College Republicans at UCI, hosting Israeli reservists, saw their session shattered by a sudden invasion of bullhorn-wielding BDS advocates chanting anti-Israel slogans. A few days later, on May 17, Students Supporting Israel at UCLA sponsored an outreach panel discussion with indigenous students only to have it violently shut down by nose-to-nose BDS harassment. Both dramatic disruptions were captured on viral video.

For Jewish students and legal defense groups, the two egregious incidents were the tipping point of campus harassment at UC schools. The consensus among Jewish leadership and students was that the school administrations had consciously created a permissive anti-Israel atmosphere so toxic that it virtually encouraged increasingly severe forms of anti-Israel harassment. At UCI, the video shows bull-horn disruption going for several minutes as police and university administrators watched.

Disruption of public meetings explicitly violates California law. Three statutes pertain.

Title 11, Sec. 403 concerns event disruption. “Every person who … willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting … is guilty of a misdemeanor.” This was the very statute used to successfully prosecute and convict the “Irvine 11.” Title 11, Sec. 415 involves disturbing the peace. The statute calls for jail time for “any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise.” Title 11, Sec. 182, a conspiracy statute, can be invoked when “two or more persons conspire to commit any crime.”

Initially, both UCLA and UCI administrations declined to refer the incidents to the police for investigation and prosecution. This reinforced the belief that the permissive environment on campus actually promoted harassment as a bizarre species of free speech. Moreover, the legal system itself permits the universities to exercise broad discretion—allowing them to simply look the other way. 

California’s unusual state laws juridically enable the universities to potentially create a double standard and promote unequal justice. The UC administration can decide who shall be referred to its own police force, and who shall be given a pass, or subjected to so-called “academic discipline.” No referral to the police means no referral to prosecutors. 

Two California statutes create the system. The California Education Code empowers UC officials to function as jurisdictions unto themselves—as though they were small cities. They can hire their own police departments and exercise discretion on police policy and conduct. Section 92600 states, “The Regents of the University of California are authorized and empowered to appoint one or more persons to be members of the University of California Police Department … [and] are peace officers … upon the campuses of the University of California and an area within one mile of the exterior boundaries of each thereof.”

Section 830.2 of the California Penal Code states: “A member of the University of California Police Department, appointed pursuant to Section 92600 of the Education Code, is a peace officer whose authority extends to any place in the state … specified in Section 92600 of the Education Code.” The law also vests campus officers with “concurrent jurisdiction with local law enforcement agencies.”

Within legal limits, UC police departments function like a private force, answerable to the campus administration, which, in turn, often pivots on the dictates of the college’s public affairs managers. If a university wants to downplay an incident, it can exercise discretion and instruct the police forces to overlook a disruption. If the police departments do not investigate and refer a case to prosecutors, no criminal action will be taken by prosecutors.

Observers believe a built-in conflict of interest and system of unequal justice can emerge when publicity-shy media relations managers can give campus police their marching orders.

One Jewish organization president called it “shameful,” adding “UCLA is not acting ‘neutrally’ when it shields students from prosecution.”

Indeed, at UCLA, the campus administration officials were extremely sensitive to the adverse publicity attending the video of SSI students being harassed. Campus police referred all inquiries to UCLA Media Relations. When this reporter, first contacted Tad Tamberg, senior executive director of media relations at UCLA, he referred to a Letter to the Editor in the campus newspaper and declined to discuss the matter further or answer any questions. At one point when this reporter said, “May I ask a question?” Tamberg snapped back, “No, you may not.”

UCLA campus police, eager to address the offense, repeatedly and apologetically declined to answer any questions, stating they were under specific instructions from Media Relations to refuse to answer. This included even UCPD media spokesman. Ironically, the UCLA police manual mandates, in section 505 entitled, “NEWS MEDIA,” that “In accordance with department policy, employees shall make every effort to cooperate and assist members of the news media, using care to ensure that any release of information is not detrimental to the conduct of police operations.”

UCI had a very different response. Its media manager facilitated exploration of the criminal aspect of the incident and quickly assured its police department would investigate and refer the matter to prosecutors. The UCI investigation is still underway.

UCLA’s refusal to refer its students for prosecution or even investigate the crime was thwarted when legal staff at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center converged on the campus to walk students into the UCLA PD and UCI police stations to file criminal complaints. Filing those complaints forced the police to investigate and then refer the cases to prosecutors. Ultimately, that included both student and non-student participants.

Whether or not the perpetrators at UCLA or UCI are prosecuted, it seems the reality on the ground at UC campuses has been altered. In the days after Thanksgiving 2018, I delivered four consecutive lectures on Israel history at California campuses: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, and UCLA. Despite concerns, no interference or disruption manifested.

The UCLA event was sponsored by a coalition of groups including the same Students Supporting Israel chapter that had been harassed last May. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center attended to kick off the livestreamed event. At UCLA, it was a new day. When campus police learned of the event, they took immediate steps to ensure it would proceed with no interference. Two UCLA PD officers were dispatched to the event itself, both highly trained and deeply conversant with the pro-Israel and Jewish communal scene. A representative of the administration joined the officers. The police and administration declared that, in the event of a disruption, perpetrators would be given one warning to immediately cease and desist; and if they did not, “they will be arrested and charged.” This, coupled with the LA Prosecutor’s watchful eye, combined to insulate the event from criminal disruption.

Thus, thanks to leadership at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center, and courageous students who stepped forward, combined with intense media scrutiny, the rate of acceleration of anti-Semitism on campus and especially at UC colleges, has been temporarily been slowed—at least, slowed for the moment.


