Friday, May 22, 2020

The Truth about Muslims' 'Jerusalem Day' and the Al Aqsa Mosque - Hesham Shehab


by Hesham Shehab

Myths are hard to dispel, whether in Islam or other religions.


This Friday (May 22, 2020), Arabs and Muslims celebrate International Jerusalem Day. Since it will undoubtedly include anti-Israeli demonstrations and religious-political propaganda, it is important to dispel some myths about the Al Aqsa Mosque's history.

The Umayyad Dynasty, based in Damascus, built Al Aqsa in the 8th century in order to divert Muslims from pilgrimage to Mecca. Later, in the 20th century, Jerusalem was elevated, in the Islamic communal imagination, to sanctify the Palestinian Question after the Arab defeats in the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars. This tactic turned the Palestinian-Israel political conflict into a religious crusade that made it a sacred duty for the whole Muslim Umma to engage in.

When the Umayyad caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan came to power in 685 A.D., his authority was challenged by the so-called anti-caliph, Abdullah bin Al Zubair, who had led a rebellion against the Umayyads and ruled Hijaz and parts of Iraq and Egypt for a decade, with Mecca as his seat of power. Some Muslims who went to Mecca for pilgrimage pledged allegiance to the anti-caliph.

Renowned for their shrewdness and pragmatism, the Umayyads had to do something innovative in order to undermine the anti-caliph's legitimacy and power. They built a magnificent mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Al Aqsa Mosque, and invoked a verse from the Quran that talks about Muhammad's miraculous night journey from Mecca to "the farthest mosque" (in Arabic, al Masjid al Aqsa) "revealed" to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, more than half a century before Aqsa was built.

Some scholars believe that al Masjid al Aqsa was a mosque in Jirana, northeast of Mecca in Arabia, not the Holy Land. In particular, al-Waqidi located Aqsa in Jirana. That debate about the location is beyond this short article.

In any case, mainstream Islamic scholars believe that, according to the Quran, the first direction of ritual Islamic prayers (Salat) was Jerusalem. But since those verses were supposed to have been revealed to Muhammad around fifty years before the construction of Al Aqsa, this common interpretation raises more problems than solutions and poses the question: was Muhammad a Jew praying toward the Temple Mount, or was he imitating the Jews in Medina?

The Umayyads might have had a hadith narrator at their disposal who legitimized the Umayyad's innovations with a fabricated Muhammad's prophetic statement.

It is curious that the narrator of the famous hadith that sanctified al Aqsa, Ibn Shihab Al Zuhri, served in the Umayyad court:
Do not undertake journey but to three mosques: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis [classical Arabic for Jerusalem]).
Indeed, the Umayyads were able to create an alternative for their followers who desired a shrine, as a place of pilgrimage, until the anti-caliph was defeated, beheaded, and crucified in Mecca in 692 A.D.

However, the Umayyads maintained Damascus as their seat of power (and never moved their capital to Jerusalem) until their demise in 750 A.D., when the Abbasids took over the leadership of the Islamic world and established Baghdad as their capital.

Myths are hard to dispel, whether in Islam or other religions. Al Aqsa Mosque lingered as a place of religious Islamic significance but not political importance. The coastal ports of Ottoman times and British mandated Palestine, in particular Haifa, had been more important in commerce and politics than Jerusalem. Even Israeli Arab academic Raef Zreik, an activist who works to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish State, called Haifa "the heart" of mandated Palestine.

In 1948, the Arab League rejected the United Nations resolution that decreed the foundation of Israel and five Arab armies attacked the nascent, Jewish State. The Arabs were served a shocking, humiliating defeat. But Jordan captured East Jerusalem and annexed the West Bank. From 1948 until 1967, the Jordanian government "took actions to accentuate the spiritual Islamic status of Jerusalem," according to Ghada Hashem Talhami, a Palestinian-American academic.

Indeed, Arab leaders have resorted to Islamic religion in times of turmoil and defeat. In 1967, after the Israeli forces crushed the Arab defenses in the Six-Day War, many Arabs were disillusioned with the Pan-Arab nationalism that late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had peddled, and resorted to Islamic religion. Later, Nasser himself, a secularist, called for a role for Islam in the lives of Egyptians, before his death in 1970.

Also, late Egyptian president Muhammad Anwar Al Sadat, who succeeded Nasser and worked toward a military build-up against Israel, called himself the Believer President. Sadat encouraged an Islamic revival by releasing the Muslim Brotherhood members who had been jailed during Nasser's rule and enlisted their help against Leftist parties. Ironically, Sadat was assassinated by a radical group that was an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

Later, deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, a Baathist socialist, would use the same Islamic tactics to garner support for his failing regime. Saddam added the words "Allah Akbar" (God is Greater) on the Iraqi flag during the Gulf War, and started promoting propaganda showing him performing Salat (prayers).

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas (founded in 1987), might exemplify the worst of that tactic. By using Islamic religious rhetoric, focusing on liberating Jerusalem, because it is the third holiest place in Islam, Hamas's ideology shifted the Palestinian struggle from the realm of nationalism to that of a jihad, holy war, against the Jewish State. In that context, any road map for peace, like land for peace, would be either rejected as being an abdication of the Muslims' duty towards bringing back Jerusalem to the fold of Islam or disingenuously accepted merely as a tactical ploy and a step toward a further plan for the annihilation of Israel.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, which initiated International Jerusalem Day on the last Friday of Ramadan, has been jockeying for the leadership of the Islamic World against Saudi Arabia since 1979. Since its inception, this Iranian Islamic regime has been using Islamic symbols for political gain while also wantonly supporting many Islamist terrorist groups.

Clearly, Jerusalem Day is merely a ploy in the hands of those who preach extreme violence, religious fanaticism, and spiteful anti-Semitic hatred and promote a culture of death.

No doubt, there are grievances in the Islamic world that may cause the victimhood and the defeatism mentalities that make a celebration of Jerusalem Day and blaming Israel for all the maladies of the Middle East attractive to the masses. Most Muslims languish in poverty and are suffering under autocratic governments and see no light at the end of the tunnel. Such circumstances further fatalism and belief in conspiracy theories.

There is likely no solution for how the emotional Muslim masses are exploited, through the manipulation of religious Islamic symbols, unless church and state are separated in Islam and leading Muslim institutions embrace equality, freedom of faith, and religious pluralism. Islamic societies should take responsibility for and ownership of the Arab defeats and backwardness in modern Islamic history, instead of promoting conspiracy theories, as well as hurling anti-Semitic and Western tropes, in order to justify political stagnation and impotence. Otherwise, as the Arabic proverb says, "it is pointless to treat partial paralysis."


Hesham Shehab

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/the_truth_about_muslims_jerusalem_day_and_the_al_aqsa_mosque.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



The Holy Six Day War - Tzvi Fishman


by Tzvi Fishman

Nasser’s promises to drive Jewish State into sea unnerved country. Syria and Jordan were mobilized to join Egypt in devastating attack.


Six Day War Paratroopers at the Wall
Six Day War Paratroopers at the Wall
David Rubinger

During the annual Yom HaAzmaut celebration at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem, some three weeks before the Six Day War, the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, gave a powerful and prophetic speech to the students and gathered guests, describing his initial anguished reaction when he had heard the news, some twenty years previously, that the United Nations had voted to partition the Land of Israel in approving the creation of a truncating Jewish State. While joyous Israelis danced outside on the streets, he sat at home, stunned by the announcement that the Inheritance of Hashem and Jerusalem had been cut into pieces and divided. Raising his voice, he shouted, “THEY DIVIDED OUR LAND!” Everyone in the hall was silent. “AND WHERE IS OUR HEVRON? AND OUR SHECHEM? WHERE IS EVERY METER OF THE LAND WHICH HASHEM BEQUEATHED TO US ALONE?! HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT ALL OF THE LAND IS OURS?!”

One of the yeshiva’s students, that late HaRav Yehuda Hazani wrote down his teacher’s words. “Yehuda had a phenomenal memory,” his wife, Hannah, told the Jewish Press. “After he made a neat copy of his scribbled writing, he showed it to HaRav Tzvi Yehuda for final editing, and then arranged for its publication in the HaTzofet newspaper. At the time, no one in the country spoke about our returning to Judea and Samaria, nor about capturing the Temple Mount. The idea was like a science fiction. Then, three weeks later, it came true.”

At the same time, in the late spring of 1967, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Chief Rabbi of Tzahal, was in Australia, raising money for Israel Bonds, when he read in a local newspaper that Egypt’s President Nasser had closed down the Straits of Tiran leading to Eilat. At Nasser’s request, United Nations Peace Keeping Forces abandoned the Sinai Peninsula, and vast numbers of Egyptian tanks and infantry units were stationed along the Israeli border. Certain that the belligerent actions would lead to war, Rabbi Goren decided to fly back home to Israel. “In a matter of weeks, I will pray at the Kotel and on Mount Sinai as well,” he prophesied to the large crowd at his farewell appearance in Australia.

In Israel, the population was seized with worry and despair. Nasser’s promises to drive the Jewish State into the sea had unnerved the country. The armies of Syria and Jordan were mobilized to join Egypt in a devastating attack. Israel’s top military echelon advised Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, the acting Defense Minister, to strike first before Israel’s forces received a deadly blow, but the cautious and aging politician wanted to give the Administration in Washington time to convince Nasser to withdraw his forces and allow the UN troops to return to their positions. The IDF brass disagreed, not wanting to put the fate of the country in foreign hands, by counting on America to save it from extinction.

Arriving in Israel, Rabbi Goren immediately drove to a meeting with the IDF Commander-in-Chief, Yitzhak Rabin, who tensely informed him that the surrounding Arab countries were preparing their armies for an all-out attack on the tiny Jewish State. Rabin told him that two cabinet ministers from the National Religious Party, who opposed going to war, Moshe Haim Shapira and Zerach Warhaftig, were preventing Prime Minister Levi Eshkol from unleashing IDF forces. Rabin asked Rabbi Goren to speak with them and persuade them to change their minds. “After I see for myself the morale of our troops,” the army chaplain replied in his forceful and independent manner.

The journalist, Avi Rath, who spent several years with Rabbi Goren's editing his autobiography, "With Might and Strength," told the Jewish Press that the former Chief Rabbi was first and foremost a prodigious Torah scholar. “Verses of Torah, Tanach, and Tehillim were always on his lips, and when he accompanied Israel's soldiers into battle, the spirit of the Torah which filled his being crowned him with a towering faith, untiring energy, and valor. For him, the war was not only a matter of saving Israel, it was, in the words of King David, so that, ‘the whole world will know that there is a living G-d in Israel.’"

Rabbi Goren journeyed to the southern Negev, where he met the commanders of Israel’s anxious battalions. Receiving conflicting reports, between optimistic expectations of victory and gloomy predictions that the government’s stalling for time had already soured the opportunity, he gave an order to the Army Rabbinate to be prepared to dig thousands of graves across the country, in case the forecasts of terrible losses proved true. Then, charged by the growing threat of war, he raced to Tel Aviv to meet with the reluctant religious cabinet ministers who put the blame for their opposition on Yitzhak Rabin who, they claimed, had balked when asked about Israel’s chances of success. Rushing to confront Rabin once again, Rabbi Goren discovered a broken warrior. In his autobiography, he writes that Ben Gurion, Rabin’s mentor, had shattered the young Commander in Chief’s confidence, accusing him of endangering the entire country, claiming that Israel alone could never defeat a joint attack by the powerful and massively-equipped forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan combined.

“Ben Gurion’s words affected Rabin deeply bringing about a nervous breakdown,” he noted. “He simply fell apart. All of the army was poised for war, and our Commander-in-Chief fell apart.”

To complicate matters, in a special radio broadcast, a tense, sleepless, and indecisive Eshkol stumbled over the words of his speech, further eroding the spirit of the nation. Dismayed by Eshkol’s procrastination, people demanded that the popular and charismatic Moshe Dayan be appointed as Minister of Defense.