Edwin Black

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272589/prosecution-efforts-ucla-and-uci-following-edwin-black

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Rep. Tlaib's vicious anti-Semitism - Morton A. Klein


by Morton A. Klein

Hat tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal

Rep. Rashida Tlaib posted a “correction” to the world map in her congressional office, marking Israel as “Palestine, indicating her support for the Palestinian Arab objective of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel on her first day in office.



Cong. Rashida Tlaib 

That didn’t take long. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), newly elected to the U.S. Congress, has already posted a “correction” to the world map in her congressional office, marking Israel as “Palestine.” She thus effectively indicated her support for the Palestinian Arab objective of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel on her first day in office.

Tlaib has also already accused U.S. senators sponsoring a law against the BDS movement of looking out for the interests of Israel rather than those of America. Her comment is a bit ironic considering that she literally wore a Palestinian flag while pledging her own self to the Palestinian Arab cause when she was sworn into office.

Present at her swearing-in, incidentally, was Linda Sarsour, a sharia-promoting, Jew-hating Islamist radical who denies for Jews the self-determination she demands for the terrorist dictatorship of Mahmoud Abbas. Sarsour has asserted that there is “nothing creepier than Zionism,” called the Palestinian Authority’s tactic of deploying children to throw rocks at IDF soldiers in combat situations the “definition of courage,” and seeks a single Arab-dominated state on the ruins of Israel.

In April 2017, Sarsour shared a platform with Palestinian terrorist Rasmeh Odeh, convicted for the murder of two Israelis in a 1969 terror attack, saying she was “honored” to be on the same stage as her. She has also unhesitatingly endorsed the Nation of Islam – led by the anti-Semitic, black supremacist hate-monger Louis Farrakhan – as “integral” to American Muslim life and even addressed a Farrakhan rally.

Rep. Tlaib has displayed her extreme anti-Israel, anti-Jewish animus before. Her record on Israel includes the following:
  • In August last year, she told Haaretz, “It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work. I’m only 42-years old, but my teachers were of that generation that marched with Martin Luther King. This whole idea of a two-state solution – it doesn’t work.” In other words, there is no room for an independent Jewish state, only one dominated by Arabs. Martin Luther King, meanwhile, was a principled and unambiguous supporter of Zionism and Israel. For her to associate Dr. King’s name with her illiberal and vicious anti-Semitic political views is an utter disgrace.
  • In that same interview with Haaretz, Tlaib called Israel a “racist country” on the basis of the lie that Israel discriminates against those who are “darker skinned.” She has also stated that Israel does not observe human rights and does not deserve U.S. aid.
  • Tlaib is known to openly support the BDS movement, which is committed to the international ostracism and weakening of Israel with a view to its eventual elimination.
  • Rep. Tlaib identifies with Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, a hostile, anti-American regime that has named schools and streets after terrorists and has provided stipends to the families of deceased terrorists in proportion to the amount of Jewish blood they have shed.
PA-controlled media, mosques, schools, and camps are suffused with the glorification of terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder as children are educated to aspire to murdering Jews as a national and religious duty. PA terrorism, meanwhile, has claimed the lives of U.S. citizens.

None of this, however, appears to bother Rep. Tlaib.

The truth is, there were no grounds to hope that Rashida Tlaib would abandon her extremist, anti-Israel views or her desire to see the elimination of the independent Jewish state of Israel. Her record of support for it is clear and unambiguous. It is nonetheless striking, though, that we didn’t need to wait even a day before her horrible extremism was on display – literally – on her office wall.`


Morton A. Klein is the National President of the Zionist Organization of America.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/23341

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Iran reportedly behind latest escalation on Gaza border - Nikki Guttman, Lilach Shoval, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


by Nikki Guttman, Lilach Shoval, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Head of Iran's Quds Force wants to divert attention from his failures in Syria, Gaza news outlets report


Israeli tanks shelled Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing one Hamas terrorist after an IDF officer was shot and wounded by a Palestinian sniper near the border. Armed Palestinian factions in Gaza later convened "to discuss a proper response to the crimes of the Zionist occupier."

Later Tuesday, Israeli aircraft carried out multiple strikes on a Hamas military site in northern Gaza.

Reports that largely cited Hamas sources inside the coastal enclave, however, said the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, is behind the current efforts to escalate hostilities in Israel's south.

In all likelihood, it was also Soleimani who gave the "green light" to the Palestinian sniper who shot the IDF officer, who miraculously was only lightly wounded after the bullet hit his helmet.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad has orchestrated the provocations along the border in recent days and unlike Hamas, it is beholden first and foremost to its patrons in Iran. As a reminder, Soleimani's forces in Syria were dealt a resounding operational blow on Sunday by Israel, which destroyed numerous Iranian military targets in response to an Iranian missile fired at the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also canceled a Qatari donation of $15 million for the impoverished enclave that had been due on Wednesday as part of international efforts to head off an escalation. The prime minister made the decision after consulting with senior defense officials and convening an emergency meeting of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: "Israel is solely responsible for the latest escalation in Gaza. Israel continues to hurt our people and the brave resistance will not agree to a situation where Netanyahu uses elections for his personal interests and harms the Palestinian people in a premeditated manner."

Worried about a potential flare-up escalating into a full-on conflict, Egypt and the United Nations have sought to calm the situation in Gaza, while Qatar in November pledged $150 million in donations, to be transferred via Israel over six months, in the hope of easing economic pressure.