As if possessed by a Divine Spirit, the IDF Chief Rabbi phoned Moti Hod, Chief Commander of the Israeli Air Force who insured him that a surprise first strike on Egypt would leave its entire air force paralyzed within two hours. Rabbi Goren hurried to meet once again with Interior Affairs Minister, Moshe Haim Shapira, and reported in his bulldozer manner that IDF commanders in the field were confident of an Israeli victory, if the order came now. The glaring-eyed Rabbi used all of his high-powered Torah persuasiveness to influence the peace-loving, religious, cabinet minister to adopt a more militant stance. Shapira assured him that he would support the appointment of Moshe Dayan as new Defense Minister during the emergency cabinet meeting, a few hours away, and that he would withdraw his opposition to sending Israel’s soldiers to war.

Wanting to be with the troops when they stormed into the Gaza Strip and Sinai, Rabbi Goren once again drove south to the Negev. Before Israeli jet fighters took to the skies, the Chief Rabbi entered the Air Force command bunker and distributed the prayer he had written, with a personal note to Moti Hod from the Book of Lamentations, exhorting him to: “Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the L-rd.”

Certainly, many factors influenced Levi Eshkol’s decision to go to war, and the change-of-heart of the formerly reluctant Shapira was one of them. Upon the official announcement that war had been declared, as Israel’s highly-trained Air Force soared into the skies, Rabbi Goren’s previously-prepared address to the soldiers of Tzahal was broadcast by “Kol Yisrael” over radios in every home and office throughout the country: “On this day of victory, Hashem is with you, all of the soldiers of the armies of Israel, on land, on sea, and in the air, to lead you in battle to triumph over enemies who have risen against us to destroy us. Let your hearts not be weakened for it is Hashem who fights by your side to save you….”

In a matter of hours, and throughout the next two miraculous days, the skilled pilots of Israel totally destroyed out the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, while determined Israeli ground troops crushed Nasser’s battalions in the Gaza Strip and Sinai, fighting their way to the Suez Canal. As the smoke cleared over decimated enemy runways and battlegrounds, Israeli Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, had to make a decision – to give Israel’s army commanders in Jerusalem a green light to capture the Old City, or to accept the ceasefire which the United Nations had hastily organized in order to save the Arab world. The clock was ticking. At four in the morning, Knesset member, Menachem Begin, had woken Levi with a phone call, urging him to keep fighting in Jerusalem before the chance was lost to return the Temple Mount and Western Wall to Israel’s eternal possession. Already worn down by weeks of pressure and a deep, father-like concern for his small, besieged country, the mounting international pressure against Israel had further weakened Levi’s resolve. His military echelon, new Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, a recovered Yitzhak Rabin, Uzi Narkiss, and Haim Bar-Lev, were waiting impatiently for his order, but he wasn’t sure that America would back such a decisive and history-impacting move, which would so dramatically challenge the age-old superiority myths of Christianity and Islam.The indefatigable Rabbi Goren hurried to Rockefeller Museum just across from the Old City wall, where Mota Gur’s paratroopers were under Jordanian fire from Augusta Victoria Monastery at the northern peak of the Mount of Olives. Though Israeli soldiers had suffered heavy casualties fighting against entrenched Jordanians forces in the north of the city, at Ammunition Hill, the faith-filled Rabbi was certain - just as the Hashem had guided the pebble which toppled the mighty Goliath, the Eternal One of Israel was fighting alongside the brave soldiers of the IDF. Gur told him that although Israeli divisions had surrounded the Old City, he had orders from the government not to enter its gates, lest the entire world rise up against Israel. The United Nations had pressured Jordon to accept a cease fire, but the proud King Hussein meanwhile ordered his troops to keeping fighting. With a look of fire in his eyes, the army’s Chief Rabbi barked at the paratrooper commander:

“This historic opportunity to liberate the Jerusalem and the Temple Mount has fallen into your hands, and you hesitate?! I will take the responsibility. Come with me and free the Old City. If they court-martial us, I will accompany you to prison. It is an honor to die to liberate Jerusalem. Now is the chance!”

Rabbi Goren’s aid, Rabbi Menachem HaKohen, who didn’t leave the IDF Chief Rabbi’s side during the war, told the Jewish Press that Gur accepted the passionate plea in good-natured fashion, joking about the situation, as if to temper the mounting pressure all around them, promising to take the drill-hammer of a Rabbi along with him when his troops entered the city.

Frustrated, the Rabbi Goren rushed to Tel Aviv to find Yaacov Herzog, the Prime Minister’s closest advisor, and demand that he convince Levi Eshkol to seize the hour.

“I was the army Chief Rabbi’s driver and aide,” Rabbi HaKohen relates. “From Jerusalem to Aza, then to Tel Aviv, back to Aza, up to Jerusalem, down to Tel Aviv, back up to liberate the Holy City, then on to Kever Rachel, Kfar Etzion and Hevron. He hardly slept the whole time. Even at night, he had a portable light in the car so he could keep studying Gemara. He learned seven pages of Gemara each day, even during the war. He also talked to me a lot to make sure I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel, just the way the Kohen HaGadol was kept awake all night before Yom Kippur by telling him intriguing narratives. We would even joke about how people would eulogize us if we were killed in the war. Although Rabbi Goren was a very serious talmid chacham, he quoted Kohelet, saying there was a time to weep and a time to laugh.”

From Tel Aviv, Rabbi Goren drove back south to Aza in time to accompany Division 11 as it set off to encounter the Egyptian forces massed along the border. As the unit roared forward, an enemy shell hit the Rabbi’s command car. All of the soldiers with him were injured. The shofar he was carrying was burnt from the fire and heat of the explosion, along with his officer’s cap. Miraculously, the small Sefer Torah he had brought with him remained unscathed. Treating the wounded as best he could, he carried bleeding soldiers to the ambulances that arrived, grabbed a helmet and pressed forward with the troops while under heavy Egyptian fire. As Israeli tanks advanced, after the first fierce round of fighting, the enemy surrendered its position and fled in panic. “I saw with my own eyes the truth of the verse, ‘Five from among you shall pursue a hundred, and a hundred from among you shall pursue ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.’ Rashi notes that the mathematics are not in exact proportion, and explains, ‘you cannot compare a few who perform the commandments of the Torah to many who perform them.’ We learn from this that fighting the wars of Israel is Torah in and of itself.”


בכירי צה"ל בירושלים במלחמת ששת הימים
צילום: ארכיון צה"ל במשרד הביטחון

As sunset fell over the battleground, Rabbi Goren decided to return to Jerusalem. In the middle of the night, he arrived in the Holy City, where the sounds of explosions and gunfire filled the air from all parts of the city. Immediately, he rushed to the home of his father-in-law, the saintly Rabbi David Cohen, known as the “Nazir,” asking to borrow the shofar of his shul. Rabbi Goren’s aid, Rabbi Menachem HaKohen, told the Jewish Press that he stood on a chair and pulled the shofar down from the top of a bookcase. Running to the Rockefeller Museum, they discovered that many soldiers had been killed by enemy shells and the fierce fighting throughout the city. When he woke up in his jeep after an hour of sleep, Rabbi Goren learned that Mota Gur had set off to command an early morning charge on Augusta Victoria. Supported by Israeli jets, two IDF divisions converging from different directions seized control over the strategic ridge overlooking the Jerusalem from the east. As Jordanian snipers fired from the walls of the Old City at approaching Israeli troops, Rabbi Goren jumped into his jeep and drove toward the Lion Gate, picking up a “trampist” (hitchhiker) on the way, Yosi Ronen, the sound recorder for “Galatz,” the army radio station, who managed to capture the sounds of Rabbi Goren’s shofar, and victorious shouts and singing of the history-making battle. Finally receiving orders to liberate the Old City, Mota Gur led a paratrooper brigade down the Mount of Olive hillside toward the Temple Mount. At 9:45, with the song, “Jerusalem of Gold,” playing on radios throughout the country, Israeli tanks opened fire on the Lion’s Gate, blowing up the bus that had been positioned there to seal off the fifteen-meter-high stone gateway. Under consistent sniper fire, the Israeli forces charged forward. A tank tried to move the bus aside but got stuck. As Rabbi Goren ran toward the gate, a paratrooper captain screamed at him to take cover by the wall, alongside the other soldiers, lest he get shot. Torah scroll and shofar in his hands, the exuberant Rabbi ignored the command. “I am the highest-ranking officer present,” he answered. Don’t try to stop me!” 

Blowing the shofar as loudly as he could, he led the charge into the Old City, climbing over the stalled tank in the gate and jumping down on the other side. “The Shechinah, which never left the stones of the Kotel, prepared the way before the soldiers of Israel, protecting them with her Clouds of Glory.” he later wrote. Then, as if in a dream, he reached the gate leading to Har HaBayit. With another long blast of the shofar, he called out to the troops behind him, “In the Name of Hashem, liberate Jerusalem! Rise up and conquer the Mount!”

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, then a student at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, and now head of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, reached the Mount after it had been liberated by the paratroopers. “My orders were to enter the Dome of the Shrine and guard the rotunda containing the Foundation Stone,” he told the Jewish Press. “The fact that I was standing in the place of the Holy of Holies was like a spiritual explosion, the reverberations of which have stayed with me until today, inspiring everything I have done. When I heard that two holy elders with long white beards had arrived at the Kotel, I was certain they must be the Mashiach and Eliahu HaNavi. A short time later, after receiving permission to join the crowd at the Wall, I discovered that the two holy elders were my Rabbis, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook and HaRav David Kohen, the holy ‘Nazir’. ”



מלחמת ששת הימים
צילום: לע"מ

At the start of the war, Zvi Friedman had fought with the troops who had forced Egyptian tank units to withdraw from Aza. Hurrying to Jerusalem with Rabbi Goren to strengthen the forces in the Holy City, he too found himself on the Temple Mount as the army Chief Rabbi read out a victory speech of thanksgiving to Hashem which he had ready in his uniform pocket. Freidman told the Jewish Press, “If you want to know the truth, finding myself on the Temple Mount didn’t mean anything to me. No one talked about the Temple Mount back then. Unlike today, it wasn’t a part of our vocabulary. Mota Gur called out, ‘Har HaBayit is in our hands!’ but I am sad to say, the Arabs are still in charge there. I looked at Hannan Porat, a young paratrooper and student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and his eyes were shining with happiness and tears, but I didn’t feel anything special until I reached the Kotel.”

Some time later, commanders Mota Gur, Uzi Narkiss, and Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan, stood amidst the singing and dancing soldiers, as if wondering what to do with the treasure that had fallen into their hands. Rabbi Goren approached them. “Why don’t we gather all of the explosives we have and demolish all of the shrines and mosques on the Mount while we still have the chance,” he suggested to his serious and startled listeners. Realizing that he would find a more receptive ear at the Kotel, he hurried off in search of a path to the Wailing Wall, which for almost two decades had been off-limits for Jews. His bearded aide-de-camp, Rabbi Menachem HaKohen, had grown up in the Old City and knew the way. Joined by a few other soldiers, it wasn’t long before they faced a locked metal gate which they knocked down with their shoulders.

Rabbi Goren recalls in his autobiography, “As I reached the narrow plaza in front of the Kotel, I felt a great burst of light which blinded me. An Arab ran out from the adjacent tunnel and slid a chair under me before I toppled with dizziness.”

Tired, yet ecstatic paratroopers rushed to embrace the stones of the Wall. Above them, another student from the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, Captain Yoram Zammush, hung the Star of David flag from a metal bar at the top of the Kotel. Blowing the shofar, and clutching the Torah scroll, Rabbi Goren recited Kaddish for all of the fallen, and all of the gathered called out, “Amen!” The “trampest” from the “Galei Tzahal” radio station was on hand to record all of the euphoric prayers.

Rabbi Menachem HaKohen, who later became Chief Rabbi of the Moshavim and the Histadrut, told the Jewish Press, “Not since the Jewish People stood united at Mount Sinai had there been a moment of Jewish unity so absolute at this. Jews all over the world, from Moscow to the United States, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, heard our prayers and answered, ‘Amen!’”