The Israeli official who announced the postponement did not say when the next $15 million payout might now take place. Netanyahu has previously stipulated that the cash injection was contingent upon calm along the Gaza border.

In a statement, the IDF said it "sees the Hamas terror organization as being solely responsible for what happens in and originates from Gaza. The IDF is prepared and willing to act against all acts of terror from Gaza and is determined to defend the citizens of the State of Israel."

'A disgrace to the residents of the south and the IDF'

Also on Tuesday, residents of southern Israel protested against the transfer of the Qatari funds to Hamas.

One protester, a member of Kibbutz Ruhama, said that transferring the third Qatari payout would be a slap in the face to the residents of the south and the IDF.

"When you see the deterrence in the north, it's hard to understand the weak policy in the south. The IDF is very capable of coping on all fronts, and here we have an evil organization whose might is equal to one one-hundredth of the might of the enemy in the north, so what's the problem with preventing Hamas terror?" he said. "Why surrender and give them $15 million when they use some of the money for terror in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria? It's absurd."


Nikki Guttman, Lilach Shoval, Daniel Siryoti, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/23/iran-reportedly-behind-latest-escalation-on-gaza-border/

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Turkey: The Price of Dissent - Uzay Bulut


by Uzay Bulut

Why do the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs stay silent?" — Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of the threatened OdaTV.

  • "This is how jihad is being taught at schools." — Title of the OdaTV article that sparked threat of massacre.
  • "We are a news website that draws attention to the new [Islamic] organizations whose members are being staffed in state institutions... We remind that illegal structures are once again being formed within the state... Why do the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs stay silent?" — Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of the threatened OdaTV.
  • "The point is not that these things are written in Islamic scripture, but that people still live by them." — Bruce Bawer, author.
  • Although OdaTV has not denounced or criticized Islam, it does oppose the indoctrination of school children with violent jihad. Apparently even this was sufficient cause for the Turkish mufti to threaten the outlet's journalists with death.

A mufti who works for Turkey's state religious authority, the Diyanet, recently insinuated that a massacre of the employees of the opposition news site OdaTV would be justified. Pictured: Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of OdaTV. (Image source: Jimkuras/Wikimedia Commons)

A mufti who works for Turkey's state religious authority, the Diyanet, recently insinuated that a massacre of the employees of the opposition news site OdaTV -- along the lines of the 2015 slaughter of the staff of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo -- would be justified.

Ahmet Altıok, mufti of the Siirt Province, made this veiled threat of mass murder in an interview with the İLKHA news agency. ILKHA has ties to Turkey's Hizbullah ("party of Allah" in Arabic; not connected to Hezbollah in Lebanon), a Sunni terrorist organization responsible for many horrific murders in the country.

In his interview, Altıok said, in part:
"Be it Charlie Hebdo or Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf [an ancient Jewish poet assassinated for criticizing Mohammed] ... people who continually ridiculed, mocked and insulted Muslims... will be once again convicted in the society's conscience. I call on these gentlemen to apologize. For you know repentance before death is accepted."
According to Barış Pehlivan, the editor-in-chief of OdaTV, Altıok's warning was sparked by an article on the OdaTV website entitled "This is how jihad is being taught at schools." Pehlivan said, however, that the article was "just an excuse":
"We are a news website that draws attention to the new [Islamic] organizations whose members are being staffed in state institutions... We remind that illegal structures are once again being formed within the state... But how come a mufti whose salary is paid by the state brings up the Charlie Hebdo massacre and targets odaTV?
"The situation includes both terrorist propaganda and a call for a massacre. Why do the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs stay silent?"
The answer lies, perhaps, in that since the 7th century, the brutal slaying of anyone publicly critical of Mohammed has been widespread throughout the Muslim world -- a practice that persists: the violent silencing of critics is sanctioned by Islamic scriptures. According to the Quran and the recorded sayings (hadith) and biographies (sira) of Islam's founder, "To leave Islam, to insult Muhammad or Allah, to deny the existence of Allah, to be sarcastic about Allah's name, to deny any verse of the Quran" or to commit other acts of blasphemy are all punishable by death. Such teachings have not only have become embedded in the culture of many Muslim communities, there are increasing attempts to export them to the West. The latest instance is the capitulation to Islam's blasphemy laws by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, in upholding a conviction against an Austrian woman, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, for having correctly noted to a small private group that Mohammad married Aisha when she was six years old (Sahih-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Nos. 234–236), although waited until she was 9 years old to consummate the marriage.

As the author Bruce Bawer has noted, "The point is not that these things are written in Islamic scripture, but that people still live by them."

Take the recent case of an 18-year-old Saudi woman, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who fled her home country and barricaded herself inside an airport hotel room in Thailand to avoid being deported. She declared that she had renounced Islam and is fearful of her father's retaliation. "They will kill me," she said.

As the website The Religion of Peace puts it:
"While the rest of the world generally believes that if God wanted people dead over their religious beliefs then he would do the job himself, apostasy is taken so seriously by Muslims that it spawned the first of many serious internal wars.
"In 1400 years, there has never been a system of Islamic law that did not prescribe the death penalty for Muslims choosing to leave Islam. Even in modern, ostensibly secular Islamic countries with constitutions 'guaranteeing' freedom of religion, there is de facto enforcement of this law with intimidation and the vigilante murder of apostates.
"A sound philosophy never requires violence or threats to retain believers."
Many Muslim dissidents, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims who have engaged in disagreement have paid with their lives. Although OdaTV has not denounced or criticized Islam, it does oppose the indoctrination of school children with violent jihad. Apparently even this was sufficient cause for the Turkish mufti to threaten the outlet's journalists with death.

Is this what is coming to the West?

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute. She is currently based in Washington D.C. NOTE: Full disclosure: odaTV has also targeted dissident Turkish journalists, including the present author.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13546/turkey-dissent

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Why Hasn't Syria Used the S-300? Seth Frantzman


by Seth Frantzman

The continuing quiet among the S-300 gunners is a perplexing mystery that underpins the shadowy and deadly conflict unfolding in Syria's skies.



The self-launching component of the S300 surface-to-air missile.

Russian and Syrian media emphasized that Syrian air defense "repelled" the attack by Israel on Sunday. According to a spokesman for Russia's national defense management center, the Syrians used the Pantsir and Buk air defense systems. Israel struck at a Pantsir defense system in retaliation on Monday. But why wasn't the S-300, which Russia supplied to Syria in September, used by Damascus?

The continuing quiet among the S-300 gunners is a perplexing mystery that underpins the shadowy and deadly conflict unfolding in Syria's skies. In late September, Russia announced it would give the Syrian regime the S-300 system in the wake of Syrian air defenses mistakenly shooting down a Russian Il-20. The Syrians had used an S-200 to hit the Russian plane, mistaking it for an Israeli warplane during an Israeli raid in Latakia.

On October 2, Russia announced they had completed the delivery of the S-300. 49 units of "equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers," were sent, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

New electronic warfare systems were also sent to Syria, including systems designed to control a "near zone" 50 km. from the system and a far zone "200 km." away that would guard against Israeli attacks, according to a report at Janes.

Since the deployment of the S-300, there was a hiatus in attacks between October and late December. However, Syrian air defense was on alert, saying that its radars were jammed on November 30. This has led to speculation that Syrian air defense was tested several times between October and December.

An air strike on December 25 and then on January 12 were reported by Syrian media. Syria says it was able to shoot down Israeli missiles on January 12. Yet the three batteries of S-300s have apparently remained dormant. Part of the story with the S-300 can be realized from Russian media reports, which have emphasized that the system was not used or have pointed to other, older systems being used.

Is this because the Syrians are not trained on the system? All three battalions of S-300 PMU-2 systems were active by early November, Syrian media indicated. "Russian technical specialists completed the reconfiguration of the system to replace the Russian codes and letter frequencies to the letter codes and radars of Syrian ones," a report noted.

OBSERVERS OF Syria note that the issue is not that the S-300 is ineffective. One expert who tweets under the name Tom Cat (@TomTheBasedCat) notes "the priority [of Syrian air defense] is to intercept the majority of the projectiles to minimize risk to civilians in the surrounding suburbs." In this analysis, Syria's goal isn't to use air defense to strike at Israeli jets.


However, in the past Syrian air defense projectiles have strayed toward Israel. In March 2017 an S-200 reportedly was fired and intercepted over the Jordan valley by an Arrow missile. An F-16 returning from an air strike was pursued by an S-200 missile in February and crashed in northern Israel. A Syrian missile heading for Israel was targeted by Israeli air defense on December 26.
With the S-300 now in Syria, the question is why it hasn't been used. Tom Cat argues that "the S-300 is for Theater Defense against air-breathing targets like ballistic missiles and enemy planes, not for Point Defense like tonight [January 11] and the previous times." In this analysis Syrian air defense doesn't use the S-300 because it's not the right system to stop the kind of threat involved. "The game will change when the S-300 is moved southwards because then they can actually track and target the jets," the expert tweeted on January 13.

Others have speculated that the S-300 operators are not fully trained and that they will be ready by February of this year. This joins accusations online that the S-300 has not been effective or that it hasn't been used because of fears that if it doesn't work as planned then it will be an embarrassment for the Syrian regime and its Russian ally which has staked some of its pride on providing the system to help deter air strikes.

Another important aspect of the S-300 discussion is the public relations value of having the system work and also deterring air strikes.

AFTER THE December air strike, there was an apparent hiatus in such strikes. But then Israel took credit for the January 12 and January 20-21 air strikes. Former IDF chief of staff Gadi EIsenkot even said in an interview that "thousands of targets" had been hit and "in 2018 alone, the air force dropped a staggering 2,000 bombs" on Syria, according to The New York Times. This appears to raise serious concerns about Syrian air defense and its inability to deter the strikes, interdict them or use its more sophisticated new technology.

Syrian state media repeats claims again and again that it has intercepted Israel's missiles. Russian media plays this up as well, with TASS claiming on January 20 that seven Israeli guided aircraft missiles were intercepted. The point here is to show that the Buk and Pantsir systems are doing their job, and the Pantsir S-1 is providing the point air defense it was designed for.

Nevertheless, the question mark about the S-300 remains. When it was deployed it was portrayed as a game changer. But Reuters had reported in 2015 and again in October 2018 that Israel had trained against the S-300 system in Greece.

Regional countries are watching, as well as world powers, because the Syrian conflict is not just a conflict but a test of two different defense and combat systems, one in Israel that is linked to Israel's advanced technology and defense industry and the West, and one supplied by Russia. Echoes of the Cold War – when Western-supplied technology rolled into battle with Israeli forces against the Syrian army in 1967, 1973 and 1982 – overshadow what comes next.


Seth Frantzman is The Jerusalem Post's op-ed editor, a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a founder of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

Source: https://www.meforum.org/57640/hasnt-syria-used-s-300?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum

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Pompeo and Regime Change in Tehran - Michael Ledeen


by Michael Ledeen

Are we going revolutionary again?




Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently made an astonishing statement to a small group of journalists, in which he appeared to call for revolution in Iran, and pledge American support for it.  Adam Kredo reported it:
Pompeo, speaking to reporters in Riyadh, said that the Trump administration's primary goal is to empower the Iranian people to rein in the ruling regime, which has spent a fortune on foreign wars and terror operations as its own people suffer from a collapsing economy.
While the administration has been careful to avoid characterizing its policy as regime change, it has become clear that it does supports efforts by the Iranian people to end Tehran's expansionist march across the region, particularly in Syria and Yemen. The administration also has stated that it opposes the hardline regime and would offer its support to opposition elements in the country.
"Our effort is to make sure that the Iranian people get control of their capital, and it becomes a nation that is normal and is not conducting terror campaigns that are unrivaled any place else in the world, Pompeo said.
It may well be that the Trump Administration has always maintained it would support opposition elements in Iran, but although I have long favored such support for revolution against the regime, I haven’t seen much evidence of it.  Although the president, the vice president, the national security adviser and the secretary of state have been unstinting in their criticism of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his henchmen, it has been difficult to spot concrete signs of their support for regime opponents, or for what would constitute a revolutionary change in Tehran.

Indeed, it’s difficult to find a single public statement from any top American policy-maker before Pompeo’s remarks in Cairo calling for an Iranian revolution against the theocratic dictatorship.  Yes, there have been sanctions, which I support, and several speeches condemning the regime’s support for mass murder in Syria by the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, and the ongoing oppression of Iranians, but nothing like a call for the Iranian people to “get control of their capital” and turns into a “normal nation.”

Has there been a change in policy?  I have spoken with journalists who have asked this question at both State and the national security council, and they have not been told “yes.”  There has not been any public repetition of Pompeo’s revolutionary words, nor has the president said anything of the sort.  Nor, for that matter, have leaders of the Iranian opposition referred to Secretary Pompeo’s statement. 

What’s going on?

I don’t think Pompeo misspoke.  He’s very close to the president, and takes care to reflect Trump’s thinking and impulses.  Ergo, I believe his remarks reflect conversations with the president.  It doesn’t surprise me that administration officials don’t confirm the policy;  they were not privy to the conversations between the president and the secretary of state, and most of the foreign service officers and NSC “experts” want a new deal with Iran, not a change in regime.  Unless there were explicit (written) instructions to support an Iranian revolution, the professionals would not endorse it.
If we are going to support the Iranian revolution, it will become clear enough in the near future.  Meanwhile, we will continue to pressure our allies to refrain from supporting the mullahs.  This seems to be working, as Reuters just reported that the Iranians stormed out of a meeting with European diplomats, who have invariably been fastidiously accommodating in such sessions.  This time, however, the Iranians were irked (and note that this was in Tehran). 
The French, British, German, Danish, Dutch, and Belgian diplomats in the Iranian foreign ministry room had incensed the officials with a message that Europe could no longer tolerate ballistic missile tests in Iran and assassination plots on European soil, according to four EU diplomats.
This is a real change.  Reuters calls it “an extraordinary break with protocol, and I’m sure Pompeo and Trump were plenty pleased.

It is conceivable that the Europeans’ newly-found toughness is related to Pompeo’s revelation that the United States will be working with Iranian dissidents.  Some of them are old enough to remember that support for Soviet dissidents led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire, which was a much more challenging enemy than the Tehran mullahcracy is today. Pompeo has been doing a lot of meeting and talking of late, and he might have told the EU diplomats the same thing he told the American reporters.  Or Trump may have told them, and urged them to join in the effort.

One thing is certain:  when America moves, the world changes. as Gorbachev discovered to his chagrin.  Just as Obama’s support for the Islamic Republic strengthened it in the region, support for its internal enemies would likewise change the balance of power in the Middle East and north Africa.

In fact, it would change the whole world.  I hope it’s real.


Michael Ledeen

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272620/pompeo-and-regime-change-tehran-michael-ledeen

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Is Traditional Masculinity Harmful? - Lloyd Billingsley


by Lloyd Billingsley

The latest junk-thought from the American Psychological Association.





Gillette’s We Believe: The Best Men Can Be is essentially a video version of the recent American Psychological Association statement that “traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.” And the APA gives the impression that traditional masculinity by men of no color is an especially pressing concern.

This view, the APA explains, is the result of 40 years of research, launched by emeritus psychology professor Ronald F. Levant EdD, co-editor of the APA’s The Psychology of Men and Masculinities, and a former APA president. “Though men benefit from patriarchy,” Levant notes, “they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.”

Dr. Levant, meet Joachim Ronneberg, a Norwegian resistance fighter who died last October at the age of 99. This man was only 21 in 1940, when the forces of National Socialist Germany invaded Norway. Ronnenberg and eight friends could have passively submitted to Nazi rule but they escaped to Scotland, where they could have remained in safety. Instead they opted to return, with good reason.

At the Norsk hydro facility at Rjukan, Telemark, the Nazis were producing deuterium oxide – heavy water – a component of their plan to build a nuclear bomb. Ronnenberg and five other commandos – all men and all of pale complexion – parachuted onto a plateau, and skied across country. Then they accessed a railway line, rode into the plant and planted explosives.

After blowing up the plant, the five fled on skis 200 miles into Sweden, chased by 3,000 Nazi soldiers. Ronnenberg, who never expected to survive the mission, called it “the best skiing weekend I ever had.” He never bragged about his role in blocking Hitler from getting nuclear weapons but during the 1970s he said “Those growing up today need to understand that we must always be ready to fight for peace and freedom.”