After draping the flag over the ramparts of the Wall, Yoram Zammush requested that his Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, be brought to the Kotel.

“Rabbi Goren instructed me to bring both Rabbi Kook and the ‘Nazir,’ to the Old City,” Rabbi HaKohen recalls. “The Dung Gate still hadn’t been captured, so I took Zammush’s jeep which was still up on the Temple Mount. Deciding to wait until Mincha time before hurrying to Mount Herzl to take care of burial arrangements for Tzahal’s many fallen soldiers, Rabbi Goren returned to the sacred site of the Beit HaMikdash to recite Tehillim, and take advantage of the halacha which permits Jewish soldiers to enter the grounds of the Mikdash during the conquest of the Temple Mount, which was still taking place, as sniper fire continued throughout the Old City. Praying with all of his strength, in the back of his mind was the reminder that Kever Rachel, Kfar Etzion, and Hevron still hadn’t been captured, and he wanted to have a part in their liberation as well.

Driving the army jeep through the jubilant crowds on their way to the Old City, Rabbi Menachem HaKohen parked on the Temple Mount and led the two elder Rabbis to the narrow passage in front of the Wailing Wall, now jammed with soldiers: “The saintly ‘Nazir’ embraced the stones of the Kotel and remained there frozen. HaRav Tzvi Yehuda looked overwhelmed, as if he couldn’t comprehend where we were. Shaking off his disorientation and wonder, he began to weep. He asked Rabbi Goren to recite a chapter of Tehillim, and I sounded the shofar.”

“It is impossible to forget that day,” Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook recalled in a speech he later delivered on Jerusalem Day in the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva. “Each hour that passed, expectation quickened. One of our students who had enlisted raced back to the yeshiva during a break in the fighting and announced that, with the Almighty’s help, our paratroopers would soon reach the Kotel! A little later, a bearded army officer appeared with a message from HaRav Goren. ‘The Chief Rabbi of the army invites the Rosh Yeshiva to come to the Kotel,’ he announced. ‘An armored car is waiting outside.’

“HaRav David Cohen, the Nazir, joined us on the way. He too had been invited by his son-in-law, HaRav Goren. The army car progressed slowly through the joyous crowds who were thronging the streets of the city – thousands of singing and dancing people. Many of them had tears of joy in their eyes over the liberation of Jerusalem. We prayed the first national prayer at the Kotel after a nineteen-hundred year separation, not as individuals, but as representatives of the reborn Medinat Yisrael. The prayer that was an utter cleaving to Hashem. Every eye was filled with tears. Everyone chanted the Psalm, ‘A Song of Ascent: When the L-rd brought back the exiles of Zion, we were like those who dream.’

“Before we left the liberated city, I was interviewed by radio and television reporters from Israel and from around the world. They wanted to know my opinion on what had transpired. ‘Behold,’ I said. ‘We announce to all of Israel, and to all of the world, that by a Divine command, we have returned to our home, to our Holy City. From this day forth, we shall never budge from here! We have come home!’”

Reprinted from The Jewish Press



Tzvi Fishman

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/280625

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



The Democratic Party: A Robbery in Progress - J. B. Shurk


by J. B. Shurk

Look at the blue-state governors attempting to steal from the federal treasury in order to make up for decades of unfunded liabilities.


I want to report a robbery in progress. Be on the lookout for the governors of California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. They are attempting to steal from the federal treasury in order to make up for decades of unfunded liabilities. Known associates include Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. They should be considered manipulative and dangerous and likely to stab innocent Americans from behind. Caution is advised.

I only partially jest. Right now, most Americans think the biggest story in the country is a virus from Wuhan, China that has shut down their places of business and forced their families into house arrest. That's only part of the story. There's another part being actively gamed out by shady political operatives in the smoke-filled back rooms of every "dark blue" statehouse, city hall, and precinct captain pool hall around the country: how they can turn this once-in-multiple-generations "black swan" economic catastrophe into a goldmine that gets them out of hock with their many creditors. The Democratic Party is attempting to cash in on the nation's current pandemic fears so that they may finally dig themselves out from the mountains of debt they've created through vote-buying schemes and interest group bribes that have kept them in continuous power of their state and city governments while creating the most financially insolvent treasuries in the nation.

The truth is that our present pandemic nightmare has set in motion an event that has been fermenting for over fifty years. Corrupt Democrat politicos have been fraudulently using the tax-and-spend powers of their offices to keep their natural constituencies financially beholden to their electoral success for generations and generations with no immediate plan for solving their growing financial albatross except the ephemeral hope that one day, somehow, they'd be able to offload the cost of all that graft and corruption onto the federal government's tab for the national taxpayers from faraway states to pay. Great-granddaddy Democrats who paid off dock workers or butchers or ice vendors for their votes by robbing from the treasury taught the lesson from one generation of grifters to the next, who used the same neat trick with ethnic groups and public unions and anybody else who saw no problem with getting rich and powerful in the present day while leaving the bill for future generations to settle.

Along the way, those same "ballot-harvesters" let each generation in on a dirty little secret: the outrageously generous pension plans and health benefits and other financial perks they handed out over the years had grown so big that they could never be paid down without the federal government's help. Since Uncle Sam would never let them go bankrupt and destroy the financial health of American citizens trapped behind blue state lines, their state and city money pits were simply "too big to fail." Someday, some public emergency would set off a cascading economic calamity that would finally allow them to sweep up all the "debt for votes" Democratic Party deficits into one giant, inscrutable, and byzantine federal bailout. And young Democrats are today calling up their old corrupt grand-pappies or toasting the ones who have long since departed and saying, "Here at last, all our great sins will be washed away, so that we may begin buying votes again with a clean slate."

Think how excited these liars are right now. They've been planning this great train robbery since the time that masked men on trains meant something else entirely from today. Now that the moment has come to wipe generations of debt clean, they must be beside themselves.