There’s that dangerous aggressive masculinity the APA’s erudite Dr. Levant warns about. It was also on display in Canada’s Eighth Reconnaissance Regiment, Second Infantry Division, all men, all persons of no color, and the vast majority of English descent. On April 12, 1945, these men liberated the Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands, saving 876 prisoners from being shipped to certain death at Auschwitz.

“When I saw the tanks come through and they threw candy and chocolates at us, it was great,” a former prisoner named Fried told the Canadian commander Gen. Eric Tremblay. “I think that’s what inspired me to become a soldier. Here I am, sir, and I’d like to thank you and the Canadian forces for liberating us.” More dangerous traditional masculinity at work, as with the men who stormed the beaches and parachuted into Nazi-occupied France to supply the Maquis, the real resistance fighters.

Anybody could see traditional masculinity at work in people like Charles “the Hammer” Martel, who smacked down Abd al-Rahman and his jihadist Muslim invaders at Tours in 732. Jump ahead to a French train in 2015, when Islamic terrorist Ayoub El Khazzani aimed to gun down civilians. Unarmed American passengers Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos could have run away but the three men charged, disarmed and subdued the terrorist, preventing a certain massacre.

Those saved from death by brave men might find strange the notion that traditional masculinity is harmful, much less some form of mental illness. After all, this is what you would expect from a discipline based on the fantasies of a Viennese cocaine-head. For all but the willfully blind, the APA charge is pseudo-academic nonsense. It is as though the American Medical Association declaimed against the male right arm, capable of inflicting violence. On the other hand, this sub-junkthought masquerades as “social science,” so it would be foolish to ignore it.

Recall that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a one-party Communist dictatorship, considered dissidents to be mentally ill and tossed them into insane asylums. In similar style, when some American professional association targets you as toxic for something you can’t control – age, gender and skin color – it pays to watch your back..

Politicians, policy makers and the public at large need pay no heed to the American Psychological Association, any more than some American Phrenology Association or American Lysenko Association. The Counterrevolution of Science, by Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek provides some helpful background, and with “democratic socialism” all the rage with Democrats, Hayek’s  The Road to Serfdom could also use some attention.

As Mark Twain reportedly said, the man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. But there goes that traditional masculinity again. Meanwhile, if any male told Dr. Levant to stick his theory where no light shines, it would be hard to blame him.


Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272640/traditional-masculinity-harmful-lloyd-billingsley

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Demonizing Catholic Schoolboys - Jim Daws


by Jim Daws

The Lincoln Memorial incident marks a new departure in the left's war against the normal.

In the Lincoln Memorial incident, the Resistance media’s agenda-driven reporting and disregard for the truth reached a new low with the Lincoln Memorial incident. A group of Catholic high school boys were waiting for their bus after attending the annual March for Life when they were set upon by two groups of leftist agitators, who insulted them with vicious and racist slurs. The kids responded with good-natured school-spirit chants, attempting to drown out the belligerent taunts. They didn’t respond with insults or any physical aggression of their own, which would have been easy to do, since the kids outnumbered their adult tormentors 10 to 1. Guess whose side the media took?

A hateful black supremacist group called the Black Hebrew Israelites spat at the boys and called them “crackers”, “faggots” and “a bunch of incest babies”. To a black student they yelled that his white classmates would “harvest his organs”. For over an hour, they shouted racist slurs against students.

A group of American Indian protesters then waded into the student’s group and began accusing teens of stealing their land, demanding they return to Europe. One of the Indians, 64-year-old Nathan Phillips, walked up to a sophomore named Nick Sandmann and began chanting and aggressively beating a drum inches from the boy’s face. Sandmann remained still and calm while smiling at Phillips. Other boys watching smiled, laughed, and chanted along with the old man. A couple kids started to do the tomahawk chop, but quickly abandoned it. 


When a short clip of Phillip’s taunting of Sandmann went viral, the leftist media pounced. They accused Sandmann of being the aggressor and of being disrespectful of the “tribal elder” who was banging a drum in his face. They reported that the other students had surrounded Phillips and mocked and ridiculed him. Phillips, a professional protester with a history of making disputed racial accusations, then lied to the media: “There was a moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey. These young men were beastly, and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that”.

 
The mainstream media spent the next two news cycles demonizing the Catholic schoolboys. They called the teens hateful racists and demanded that their school punish them with expulsion. From CNN, Ana Navarro called the boys’ parents “asswipes” for teaching them “bigotry and racism” and Bakari Sellers suggested that Sandmann deserved to be punched in the face. Other reporters accused the kids of being Nazis and white nationalists. None of the accusers bothered to gather any facts first.


Afraid they may miss the virtue signaling bandwagon, many John McCain-type conservative pundits leaped to join the smear campaign. National Review’s Nicholas Frankovich, Ben Shapiro, S.E. Cupp, Bill Kristol, and McCain’s daughter Meghan were among those quick to believe the worst of the pro-life, conservative teens and excoriate them. Frankovich accused them of “spitting on the cross”. If ever conservatives needed an event to smoke out the true nature of fake commentators on the right, this was it.


Hollywood “celebrities” quickly joined in the hate fest and began identifying the students and calling for violence against them. Disney producer Jack Morrissey called for them “...to go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper” with a grisly graphic depiction. Kathy Griffin urged her 2 million followers to identify the kids by name. After calling for them to be shot, a Los Angeles DJ called Uncle Shoes tweeted at his 40-thousand followers demanding, “LOCK THE KIDS IN THE SCHOOL AND BURN THAT BITCH TO THE GROUND”.