There is simply no way the Democrats can afford to let this crisis go to waste. It has been built into the pricing of their political calculus for too many years. They may never have another chance to so masterfully settle all their accounts in one fell swoop. So when Senator McConnell publicly suggested a couple weeks back that states in financial distress should consider utilizing the nation's bankruptcy laws, Senator Schumer's fire-and-brimstone reaction came not from some deep legislative wariness that doing so might open up a Pandora's box of unintended consequences for the United States, but rather from an understanding that the creditworthiness of blue states would be so effectively destroyed that their tradition of using the treasury as a piggy bank for buying votes would come to a sudden and unavoidable end. Right now, the Democratic Party's model of doing business is on the line.

It is also why Gavin Newsom will continue to hold California's economy hostage, and why J.B. Pritzker and Phil Murphy and Andy Cuomo and Ned Lamont will continue to do the same with their states. They have viewed this national shutdown as simply an opportunity to sink America into another Great Depression that wipes out President Trump's re-election chances. (In fact, those ambitious Democrats stand a better chance at winning the White House in 2024 if the Republican president stays in office and they can avoid having to mount campaigns against Biden or his heir apparent.) Instead, blue states are playing a dangerous game of "chicken" right now in which they sacrifice their own state economies and the futures of all their residents in an attempt to force President Trump and Senator McConnell into giving them what they so desperately crave — the financial salvation of their political party. It does not matter how few cases of the virus continue to show up on the West Coast; Newsom will make sure California stays closed. It does not matter how many Americans or their businesses continue to suffer along the Acela corridor; the blue states will hold out for their government bailouts. Their offer to President Trump is as simple as it is crude: fund our past corruption or try winning in November without the help of our economies. It's a Faustian bargain that only the Democrats could see fit to propose.

In plain sight and in broad daylight, the Democratic Party is right now extorting the president and attempting to rob the country blind. Except quite a few Americans refuse to look the other way and become their accomplices. Let's not swap temporary peace today for the Democrats' promise to make future generations their new economic hostages down the road. The blue state model of graft and political cronyism must finally die.

J. B. Shurk

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/the_democratic_party_a_robbery_in_progress.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Video: The "Trump LIES" The Media Claims He Makes - Frontpagemag.com


by Frontpagemag.com

The establishment media just can't stop lying.




In this new video, Kevin Jackson, the host of TheKevinJacksonShow.com, showcases The "Trump LIES" The Media Claims He Makes. Don't miss it!

To watch the video: CLICK HERE.


Frontpagemag.com

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/05/video-trump-lies-media-claims-he-makes-frontpagemagcom/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Joe Biden Ukraine Scandal Exploding - Veronika Kyrylenko


by Veronika Kyrylenko

Release of audio recordings of the phone calls between “individuals whose voices sound like” those of ex-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Vice President Joseph Biden and John Kerry must be making it hot and sweaty in a Delaware basement

Half a year after the failed attempt to impeach President Trump over his “pressure” on Ukraine, a topic of the relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine will be yet again getting close attention and presumably making it hot and sweaty in the Delaware basement.

A reason for that is a political scandal that burst out in Kiev on May 19, when a member of Ukrainian Parliament Andrey Derkach called a press conference where he released audio records of the phone calls between “individuals whose voices sound like” those of ex-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Vice President Joseph Biden, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry who discussed the course of Ukrainian domestic policy in very precise detail. On that tapes, Joe Biden factually tells Poroshenko what to do, and Poroshenko seeking advice, cooperates his actions and frankly reassures Biden that all his orders will be executed. Mr. Derkach said that the contents of those records are sufficient to incriminate Poroshenko a treason. As for our side of the pond, the tables are rapidly turning against Biden, who, so far, “magically” shrugged off all corruption accusations.

Yours truly, as a native Russian and Ukrainian speaker, was thrilled to listen to every single word that was said on that press conference.

The central topic of the conversations on the highest level was a figure of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, whom American counterparts insisted to be removed from the Office as a key precondition of landing Ukraine $1 billion that it strove to receive from IMF to keep its collapsing economy afloat.
The first conversation between Poroshenko and Kerry took place on December 3, 2015. During that initial call, Kerry told Poroshenko that “Vice President Biden would like you to consider a possibility to replace General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin … Vice President is concerned about it.” Kerry urged Poroshenko to resolve this “issue” by the Biden’s visit to Ukraine. 

On February 18, 2016 Poroshenko gave Biden “good news”: “Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin, and despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him … to resign... And despite of the fact that he has a support in the Parliament. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation. And this is my second step for keeping my promises.” “Great!” – exclaims Biden. Thus, there was nothing wrong with Shokin, according to Poroshenko, but one billion dollars outweighed it for the corrupt Ukrainian President.

Interestingly, that is not even the news since Biden himself bragged about his influence on Ukraine at the Foreign Affair Issue Launch on January 23, 2018: “I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk [Prime Minister of Ukraine] that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn't…I said, you're not getting the billion. I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

Yes, Viktor Shokin was fired, but Biden made more demands from Poroshenko on March 22, 2016: “Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars.” “Extremely strong motivation!” – replied Poroshenko eagerly.

On May 13, 2016, Biden congratulated Poroshenko on “getting the new Prosecutor General,” saying that it will be “critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did,” than added  “And I’m a man of my word, and now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee.” Poroshenko remarked that he asked a newly appointed Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko to contact U.S. Embassy, and emphasized that he “would be very pleased if he [Lutsenko] had a certain person either from Washington, whatever… We have here, I don’t remember his name, an American prosecutor of the Ukrainian origin. He’s a little old. I sent Geoffrey [Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine] his name. He was ready to be an assistant and advisor [to Lutsenko]… and be a person of trust.” In other words, an American with the advisory functions to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General who would make sure nobody looks into Burisma anymore. And such person was found – it was ex-U.S. federal prosecutor Bohdan Vitvitsky. Joe Biden, meantime, got what he wanted. The major part of the Burisma investigation was closed, and the remaining part was sent to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine that was directly tied to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and instead of investigating corruption leaked to them confidential information on Viktor Shokin and his family.
In the course of the press conference, Mr. Derkach described Biden’s motive in firing Shokin. He noted that Prosecutor General’s office had started investigating Burisma Holding in fall of 2015. It was known that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, joined its board in April 2014, at a time when Burisma was engulfed in corruption investigation woes, and at a time when his father was leading the Obama administration’s effort to curb Ukraine’s endemic corruption. In fall of 2015, Ukraine got evidence on large financial tranches that were laundered by the Burisma and then wired to a company called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC between April 2014 and November 2015. Specifically, the records show 18 months in which two payments of $83,333 per month were paid to Rosemont Seneca Bohai for “consulting services,” and then sent to the American Bank Morgan Stanley. “Letting Shokin dig it all up would mean a political suicide for Biden,” – concluded Mr. Derkach.
The second part of the press conference was dedicated to the “external governance” of Ukraine by the U.S., in which Mr. Derkach presented the records of Biden advising Poroshenko how to deal with the parliamentary crisis in Ukraine that would hinder all necessary reforms. Among the methods that Biden explicitly instructs Poroshenko to use are personal appointments and removals, and where and how to find legal loopholes.
The final part of the press conference was led by the Ukrainian ex-prosecutor Konstantin Kulik, who investigated the crimes of the Yanukovych regime in 2016-2019. He detailed corruption actions of the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, the U.S. charge d’Affaires in Ukraine George Kent and FBI Special Representative for Eastern Europe Keren Greenway who blocked the return of funds stolen by the Yanukovych regime to Ukraine in the amount of the country’s annual budget (about $45 billion). According to Mr. Kulik, they “placed fulfillment of orders of representatives of the U.S. Democratic Party over the interests of justice.” “In 2018, it became clear that Biden, Jovanovic, Kent and Greenway are doing everything to block the investigation of Zlochevsky [the Burisma founder] and other persons of the Yanukovych regime and are doing this in coordination with the environment of Poroshenko. Without an investigation of their activities, there is no chance to continue confiscating assets for 40 billion dollars,” he stressed.

All of the records of the hours-long conversations between the top U.S. and Ukrainian officials are now being officially sent to the U.S. government, according to Mr. Derkach. If even a part of the “Derakch tapes” turns out to be true, the Democratic ambitions would be buried for good for at least a couple of the upcoming political cycles.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Veronika Kyrylenko is a Ph.D. from Odessa National University (Odessa, Ukraine), Research Associate at GeoStrategic Analysis. @KyrylenkoN on Twitter

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/joe_biden_ukraine_scandal_exploding.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Time to Set Up a New Global Health Body to Replace the WHO - Con Coughlin


by Con Coughlin

No one should be taken in by Chinese President Xi Jinping's offer to cooperate with an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Chinese are particularly incensed by the lead role Australia has taken in orchestrating calls for an independent inquiry, and have responded by banning imports of Australian beef.
  • Chinese President Xi's offer, therefore, to support an inquiry by the WHO into the pandemic amounts to little more than yet another attempt by China's communist rulers to avoid proper scrutiny about Beijing's culpability for spreading Covid-19 throughout the rest of the globe.
  • President Trump's misgivings about Mr Tedros could not be better founded.... With someone like Mr Tedros, with his clear pro-China tendencies, at the helm of the WHO, it is clear that the body is simply not fit for purpose, and that any attempt to reform it is doomed to fail.
  • A far better solution, one that will help to protect the western democracies from suffering any future catastrophic pandemics similar to the Covid-19 crisis, is to set up a completely new international health body -- one that, rather than subjugating itself to Beijing's pernicious influence, is genuinely interested in protecting the interests of the people it serves.

With someone like Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, with his clear pro-China tendencies, at the helm of the World Health Organization, it is clear that the body is simply not fit for purpose, and that any attempt to reform it is doomed to fail. Pictured: Tedros pays a visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 28, 2020. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta/AFP via Getty Images)

No one should be taken in by Chinese President Xi Jinping's offer to cooperate with an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. By stipulating that the investigation needs to be carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), China's communist leader is simply indulging in yet another attempt to conceal the fact that the global crisis originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

This has been the approach adopted by China's communist rulers ever since Covid-19 first surfaced in Wuhan late last year. Rather than alerting the rest of the world to the potential impact the virus might have, the ruling Communist Party of China concentrated its energies on covering up the origins of the outbreak, with the result that the rest of the world is struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

China's deliberate attempts to obfuscate the origins of the pandemic has provoked an outcry, with a number of nations, such as the U.S. and Australia, calling for a truly independent international inquiry to be held into how the pandemic started, as well as China's lack of transparency in alerting the rest of the world to the potential impact of Covid-19.

A total of 122 countries, including the U.S. and most European governments, have given their backing to an Australian proposal to set up an impartial, independent and comprehensive investigation into the handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. But the move has been bitterly opposed by Beijing, which claims the initiative is nothing more than a "political manoeuvre". The Chinese are particularly incensed by the lead role Australia has taken in orchestrating calls for an independent inquiry, and have responded by banning imports of Australian beef.

Mr Xi's offer, therefore, to support an inquiry by the WHO into the pandemic amounts to little more than yet another attempt by China's communist rulers to avoid proper scrutiny about Beijing's culpability for spreading Covid-19 throughout the rest of the globe.

The only problem for Mr Xi and his communist comrades is that the WHO, through its slavish devotion to Beijing, now finds itself hopelessly compromised by its close association with China's leadership, with the result that no one beyond the confines of Beijing believes the organisation has the credibility to undertake an investigation that is truly independent.

This is certainly the view of the Trump administration, which has responded to the WHO's total failure to hold Beijing to account for causing the global pandemic by threatening to withdraw its support from the organisation altogether.

The four-page letter President Donald Trump delivered to the WHO earlier this week on the eve of its annual conference not only accused the organisation of being "China-centric", but stated that the organisation had displayed "an alarming lack of independence" in its dealings with Beijing, and accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's pro-Marxist director-general, of presiding over "repeated missteps... that have been extremely costly to the world."