Thousands of vile, racist threats and doxing piled up against the kids on social media. Twitter, which regularly bans conservatives for speaking rudely, refused to suspend the blue-check-marked terrorists, explaining that the threats of violence and mass murder did not violate their terms of service.


If the kids thought that maybe their church or school would defend them, or at least learn the facts before throwing them to the mob, they had another thing coming. Before gathering any evidence independently, the students’ own Archdiocese in Cincinnati condemned the students and apologized to Phillips and Native Americans everywhere. Their parochial school’s headmaster promised an investigation followed by expulsions. Having earned a well-deserved reputation for abusing children, the church stayed true to form.


Since the original libels were published, hours of video were posted proving that the Covington Catholic high kids were minding their own business and blameless in the incident. Many of the media outlets and “celebrities” rushed to scrub their websites and social media platforms of the incriminating evidence. Though some gave qualified apologies to the boys, most just deleted their slanders and moved on. But there are still plenty of false stories posted which will follow the doxed kids throughout their college and careers. The most common equivocation was that ‘the situation was more complex than originally reported’ or some variant. The situation wasn’t complex at all -- at least not to anyone not harboring extreme anti-white, anti-religious biases.


Parents are now considering lawsuits and conservative lawyers have offered to take their cases pro bono. They have an especially strong case since the victims are minors and not public figures. The media’s behavior was outrageous and violated every profession standard, which could lead to huge verdicts. After enforcing standards for content against conservatives and then allowing terroristic threats from the leftists to go without consequence, Twitter could be especially vulnerable. It would be especially gratifying to see some of the unhinged “celebrities” lose their mansions and apply for food stamps.


During the midterm elections, many white suburban women (soccer moms) moved toward the leftist-controlled Democrats. About half of Catholics still vote Democrat. One wonders what they are thinking and if this episode will lift the veil from their eyes.
 


Jim Daws hosts Right Now with Jim Daws, a webcast on news, politics and culture from and American nationalist perspective https://twitter.com/RightNowJimDaws

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/01/demonizing_catholic_schoolboys.html

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Palestinians: The 'Political Detainees' No One Talks About - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

What is happening in the PA-controlled territories and prisons in the West Bank is a tiny taste of what life for the Palestinians would be like under a totalitarian regime that does not tolerate any form of criticism.

  • Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of "political detainees" who are being held in Palestinian Authority (PA) prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank. According to some human rights organizations, the Palestinians held in PA prisons are often subjected to various forms of torture.
  • In a letter to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a number of Palestinian human rights organizations recently demanded that the international agency speak out against the politically motivated arrests by the PA in the West Bank. It is highly unlikely, however, that the human rights organizations will receive any reply from the UN, whose various agencies continue to be obsessed only with Israel.
  • The UN does not seem to care about human rights violations committed by the PA against its own people. These are the type of stories that evidently do not interest either the UN or the international media because they lack an anti-Israel angle. The only "abuses" they see are those that can be blamed on Israel.
  • What is happening in the PA-controlled territories and prisons in the West Bank is a tiny taste of what life for the Palestinians would be like under a totalitarian regime that does not tolerate any form of criticism. In both the PA-controlled territories and Gaza, Palestinians must resort to the desperate measure of closing their mouths to food because they cannot open their mouths to demand decent treatment.
The Rome-based International Federation for Rights and Development last week condemned the Palestinian Authority for its crackdown on political opponents and said the detainees were being subjected to systematic physical and psychological torture in Palestinian prisons. (Image source: iStock. Image is illustrative and does not represent any person in the article.)

The mother and wife of a Palestinian man being held without trial in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison in the West Bank have gone on hunger strike as part of a campaign to secure his release. Four days after they began their hunger strike, the two women were rushed to hospital for medical treatment. The women say they will not end their hunger strike unless the PA releases Abdel Rahman Shaheen, who was detained in early January.

The mother of another Palestinian being held in PA prison, Murad Fattash, has also gone on a hunger strike to protest the continued incarceration of her son, who was also detained by the PA in early January.

Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of "political detainees" who are being held in PA prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank.

Most of the detainees were taken into custody for criticizing the PA and its leaders and policies. They include engineers, lawyers, university lecturers and students, journalists and political activists affiliated with opposition groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PLO's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

According to some human rights organizations, the Palestinians held in PA prisons are often subjected to various forms of torture.

In a letter to Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a number of Palestinian human rights organizations recently demanded that the international agency speak out against the politically motivated arrests by the PA in the West Bank.

"We wish to express our deep concern and condemnation over the increased arrest campaigns carried out by the PA security forces against residents because of their opinions and political affiliations," the organizations said in their letter. They also expressed deep concern over the "systematic torture" of Palestinians in PA prisons.

It is highly unlikely, however, that the human rights organizations will receive any reply from the UN, whose various agencies continue to be obsessed only with Israel.

Take, for example, the UN Human Rights Council, which in the last 12 years passed 76 (out of 311) resolutions dealing with Israel. Only 27 resolutions dealt with Syria, 20 with Myanmar, and 18 with Sudan. Other countries received even less attention. Iran, for example, has only been censured eight times.

The UN does not seem to care about human rights violations committed by the PA against its own people. These are the type of stories that evidently do not interest the UN or the international media because they lack an anti-Israel angle. The only "abuses" they see are those that can be blamed on Israel.

Palestinian sources said that at least 94 Palestinians were arrested or "kidnapped" by the PA in recent weeks. Their "crime": Expressing views that are critical of the PA or being affiliated with Palestinian opposition groups. The voices of the women who are on a hunger strike will never reach the UN or any of its human rights agencies.

The Rome-based International Federation for Rights and Development (IFRD) last week condemned the PA for its crackdown on political opponents and said the detainees were being subjected to systematic physical and psychological torture in Palestinian prisons.

The IFRD said it has received testimony from the father of Bader Takatka, a university student from the West Bank city of Tulkarem who was detained by the PA security forces earlier this month. According to the father, his son has been accused of "fomenting internal strife" among Palestinians -- a euphemism used against Palestinians who criticize the PA or its leaders. The father said that he has since been prevented from visiting his son in prison.

The IFRD quoted a lawyer for two other "political detainees," Qutaiba Azem and Muntaser al-Nashar, as saying that the two men have also been subjected to physical torture in Palestinian prison. They too are accused of "fomenting internal strife" among Palestinians, according to the organization. Last week, the PA security forces arrested a journalist , Yusef al-Faqeeh, of Hebron, on the same charge.

"Practices of torture against political detainees are tantamount to crimes against humanity that could be brought before the International Criminal Court," the IFRD warned. "Arbitrary arrests and systematic torture by the Palestinian Authority's security forces are in violation of the most important international human rights conventions, which the Palestinians recently joined as members."

Some of these detainees have also gone on a hunger strike to protest their incarceration without trial. Mujahed Ashour, a student at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, has been on a hunger strike for the past two weeks. He is being held without trial in the Palestinians' notorious Jericho Prison.

The families of the detainees have formed a special committee to follow up on the cases of their sons. Later this week, the committee is planning to hold a sit-in strike in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah to demand the release of their sons. As in the past, the activities of this committee are unlikely to gain the attention of the international community because the detainees are not being held by Israel, but by Mahmoud Abbas's PA security forces.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah can sit pretty, all the same, despite their continued assault on public freedoms. The mainstream media in the West has shown itself to be wholly indifferent to the torture taking place inside Palestinian prisons. Revealingly, however, the daily complaints made by Abbas and his staff about the conditions of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons for security-related offenses do seem to garner the attention of the international community and media.

The PA's crackdown on public freedoms in the West Bank is a generous gift to Hamas and other Palestinian extremist groups. They are using it to discredit Abbas and depict him as a traitor and dictator. The growing discontent among Palestinians toward these human rights violations plays into the hands of Abbas's rivals in Hamas. Abbas recently stated that he hopes to hold a free and democratic election within the next six months. It is difficult to picture such an election, nevertheless, with Abbas throwing his political opponents into prison and subjecting them to various forms of torture.

What is happening in the PA-controlled territories and prisons in the West Bank is a tiny taste of what life for the Palestinians would be like under a totalitarian regime that does not tolerate any form of criticism. Of course, the situation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip is no better. In both the PA-controlled territories and Gaza, Palestinians must resort to the desperate measure of closing their mouths to food because they cannot open their mouths to demand decent treatment.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

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UN peacekeepers in Lebanon barred from Hezbollah tunnels - AP and Israel Hayom Staff


by AP and Israel Hayom Staff

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon complained to the council that "the Lebanese army has taken no action in response, allowing Hezbollah to continue building these tunnels undisturbed."

The United Nations' envoy to the Mideast said Tuesday that peacekeepers in Lebanon have not been given access to tunnels stretching into Israel, which U.N. officials say violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

Nikolay Mladenov told the Security Council that the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as UNIFIL has confirmed that two tunnels crossed the U.N.-drawn Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel, but "has not been granted access to the confirmed entry points of a tunnel near Kfar Kila on the Lebanese side."

He did not say whether Lebanon's government or the Hezbollah terrorist group was blocking access for UNIFIL, but U.S. Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen blamed the government.

Cohen accused Hezbollah, an Iranian ally, of threatening international peace and security with the extensive tunneling exposed by Israel, which has reported uncovering six tunnels into its territory.
"We commend UNIFIL's work to keep the Blue Line under control, but it is unacceptable that the Lebanese government has not yet given UNIFIL access to the tunnel entrance on their side of the Blue Line," Cohen told the council.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon complained to the council that "the Lebanese army has taken no action in response, allowing Hezbollah to continue building these tunnels undisturbed."

Danon alleged that Iran funnels $7 billion to terrorist groups across the region, including $1 billion to Hezbollah, which he said has "grand plans to take over the Israeli Galilee" and invests millions in every tunnel. He provided no information on how Israel calculated its estimate of Iranian spending, which also included $4 billion to the Syrian government, "hundreds of millions" to Iran's proxies in Iraq, tens of millions to Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen, $70 million to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and $50 million to Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Mladenov noted that Lebanon has been without a government for over eight months and called on all parties to resolve their differences so the country "can address the main pressing challenges it faces, including that of a struggling economy."

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mladenov said that "we should have no illusions about the dangerous dynamics ... which continue to unfold before our eyes" and have eroded "the possibility of establishing a viable, contiguous Palestinian state."

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador, told the council that last year "Israel's illegal occupation became more entrenched, more brutal and extreme" with the political process "deadlocked."

"Day by day, the occupation is destroying the two-state solution and sowing deep despair among our people," he said.

But despite "the dismal situation," Mansour said, Palestinians "remain committed to non-violence, dialogue and the objectives of peace," as well as negotiations on a two-state solution. He urged regional and international efforts "to help overcome the impasse and contribute to the realization of a just solution as a matter of urgency."


AP and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/23/un-peacekeepers-in-lebanon-barred-from-hezbollah-tunnels/

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