Mr Trump's misgivings about Mr Tedros could not be better founded: the WHO chief showed his true pro-Beijing colours early on in the crisis with his effusive praise for China's response to the pandemic, where he complimented Beijing for "setting a new standard for outbreak response."

Thus, with someone like Mr Tedros, with his clear pro-China tendencies, at the helm of the WHO, it is clear that the body is simply not fit for purpose, and that any attempt to reform it is doomed to fail.

A far better solution, one that will help to protect the western democracies from suffering any future catastrophic pandemics similar to the Covid-19 crisis, is to set up a completely new international health body -- one that, rather than subjugating itself to Beijing's pernicious influence, is genuinely interested in protecting the interests of the people it serves.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16050/replace-the-who

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Iran's Mullahs Advancing Anti-Israel Agenda Despite Coronavirus - Majid Rafizadeh


by Majid Rafizadeh

While many of the 186 countries that China has afflicted with the virus are focused on addressing the immediate problem, the ruling mullahs of Iran instead appear mostly busy furthering their anti-Israel agenda.

  • Recently, Iran's parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly, unanimously approved an "urgent bill" directed against Israel. We are therefore to assume, it would seem, that passing a bill against the State of Israel was more "urgent" for the Iranian regime than concentrating on protecting the lives of the Iranian population during this public health crisis.
  • Although the traditional anti-Israel marches are cancelled this year due to the spread of coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that people will be able instead to march by cars, join a motorized phalanx or join an online event organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
  • Not only have Iran's ruling clerics failed to rein in their rogue behavior amid the coronavirus; they seem instead to be exploiting the "distraction" to boost their expansion.
  • Iran has further entrenched itself in Syria and Lebanon, including that included building a new underground weapons-storage facility at Iran's Imam Ali military base in eastern Syria. They have boosted their support for Shia Iraqi militias and the Houthis in Yemen. They have rolled out a new missile on the way to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Israel and any capital in Europe. And they have ratcheted up their anti-Israeli and anti-American agenda.

Although Iran's traditional anti-Israel marches are cancelled this year due to the spread of coronavirus, President Hassan Rouhani said that people will be able instead to march by cars, join a motorized phalanx or join an online event organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Pictured: A Quds Day event in Tehran on May 31, 2019. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

Iran has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East. Iran's regime has been accused of both covering up the scope of the virus in the country and spreading the disease across the Middle East. While many of the 186 countries that China has afflicted with the virus are focused on addressing the immediate problem, the ruling mullahs of Iran instead appear mostly busy furthering their anti-Israel agenda.

Recently, Iran's parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly, unanimously approved an "urgent bill" directed against Israel. We are therefore to assume, it would seem, that passing a bill against the State of Israel was more "urgent" for the Iranian regime than concentrating on protecting the lives of the Iranian population during this public health crisis.

The bill names Jerusalem as the everlasting capital of Palestine and requires the Iranian foreign ministry to set up a "consulate or virtual embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Capital of Jerusalem in Palestine" within six months of the passage of the bill. After the bill was approved -- according to Al-Manar news, affiliated with Iran's proxy terrorist group, Hezbollah -- the Iranian lawmakers chanted, "Down with Israel!"

The chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Mojtaba Zonnour, explained that the bill was introduced because the annual worldwide International Quds (Jerusalem) Day rallies were cancelled this year.

Although the traditional anti-Israel marches are cancelled this year due to the spread of coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that people will be able instead to march by cars, join a motorized phalanx or join an online event organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The Quds Day rallies to show support for the Palestinian cause, which are held in almost 80 countries including Canada, Austria, the UK, and Germany, generally include anti-Israel chants and anti-American slogans such as "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." The Iranian government also normally showcases ballistic missiles which are capable of hitting Israeli territory. According to United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) "The rhetoric [in the Quds Day rallies] often slides into overt anti-Semitism including characterizations of Zionism as a cosmic evil and statements denying the Holocaust."

The Iranian regime initiated the annual International Quds Day event in 1979, the year of its Islamic revolution; since then, it has been it is held every year on the last Friday of Ramadan. When the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini established the event, he said, "I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels."

The passing of the anti-Israel bill by the Iranian parliament amid the coronavirus shows that one of the core pillars and revolutionary priorities of the Iranian regime is its deep hatred towards Israel and desire to destroy the Jewish state -- as well, evidently, of all other "infidels."

The Deputy IRGC Commander, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, several years ago threatened on Quds Day:
"In Lebanon alone over 100,000 missiles are ready at all times to fly... at the heart of the Zionist regime. Tens of thousands of other missiles... have been planted across the Islamic world and are awaiting orders so that with the push of a button a sinister and dark dot on the political geography of the world (Israel) disappears forever."
According to PressTV, Iran's Supreme Guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated, in addition:
"The Zionist regime — as we have already said — will cease to exist in the next 25 years if there is a collective and united struggle by the Palestinians and the Muslims against the Zionists."
Iran's Supreme Leader also published a 416-page book titled Palestine, with a cover featuring a map that includes Palestine having supplanted Israel. On the back cover, the Ayatollah is characterized as "the flag bearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem." In the book itself, Khamenei also articulates in detail his plan for destroying Israel.

Despite the coronavirus, the ruling mullahs of Iran continue their aggressive policies. As Israel's Foreign Ministry Director of Policy, Planning and Assessment Uri Resnick stated, "Despite the humanitarian and health crisis, we do not see a sign that they [Iranian leaders] have abandoned their behavior" concerning nuclear development and sponsoring terrorism.

Not only have Iran's ruling clerics failed to rein in their rogue behavior amid the coronavirus, they seem instead to be exploiting the "distraction" to boost their expansion. Iran has further entrenched itself in Syria and Lebanon, including that included building a new underground weapons-storage facility at Iran's Imam Ali military base in eastern Syria. They have boosted their support for Shia Iraqi militias and the Houthis in Yemen. They have rolled out a new missile on the way to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Israel and any capital in Europe. And they have ratcheted up their anti-Israeli and anti-American agenda.


  • Follow Majid Rafizadeh on Twitter

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16043/iran-anti-israel-agenda

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter