Friday, November 5, 2021

The Palestinian Authority Campaign Against Palestinian NGOs - Khaled Abu Toameh

 

​ by Khaled Abu Toameh

[T]he PA has been targeting hundreds of Palestinian NGOs... as part of an effort to control them and take their funds. -- Many of the NGOs have been critical of the PA leadership: that is why Abbas wants to silence them.

  • The six Palestinian NGOs were classified by Israel as terrorist organizations because of their affiliation with the PLO's Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by both the United States and the European Union.

  • The PFLP, which has carried out many attacks against Israelis, including civilians, is one of 11 groups that form the PLO, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Each group receives monthly allocations of up to $70,000 from the PLO's unofficial finance ministry.

  • Yet while Israel has come under attack for its move against the six NGOs, there is almost no mention that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which joined the bandwagon of anti-Israel criticism, has also been targeting Palestinian NGOs for quite some time.

  • [T]he PA has been targeting hundreds of Palestinian NGOs... as part of an effort to control them and take their funds. Unlike Israel, the PA is not targeting the NGOs because of their affiliation with terrorism. Many of the NGOs have been critical of the PA leadership: that is why Abbas wants to silence them.

  • Al-Haq, one of the six organizations labeled by Israel as a terrorist organization... pointed out that this was not the first time the PA leadership had targeted Palestinian NGOs.

  • When Al-Haq complained about the PA decree targeting Palestinian NGOs, the mainstream media in the West, as well as several human rights organizations self-righteously chose to look the other way.... The international community did not demand clarifications from the PA leadership about his "assault" on Palestinian NGOs.

  • Palestinian legal expert Majed al-Arouri.... said that more than 20,000 Palestinian employees would lose their jobs as a result of the restrictions imposed by the PA on the work of Palestinian NGOs and charitable organizations.

  • As far as many in the international community are concerned, it is fine if Abbas takes punitive measures against the PFLP, but it is outrageous if Israel does it.

  • Those who are ignoring Abbas's crackdown on the Palestinian NGOs are depriving the Palestinians of democracy and freedom of speech.

  • The international community's obsession with Israel... proves that it is more interested in condemning and delegitimizing Israel than improving the status of human rights and democracy under the PA.

Six Palestinian NGOs were recently classified by Israel as terrorist organizations because of their affiliation with the PLO's Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by both the United States and the European Union. Pictured: PFLP terrorists aim their weapons at an effigy depicting then US President Donald Trump in Gaza City, on May 23, 2017. (Photo credit should read Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel's recent decision to designate six Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as terrorist organizations sparked a wave of protests and condemnations from many parties around the world, including human rights groups and political activists. Israel is being accused of cracking down on Palestinian civil society organizations not because of their affiliation with a terrorist group, but because of their political activities, which are often not that different.

The six Palestinian NGOs were classified by Israel as terrorist organizations because of their affiliation with the PLO's Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by both the United States and the European Union.

The PFLP is one of 11 groups that forms the PLO, which is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Each group receives monthly allocations of up to $70,000 from the PLO's unofficial finance ministry, the Palestinian National Fund (PNF), which is responsible for managing financial aid coming from a variety of sources: funds from Arab states, contributions from wealthy Palestinians, and a "liberation tax" levied on Palestinians working in Arab countries.

Yet while Israel has come under attack for its move against the six NGOs, there is almost no mention that the Palestinian Authority (PA) (which joined the bandwagon of anti-Israel criticism) has also been targeting Palestinian NGOs for quite some time.

In fact, the measures taken by the PA against Palestinian NGOs seem far more serious than Israel's decision to label six of them as terrorist organizations.

While the Israeli measure affects only six groups and is related to security matters, the PA has been targeting hundreds of Palestinian NGOs, including charitable groups, as part of an effort to control them and take their funds. Unlike Israel, the PA is not targeting the NGOs because of their affiliation with terrorism. Many of the NGOs have been critical of the PA leadership: that is why Abbas wants to silence them.

The PA measures against the NGOs have been almost entirely ignored by the same people and parties who are now condemning Israel for its decision to designate the PFLP-affiliated groups as terrorist organizations.

Earlier this year, Abbas issued a "presidential decree" that restricts the work of Palestinian civil society organizations. The decree imposes severe restrictions on the activity and finances of Palestinian NGOs, authorizing Palestinian officials to transfer NGO funds to the PA treasury, but with virtually no transparency.

In 2019, the PA froze bank accounts of dozens of Palestinian NGOs in the Gaza Strip. The move was condemned by the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), an umbrella organization for civil society groups.

According to PNGO, the decision to freeze the bank accounts of the NGOs "threatens the services they provide and undermines their role in enhancing the steadfastness of Palestinians." It is important to note that not all Palestinian NGOs are affiliated with terrorist groups, and that is the reason Israel has not taken any measures against them.

Abbas's "presidential decree" essentially subordinates Palestinian NGOs to the PA government, granting it authority to intervene in their activity and budgets.

Palestinian civil society organizations condemned Abbas's decree. They dubbed it a "vicious attack against NGOs." The decree, they said, was "issued within the framework of several ongoing laws-by-decree that are drafted in full secrecy and behind closed doors."

The NGOs and several Palestinian factions added that the PA leadership's decree aims to tighten its grip on the work of civil society and charitable groups and constitutes a flagrant violation of human rights and public freedoms.

They also accused the PA of seeking to undermine the "monitoring role of the NGOs over the performance of the executive authority and their objective to hold this authority accountable for its violations."

Al-Haq, one of the six organizations labeled by Israel as a terrorist organization, lashed out at Abbas's decree regarding NGOs, saying it "finishes off what remains of a Palestinian political system and "demonstrates large-scale flagrant violations of the Palestinian Basic Law and international conventions."

Additionally, Al-Haq said that Abbas's move against Palestinian NGOs "infringes on the pillars of transparency and openness to civil society." Al-Haq pointed out that this was not the first time the PA leadership had targeted Palestinian NGOs.

When Al-Haq complained about the PA decree targeting Palestinian NGOs, the mainstream media in the West, as well as several human rights organizations, self-righteously chose to look the other way.

When Al-Haq and other Palestinian NGOs denounced Israel for classifying them as terrorist organizations, though, many journalists and human rights organizations around the world suddenly woke up and joined the attack on Israel.

When several Palestinian factions called on Abbas to rescind his decree against the charitable and civil society organizations, many in the international community shut their eyes and ears. The international community did not demand "clarifications" from the PA leadership about his "assault" on Palestinian NGOs.

The factions said that Abbas's decree "contradicts public freedoms and undermines the independence of civil society institutions." They further warned that, if implemented, thousands of workers in health, educational, agricultural, human rights and other sectors would lose their jobs.

The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights called on Abbas to cancel the decree because it "restricts public freedoms, especially the freedom to form and operate associations, and obstructs their work and vital role in protecting human rights."

Palestinian legal expert Majed al-Arouri denounced the decree as a "collective punishment" targeting those who criticize the PA leadership. He said that more than 20,000 Palestinian employees would lose their jobs as a result of the restrictions imposed by the PA on the work of Palestinian NGOs and charitable organizations.

Another Palestinian legal expert, Issam Abdeen, said that Abbas's decree "destroys institutions that have spent years building their national cadres."

There is yet another ironic twist to the story concerning the six Palestinian NGOs declared by Israel as PFLP affiliates. Recently, PFLP officials accused Abbas of halting monthly payments to their organization as part of an attempt to blackmail it and force it to change its policies.

Palestinians believe that the suspension of the payments was taken because of the PFLP's criticism of the PA leadership's policies. The PFLP does not recognize Israel and favors a "one-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- meaning a State of Palestine "from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea," as they put it, in short, all of Israel.

Thus, while Israel is being castigated for targeting PFLP-affiliated organizations, not a word is being said about Abbas's decision to halt payments to the terrorist group. As far as many in the international community are concerned, it is fine if Abbas takes punitive measures against the PFLP, but it is an outrage if Israel does so.

On October 25, Abbas met with representatives of the six NGOs labeled by Israel as terrorist organizations and told them that he stands with them in "carrying out their duty of exposing Israeli crimes."

During the meeting, Abbas stated that Israel has no right to interfere with the work of the NGOs, which operate in accordance with the Palestinian law. This is the same Abbas accused by Palestinian NGOs of obstructing their work.

We are witnessing classic -- and continuous -- cover-up on the part of Abbas and the Palestinian NGOs, whose representatives seem to have forgotten to inform the world about the PA's brutal measures against Palestinian civil society and charitable organizations.

One wonders whether those who are now denouncing Israel will have the decency to call out Abbas for imposing severe and destructive restrictions on Palestinian NGOs in an attempt to silence them and lay his hands on their money.

Those who are ignoring Abbas's crackdown on the Palestinian NGOs are depriving the Palestinians of democracy and freedom of speech. It is no surprise that 71% of the Palestinians in the West Bank believe that they cannot criticize the PA without fear. It is also no surprise that half the Palestinians living under the rule of the PA describe the status of democracy and human rights as very bad. The international community's obsession with Israel -- as demonstrated in its response to the designation of the six NGOs as terrorist groups -- proves that it is more interested in condemning and delegitimizing Israel than improving the status of human rights and democracy under the PA.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

 

Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17913/palestinian-authority-ngos

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The extinction of Jewish heritage in northern Cyprus - Uzay Bulut

 

​ by Uzay Bulut

The Turkish invasion brought with it destruction to non-Muslim historic sites, such as relics of Jewish life since the Temple era .

 

Cyprus Jewish cemetery damaged headstone
Cyprus Jewish cemetery damaged headstone                                                                Uzay Bulut

Cyprus has a special place in Jewish history. Jews are deeply rooted in this island country, whence they once obtained wine for the incense used in the Temple (Jerusalem Talmud Yoma 4), possibly produced by Jews living there. Jews have lived in Cyprus for millennia, according to historical records. Hadassah Magazine reports:

“Cyprus and Eretz Yisrael had trade relations by the third century B.C.E., and Jews began to settle the island. In the first century B.C.E., the Roman emperor Augustus gave Herod, king of Judea, part of the management and revenue of the island’s copper mines. Jews were among the miners and copper workers. After Herod’s death, his granddaughter Alexandra married a Cypriot Jew.

“The community prospered, and synagogues existed in at least three locations: Golgoi, Lapethos and Constantia-Salamine. Some Cypriot Jews moved to Jerusalem, and the Talmud mentions imports of cumin, wine and dried figs from Cyprus.”

The European Jewish Congress gives further information:

“In 142 BCE, Cyprus was one of the countries that safeguarded Jewish rights at the request of the Romans. Cypriot Jews seem to have participated in a rebellion in 177 CE against Emperor Trajan. After the revolt was crushed, Jews were strictly forbidden to set foot on Cyprus, but this prohibition did not last long.”

"Jews returned to the island shortly thereafter," adds the World Jewish Congress. "Jewish community in Cyprus continued to thrive throughout the centuries, and between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, there were more Jews in Cyprus than on any other Greek island."

Cyprus today is a majority Christian country, and its patron saint is a Cypriot Jew: St. Barnabas, who, accompanied by Saul (Apostle Paul) and Mark, sailed to Cyprus to preach there (Acts: 13).

Today, the relations between Cyprus and Israel are thriving. “Throughout the history of Cyprus, Jewish people have always lived on the island,” the project manager of the Jewish Museum of Cyprus, Skevi Philippou, said. “There has always been a bond between Israel and Cyprus, especially now between tourism and business cooperation. Being so close to the Holy Land, Cyprus is a popular place for Jews to visit or make their home. Today, there are over 6500 Jews living in Cyprus. Most are from Israel, UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.”

The Chief Rabbi of Cyprus, Arie Zeev Raskin, has been officially serving the community since 2005. The rabbi and his wife, Shaindel Raskin, together with their four children, arrived in Cyprus in 2003. Five years later, their fifth child was born in the island country. The Chabad house – “Chabad of Cyprus” – was opened in 2005.

Today, the Cyprus Jewish Community Center in the city of Larnaca is open to serve the community all year around. And the Jewish Museum there raises awareness about the Jewish ties to the island. The museum's current exhibit is the “Nissen hut,” an original WW2 artefact.

According to its website, the museum aims to educate the public concerning the important role played by Cyprus and Cypriots “in assisting Holocaust victims escaping Europe after World War II as they made their way to Israel.”

From 1878 to 1960, when Cyprus became independent, the island was under British rule. After the rise of Nazism in 1933, hundreds of Jews escaped to Cyprus. The British government then set up 12 detention camps there for Holocaust survivors who had immigrated or attempted to immigrate to the then British Mandate of Palestine. The camps operated from 1946 to 1949 and held over 53,000 internees. Once the State of Israel was established, most refugees moved there.

“Conditions in the camps were horrific,” reported the newspaper Cyprus Mail. “But there was one ray of light for those on the long journey home: the local Cypriots who, for three long years, helped to feed, clothe and nurture the interned at their own expense. The brainchild of Rabbi Arie Zeev Raskin, the Chief Rabbi of Cyprus, the museum is the Jewish Community’s way of thanking those who helped the interned."

“Rabbi Raskin felt an overwhelming need to thank the people he sees as heroes,” Philippou said.

“Ordinary people – farmers, workers, people who barely had enough to feed their own families – gave food, water and medicine to the refugees in the camps. And the next generation of Cypriots must know and remember what their ancestors did, so that the cycle of kindness will continue.

“Those 53,000 Jewish refugees and their descendants owe their health and wellbeing to Cyprus and to the compassion of the Cypriots; by aiding those who were starting a new life, the Cypriots not only played an important role in assisting Holocaust victims escaping Europe after World War II, but they were also responsible for helping to promote the re-birth of Jewish life, culture, religious observation and Jewish heritage around the world.”

Meanwhile, the tradition of opposing antisemitism is ongoing in Cyprus. In 2019, Cyprus endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. Then-Jewish Agency chair and current president of Israel Isaac Herzog praised the move, as did American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris.

Many Cypriot municipal leaders have also signed the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) Mayors United Against Antisemitism statement. More than 500 European and U.S. mayors, including 22 mayors from Cyprus, joined the initiative.

"The relations between Israel and Cyprus have never been stronger than today," AJC Jerusalem Director, Lt. Col. (Res.) Avital Leibovich, said. "They are not only based on mutual interest but also on strategic challenges and cooperation on many levels - from cultural to academic, tourism to startups. In a changing Middle East, such partnerships are important and cherished.”

Since 1974, however, around 40 percent of the Cypriot territory in the north of the island nation has been illegally occupied by Turkey. That year, Cyprus was invaded by the Turkish military twice and exposed to an ethnic cleansing campaign which forcibly changed the demographic character of the island country.

Many crimes were committed by Turkish troops against indigenous Greek Cypriots. Civilian targets such as hospitals were bombed. Greek Cypriots, including children, were murdered. Civilians were arbitrarily detained by the Turkish military authorities and were put either in prisons or concentration camps. Some were made to perform forced labor. The European Commission on Human Rights documented the rape of women and children aged 12 to 71, including those who were pregnant or mentally retarded. The rapes were so widespread that the Church of Cyprus was compelled to relax its previous strictures on abortion.

Nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly expelled from their homes by the Turkish invasion forces and were replaced by illegal settlers from Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Lands, houses and other properties belonging to Greek Cypriots were seized, looted and distributed to Turks. As a result of this ethnic cleansing, northern Cyprus, which was for millennia a majority-Greek area until 1974, has been turned into a Turkish colony.

Historically, large Jewish population groups lived across coastal towns in Cyprus such as ancient Salamis in the city of Famagusta, which is today under Turkish occupation. Sadly, the invasion campaign has brought widespread destruction to all non-Muslim Cypriot historic sites.

To this day, the occupying forces continue to plunder and destroy the Cypriot cultural heritage, including the Jewish heritage of the occupied area. The Jewish cemetery there, for instance, has been destroyed. According to the 2012 report "The Loss of A Civilization: Destruction of cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus,"

“The historic Margo Jewish Cemetery, a national monument for the Jewish people, southeast of Nicosia, has been desecrated and destroyed in the same way as Christian cemeteries in the area occupied by Turkish troops have been desecrated and destroyed.

“The Margo Jewish Cemetery is home to the graves of Jews of the diaspora of 1885 and of Jewish refugees who came to Cyprus after the Second World War.

“The cemetery is located in a strictly controlled military area and is guarded by an armed Turkish soldier. Jewish organisations and other groups have persistently petitioned for free access to the cemetery to conduct religious ceremonies, but these requests have not been granted by the occupying power and its puppet regime.”

“We have visited the cemetery several times,” Philippou confirms. “But we haven't been able to hold any religious ceremonies, just a quick visit under supervision. We would like to have it restored, but no permission was given thus far.”

See a video of the destroyed Jewish cemetery in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia here.

Cypriot-Dutch author, cultural campaigner and activist Tasoula Hadjitofi became a refugee at age 15 when Turkish troops invaded Famagusta, the city of her birth, in 1974. For several decades, she has collected artefacts and other symbols of cultural heritage that has been looted and stolen to bring them back home to Cyprus. Referring to the liberation of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps in 1945, Hadjitofi said:

"Cypriots fought alongside the allies as British troops during the liberation of the Jews and other prisoners, for Cyprus was then a British colony. There are no poppies for those heroes on Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom or in Cyprus and little is known anywhere about them. Most of these forgotten heroes died quietly and took with them so many untold stories. Perhaps a handful are still around? Their stories must be told and their courage must be honored."

"The historical ties are strong between Israel and Cyprus," added Hadjitofi. "I do hope that our Jewish brothers and sisters worldwide are watching attentively the Islamisation of northern Cyprus by Turkey, as well as the destruction of the Christian and Jewish sites in the occupied area. And for the sake of our shared heritage, historical and current struggles for freedom, as well as fundamental principles, they must do their best to stop them."

 

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara.

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/316291

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ISIS Threat in Northern Virginia - Robert Spencer

 

​ by Robert Spencer

Afghan refugees?

 


Police Chief Kevin Davis of Fairfax County, Virginia, announced Friday that “we have increased our police presence throughout the county to include major thoroughfares, transit hubs, shopping plazas, and shopping malls.” This was reportedly in response to a terrorism threat; police sources said that their increased presence would last through Halloween weekend and possibly through election day on Tuesday.

The odd aspect of this announcement, coming as it does from deep-blue and electorally vulnerable Virginia authorities, is that the threat doesn’t come from those “white supremacists” we keep hearing so much about but who only ever seem to appear as deep fakes by the Left. Instead, it comes from that so-very-2015 threat that we all know is over and done with since the adults are back in charge: the Islamic State (ISIS).

ISIS, said CBS News, “has been more active since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. Officials say threats from the international terrorist group and al Qaeda are accelerating.” And according to the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence chief, John Cohen, “Right now we’re seeing a dramatic increase — or an increase — in online activity by media operations associated with different al Qaeda elements and Islamic State.”

Meanwhile, Jack Posobiec of Human Events tweeted late Friday evening: “Two US officials tell @HumanEvents that the ISIS threat alert in Northern VA / DC region is related to Afghan refugees.” He added that some Secret Service agents “are concerned DC-area ISIS threat may be related to a report of 3 Afghan refugees who forced their way off a bus earlier this month.”

th.”

There is nothing incredible about this. Defense One reported in late August that “security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have detected that at least one of the Afghans who was evacuated from Kabul Airport has potential ties to ISIS, a U.S. official confirmed to Defense One.” How likely is it that he was the only one?

Business Insider reported on August 15 that “thousands of inmates, including former Islamic State and al-Qaeda fighters, were released from a prison on the outskirts of Kabul… Footage published by an independent Afghan news agency, which supports the Taliban, appears to show militants letting the inmates out.” What possible safeguards have been in place in Kabul to prevent some of those jihadis from coming to the United States as “refugees”? How likely is it that the strongest, most violent, and most ruthless among the Afghans were able to muscle their way onto the planes to America?

What’s more, witless and woke Biden administration authorities have no idea who many of these refugees are. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) recently disclosed that 12,000 of the Afghans who are at this moment in the United States were brought here despite the fact that they had no identification at all: “They came with nothing. No Afghan I.D., no I.D. of any sort. Those people were all forwarded on to the U.S., and that’s quite an admission. So many people had no I.D. whatsoever and yet find themselves in the United States today based on what they said.”

Who could they be? Well, they could be any number of things, and one of them is that at least some of them could be members of ISIS.

Nor do authorities know where many of these refugees are. Reuters reported at the beginning of this month that at least 700 Afghan evacuees engaged in “independent departures” from the U.S. military bases where they were being housed. Over 300 have vanished from Fort Bliss alone. Are some of them in Northern Virginia now, plotting a jihad massacre?

Whether they are or not now, it is likely that some Afghan jihadis did enter the United States with the refugees and that we will be hearing from them sooner or later. One of Biden’s handlers has admitted that ten of the Afghan evacuees have already been detained as risks to national security. How many more have managed to navigate through the Biden administration’s shoddy vetting processes (this is a regime that doesn’t even acknowledge that Islamic jihad terrorism exists, much less knows how to spot warning signs of jihadist sympathies) and are now in the United States? We will find out sooner or later, and if not in Northern Virginia over the Halloween weekend, then sometime soon, somewhere in the United States.

Even worse: The Biden administration’s handling of the Afghan evacuees is just one of the ways in which it is proceeding with absolutely no concern for national security or for the safety and well-being of the American people. The consequences will eventually be catastrophic, not for the cosseted elites who have brought this upon us, but for the ordinary Americans who, as always, have to bear the burden of their America-last policies.

 

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/11/isis-threat-northern-virginia-robert-spencer/

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China Has No Interest in Climate Change - Con Coughlin

 

​ by Con Coughlin

Beijing's main motivation is to undermine Western capitalism, not support it, which is why he has no intention of supporting the West's ill-considered dash for net zero carbon emissions.

  • Beijing remains committed to opening hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the coming years, with the result that China's new coal plants will more than offset all the closures of other coal-fired stations that have taken place in the rest of the world during the past year.

  • Beijing's unwillingness to make any significant contribution to attempts at the COP26 conference to reduce global emissions has raised legitimate concerns that China is seeking to gain an economic advantage over its Western rivals as they struggle with the challenge of meeting net zero targets.

  • There is a growing body opinion on both sides of the Atlantic that dramatic reductions in carbon omission could wreak economic havoc for Western economies if the pursuit of "green" economies is pursued at the expense of maintaining energy supplies. In Europe, for example, the race to abandon traditional fossil fuels as a major source of energy has led to increased reliance on energy supplies from Russia through its controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

  • Mr Xi's refusal to engage seriously with the COP26 climate change agenda also makes a mockery of the Biden administration's contention that the best way to improve Beijing's conduct is through deeper diplomatic cooperation.

  • Beijing's main motivation is to undermine Western capitalism, not support it, which is why he has no intention of supporting the West's ill-considered dash for net zero carbon emissions.

Beijing's unwillingness to make any significant contribution to attempts at the COP26 conference to reduce global emissions has raised legitimate concerns that China is seeking to gain an economic advantage over its Western rivals as they struggle with the challenge of meeting net zero targets. Pictured: National finance leaders pose for a group photograph at the COP26 meeting on November 3, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Reigate-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Nothing better summarises Chinese President Xi Jinping's attitude to the West's obsession with tackling climate change than the old Chinese saying, "Hide a knife behind a smile."

As world leaders gathered for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Western leaders were desperately trying to reach a deal on cutting carbon emissions, which United Nations climate experts claim is a major cause of climate change.

There was no shortage of dire predictions in the run-up to the summit, with John Kerry, President Biden's climate envoy, warning that this is the world's "last best chance" to stop a climate catastrophe and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talking in apocalyptic terms about the world's failure to tackle the issue placing modern civilisation at risk.

But while Western leaders haggled over how quickly they can reach the "net zero" target the UN claims is essential to prevent climate warming reaching catastrophic levels by the end of the century, Mr Xi has been demonstrating a noticeable lack of enthusiasm for the cuts demanded by climate campaigners.

This has prompted concerns among economists that Beijing's reluctance to join the scramble to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 -- one of the main objectives at COP26 -- will ultimately provide China with a significant economic advantage over its Western rivals.

With the UN issuing countless warnings that the world faces "chaos and conflict" if action is not taken, Mr Xi, whose country is one of the world's highest emitters of carbon dioxide, demonstrated his unwillingness to cooperate with the dash to net zero by declining to attend the Glasgow conference. Instead he agreed to participate in discussions with other world leaders by video conference.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was another prominent non-attendee, although he has cited concerns over Covid restrictions for not travelling to Glasgow, even though his absence will be seen as a yet another serious blow to the summit's prospects of agreeing to, and actually implementing, a carbon reduction programme.

Of far greater concern than the non-attendance of the Chinese and Russian presidents, though, was Mr Xi's disappointing response to calls from the UN for it to reduce its emissions.

António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, has called for China to ensure emissions peak before 2030, thereby helping efforts of keeping global temperature increases to 1.5 percent, a target that was set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"Humanity's future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5C by 2030," said Mr Guterres, adding that world leaders were "utterly failing to keep this target within reach".

Instead China, which was recently found to emit more greenhouse gases than all countries in the entire developed world combined, has provided a deeply lukewarm response to calls for Beijing to take more drastic action. A report published earlier this year by Rhodium Group found that China's emissions more than tripled over the previous three decades, and had risen to the point where it emitted 27% of the world's greenhouse gases in 2019.

Yet, in its formal submission to the UN prior to the COP26 summit, China made only a small improvement to its emission-cutting plan, prompting one European climate expert to criticise the Chinese plan as "disappointing and a missed opportunity."

Crucially, while the Chinese economy relies heavily for its energy needs on coal-fired power stations, which are widely regarded as a major contributor to global warming, Beijing shows little inclination to develop alternative energy supplies. On the contrary, Beijing remains committed to opening hundreds more coal-fired power plants in the coming years, with the result that China's new coal plants will more than offset all the closures of other coal-fired stations that have taken place in the rest of the world during the past year.

Beijing's National Energy Commission, has defended the need to build more coal-fired power stations, and stressed the importance of regular energy supply, after swathes of the country were recently plunged into darkness by power cuts.

Nevertheless, Beijing's unwillingness to make any significant contribution to attempts at the COP26 conference to reduce global emissions has raised legitimate concerns that China is seeking to gain an economic advantage over its Western rivals as they struggle with the challenge of meeting net zero targets.

There is a growing body opinion on both sides of the Atlantic that dramatic reductions in carbon omission could wreak economic havoc for Western economies if the pursuit of "green" economies is pursued at the expense of maintaining energy supplies. In Europe, for example, the race to abandon traditional fossil fuels as a major source of energy has led to increased reliance on energy supplies from Russia through its controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Mr Xi's refusal to engage seriously with the COP26 climate change agenda also makes a mockery of the Biden administration's contention that the best way to improve Beijing's conduct is through deeper diplomatic cooperation. That certainly seems to be the view of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan following his recent meetings with senior members of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.

As Mr Xi's contemptuous attitude towards COP26 demonstrates only too well, Beijing's main motivation is to undermine Western capitalism, not support it, which is why he has no intention of supporting the West's ill-considered dash for net zero carbon emissions.

 

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

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17912/china-climate-change

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Public Education Has Always Been About Indoctrination - Don Feder

 

​ by Don Feder

It didn’t start with CRT and transgenderism.

 


Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in the Virginia governor’s race shows the power of parents who are furious about public school indoctrination.

Education became a central part of Youngkin’s campaign. Without it, he would not have mobilized millions of concerned parents across the Commonwealth and sailed to victory against an ex-governor in a blue state.

Election night coverage included an interview with a woman who survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution, who said she stood in a cold rain for 8 hours that day handing out ballots. With laser-like focus, Xi Van Fleet said the contest in Virginia came down to Marxism versus Americanism.

The most important part of Youngkin’s victory speech was when he emphatically voiced his commitment to choice in education. Ban Critical Race theory? Absolutely. Listen to families? Of course. But, ultimately, public education can’t be reformed.

Public schools were created not to educate, but to indoctrinate. From Marx to Dewey to the current leadership of the Democrat Party and the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, revolutionaries have always targeted youth and seen schools as the spearhead of the revolution.

When he was governor of Virginia in 2015, Terry McAuliffe (who was deservedly defeated in this election) was pushing Critical Race Theory in the schools, something he claimed did not exist in his 2021 campaign for governor.

When McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach,” he was articulating a first principle of public education going back to its beginnings in the early 19th century: “Give us your money. Give us your kids. Then close your eyes. Shut your mouth. And let us do our job of transforming society.”

Today, the cutting edge is Critical Race Theory (whites are inherently evil), the 1619 Project (America is inherently evil) and what one proponent called the Queering Up of public education.

A Kansas school apologized for handing out a “Gender Unicorn” worksheet which asked students, “Do you know your identity or are you still in identity confusion stage?” In Broward County, Florida, an elementary school class went on a field trip to a gay bar. (“Mommy, what’s fisting?”)

But these are just the latest mutations. Sex education, which started in the 1940s, quickly devolved into sexuality education – where students learned a variety of perversions in the name of disease prevention and birth control. Anti-Americanism in the schools has a long pedigree.

Recall the title of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book, “It Takes a Village” to Raise a Child …. She didn’t mean neighborhoods or local communities, but government in general and government schools specifically.

The typical child spends 15,000 hours in a classroom in grades K through 12. Instead of wasting it on science, reading and math, the curriculum increasingly looks like it was designed by Commissar AOC and Professor Sanders,

The seeds of today’s horror show were planted at the outset.

In his book, “American Marxism” (published in July), Mark R. Levin writes: “It is academia and its rule over the education of generations of students that serves as the most potent force for Marxist indoctrination and advocacy, and the most powerful impetus for its acceptance and spread.”

In “The Communist Manifesto,” Karl Marx decreed, “The education of all children from the moment that they can get along without their mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.” When the workers’ revolt failed to materialize, state education became the engine of revolution.

Writing in the 1920s, Antonio Gramsci said, “Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and media (and then) by transforming the consciousness of society.” Hence the long march through the institutions.

Hillary was a disciple of Saul Alinsky (“Rules for Radicals”), who was influenced by Herbert Marcuse (repressive tolerance), who was a leader of the Frankfurt School (whose ideology he brought to America), which was established to build on the teachings of Gramsci. The Democrat Party’s 2016 nominee was a link in a chain that stretched back to an Italian Marxist almost 100 years earlier.

While Europeans Marx and Gramsci preached the importance of education to the coming revolution, Horace Mann and John Dewey laid the foundation for public education in America.

Generally acknowledged to be the father of state schools, Mann was a utopian and an admirer of the collectivist communities established by industrialist Robert Owen (the George Soros of his age) in the Northeast and Indiana.

In the 1830s, Mann pioneered the first public school system in America in Massachusetts (supported by Unitarians), by setting up the first State Board of Education and becoming its first secretary. Mann later went to Prussia (then the cradle of statism) to learn how government schools could mold impressionable minds.

John Dewey (the father of so-called Progressive education) carried Mann’s work into the 20th. century. As Mann looked to Prussia for inspiration, Dewey made his pilgrimage to the USSR.

Levin notes: “Dewey was an early fan of the Soviet Union and its ‘educational system’ – or, more precisely, its massive propaganda effort where obedience and conformity were contorted into a new unity.”

A signer of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto (“a socialist cooperative economic order must be established”), Dewey admitted: “You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.” Indeed.

In the 21st century, Marx and Dewey’s work of social transformation is carried on by the teachers’ unions and their auxiliary, the Democrat Party.

CRT is the Marxist model of oppressor and oppressed applied to race. Queering Up applies it to gender.

Again, it’s not about teaching children how to think but what to think. That’s why the fight over CRT and mask mandates has turned so vicious, with Attorney General Merrick Garland threatening to treat unruly parents as domestic terrorists.

And it’s why the 2.3-million-member National Education Association, at its annual convention in July, voted to increase its support of CRT and work to publicize “an already-created, in-depth study that critiques white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy … capitalism… and other forms of power and oppression” that are said to animate opposition to CRT.  (It’s also why the NEA gives 94% of its campaign contributions to the party which is its BF4L.)

These are the leftwing loonies who get to spend an average of 15,000 hours per student indoctrinating the captives of America’s public school system.

The answer is to help the prisoners escape on an underground railroad which will lead them to educational choice and the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.  The Virginia campaign was the first stop on that exhilarating train ride.

 

Don Feder

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/11/public-education-has-always-been-about-don-feder/

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The Left’s Weaponization of Language - Joseph Klein

 

​ by Joseph Klein

A crucial part of its strategy to fundamentally transform America.

 


The New York Times featured a story on November 1st entitled “BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate Over Language on the Left.” The article quoted Cathy Albisa, vice president of institutional and sectoral change at the racial justice nonprofit Race Forward, as she tried to explain the far left’s obsession with radically transforming language to accommodate their radical social justice agenda. “You can’t change what you can’t name,” Albisa said

The leftists’ strategy to bring about radical change is to create an issue such as systemic racism or transphobia, divide the world into oppressors and oppressed around that issue, and engage in disruptive protests until their demands are met.

Weaponizing language is part and parcel of this strategy. It’s all about controlling the narrative to move the country to the far left.  

The National Review has an apt name for this attack on traditional language – “Wokespeak.” Leftists are not content with using Wokespeak as their own jargon to communicate with each other. The social justice warriors insist on making Wokespeak the dominant vocabulary of their brave new world. Certain words that we have grown up with and use on a regular basis are no longer acceptable, they argue, because such words help keep the supremacist cis-white- heteropatriarchy in power.

The radical left has already succeeded in guilting corporate officers, government officials, and school administrators, as well as much of the mainstream media, into incorporating benign-sounding inclusivity and anti-bias principles in their work environments. From there it has not been a huge leap for liberal leaning institutions to mandate that certain politically correct words be used, and other words avoided, in order to create the truly “inclusive” environment they claim to embrace.

Transgender activists, for example, are pushing use of the word “they” to replace “he/she” as the proper singular pronoun. “Mother” is out. “Birthing person” is in.

If the transgender activists get their way, more than 99 percent of the U.S. population who identify with their biological sex would have to fundamentally alter their customary speech to accommodate the feelings of a tiny but strident transgender minority.

Merriam Webster named 'they' as its Word of the Year for 2019. Merriam Webster explained at the time that the word 'they' has been “used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary, a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as all over social media and in daily personal interactions between English speakers. There's no doubt that its use is established in the English language, which is why it was added to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary this past September.”

In other words, Merriam Webster is using its reputation as America’s best-known dictionary to help normalize a fundamental change in the meaning of centuries-old pronouns to conform with the transgender activists’ cultural transformation agenda.

The Biden administration’s Office of Budget and Management is on board with the transgender Wokespeak. It used the phrase “birthing person” in the budget it released earlier this year.

The White House’s website contact page includes a dropdown menu allowing users to choose among multiple pronoun options, including “she/her,” “he/him,” “they/them,” or “other” where they can write in their own pronoun preference.

One of the first actions that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives took at the opening of the 117th Congress was to adopt a new gender-neutral speech code. House Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern explained that “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules” were changed to “ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families—including those who are nonbinary.”

More and more companies are pressuring their employees to identify their own preferred pronouns in such work-related usages as email signatures and conference nametags.

Schools have disciplined teachers who refused to use their transgender students’ preferred pronouns for religious reasons.

Critical race theory activists hide behind euphemisms such as “diversity, “inclusion,” and “culturally responsive teaching” to mask their neo-Marxist dogma that divides people by race rather than by class.

These activists are seeking to normalize the broad use of the term “equity” instead of “equality” to express America’s guiding ideal. Don’t be fooled by their semantics. The goal of critical race social warriors is to fundamentally transform America from a society that values equality of opportunity to a society that mandates what the activists define as a “just” outcome. It’s stealthy way of saying “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

The tactic is working well. The Biden administration, for example, has declared in its list of “immediate priorities” that it is putting equity at the "center" of its agenda to “embed racial justice across Federal agencies, policies, and programs.”

The military is also going “woke.” Daniel Greenfield, author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s booklet, Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country, has written about the top military brass’s embrace of critical race theory. “Tragically for our nation, the Biden administration is continuing Clinton and Obama’s destruction of the military,” Greenfield said. “Our country is barely surviving a woke government and woke corporations, it will not survive the disloyal military leaders of a woke military.”

Company human resource departments are incorporating critical race theory precepts such as racial “equity” into their training programs. Schools are doing the same in their student curricula, creating a parental backlash that Barack Obama mocked as “fake outrage.”

Fighting all this wokeness, including the perversion of our language with Wokespeak, is this decade’s preeminent battle to ensure that America remains true to its founding ideals.

 

Joseph Klein

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/11/radical-lefts-weaponization-language-joseph-klein/

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Bennett’s Up or Out Moment - Douglas Altabef

 

​ by Douglas Altabef

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan 

The PM's handling of the proposed US Consulate will define his worthiness to serve.

 

Bennett, Biden and Johnson
Bennett, Biden and Johnson                                                                                            Photo: AFP

It is not easy to lead any country, and it is particularly not easy to lead Israel. For reasons old and new, great and small, the leader of Israel is required to deal with many external pressures which typically do not beset most other leaders.

The subtext of many of these challenges is a diminution, ignoring or disparagement of the reality of Israeli sovereignty.

Historically, many nations, particularly the wealthy and powerful ones, have treated Israeli sovereignty as a burden to be worked around and out-maneuvered in the name of larger interests.

The acid test for anyone serving as Prime Minister of Israel is to disabuse other leaders of this condescension. Great Israeli leaders act as if the sovereignty and self-determination of Israel are paramount, subject only to the classic test of what is in the best interests of Israel, as Israelis themselves would define it.

The issue raised by the Biden administration, from the President down to his once and again Arabist State Department, proposing the establishment of a US Consulate in western Jerusalem, less than three miles from the US Embassy, to serve the interests of Palestinians, is a classic example of great power derogation of Israeli sovereignty in the pursuit of great power interests.

It is of a piece with the EU's funding illegal construction in Area C as a way of pursuing the European idea of what will bring peace and justice in this region.

The Biden administration knows well the implications of constructively planting the Palestinian flag not only on Israeli soil, but also smack dab in the heart of its unified capital.

They also know that international law precludes them from doing this unilaterally; they must receive the approval of the host country to move forward.

The thought is that we, little Israel, will hopefully see the light of enlightenment as cast by the US, who, after all, is playing on the biggest stage of all.

Forget the merits or the lack thereof of the American position. This is about the assertion of the national will of one country over another. Notice that the Biden administration doesn't even make a pretense of asserting that this decision is in Israel's interests, except to imply that following US orders is a good strategy for Israel.

This is best case, well intentioned naivete, and more likely the disdainful attitude that holds that the Biden administration knows better what is in everyone’s interests, and is intent on making that happen, regardless of whether a myopic Israel agrees or not.

So, like his predecessors, PM Bennett has to face the music, to assert the sanctity of Israel's sovereignty, regardless of the inconvenience that it will cause to others.

Bennett has portrayed himself as a natural, worthy leader of Israel, despite his lack of a popular mandate to become Prime Minister. He campaigned that he is ready and capable of leading.

Fair enough. Mr. Prime Minister, this then is your moment, your true audition for being judged worthy to represent us. You obviously know that this is an offensive and completely counterproductive proposal.

Your test is to clearly, forcefully yet respectfully decline to allow this to go forward. In doing so you will not only have done the obligatory right thing, but also you will have done yourself an immense service going forward by showing US and also European leaders that you are not to be intimidated, pressured and trifled with.

Making a career of not being like your predecessor will only carry you so far. Now we need, the world needs to see what and who you, you yourself will be.

You must stand strong and assert that it is not in Israel's interests, in fact it runs counterproductive to everything that Israel represents, to allow such a Consulate; but also, that Israel will always seek to work collaboratively to further the cause of true peace.

PM Bennett would be wise to parry this proposal with one that includes the full enforcement of the Taylor Force Act, prohibiting aid to the Palestinian Authority to the extent it pays the families of terrorists, and one that also reminds the State Department of the virtual impossibility of achieving peace when the top down culture and education system of the Palestinian Authority is predicated on Jew hatred.

One increasingly senses that the approach of the Biden administration toward Israel is becoming much like that of the Palestinian Authority: every accommodation is an indication of weakness, to be exploited with additional demands. This push, and then push some more posture must be confronted and stopped cold.

Prime Minister Bennett, the ball is squarely in your court. This is a pass/fail exam with no partial credit. Are you worthy of serving as Israel's Prime Minister, clearly and unequivocally defending Israel’s interests to anyone and everyone?

We are rooting for you.

 

Douglas Altabef is the Chairman of the Board of Im Tirtzu, Israel’s largest grassroots Zionist organization, and a Director of the Israel Independence Fund. He can be reached at dougaltabef@gmail.com.

Source:https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/316263

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Is Stealing Wrong? - Dennis Prager

 

​ by Dennis Prager

Not on the Left.

 


To most readers of this column, the question is absurd. The reason is not because the question is, in fact, absurd; it is because most readers of this column are conservative, and many are religious.

Am I implying that most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong?

Yes, I am.

As incredible as this assertion is to just about all religious people and virtually all conservatives, most leftists do not believe stealing is wrong. Since I always draw a distinction between those on the Left and liberals, let me add that I suspect most liberals think stealing is wrong. But it almost doesn't matter because they vote for people who do not think it is.

One proof is the passage of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed in 2014, under which theft of less than $950 in goods is treated as a nonviolent misdemeanor and rarely prosecuted. As a result, in Democrat-run California cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, retail theft has soared.

Walgreens stores in San Francisco are racking up four times the average amount of theft in Walgreens stores across the country; spending on security guards in San Francisco is 35 times more than the chain's average in other cities. Walgreens has been forced to close 22 stores in the city since 2016.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: "The Safeway located in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood ... was a longstanding, 24-hour fixture in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. But as of last week, the store's hours have been cut back to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m ... A Safeway spokesperson (said) that the cutbacks are 'due to an increasing amount of theft at the store.'"

Further proof that the Left doesn't consider theft wrong — at least when committed by a person of color — was an interview broadcast on NPR last year with the author of a book titled "In Defense of Looting." The NPR interviewer threw only softball questions to the author.

In the last election, Los Angeles voters elected San Francisco's previous district attorney, George Gascon, as Los Angeles's district attorney. It was Los Angeles's way of declaring that stealing is not wrong. And it is worth noting that it is not only racial minorities and the poor who make these elections possible; it is also prosperous whites. The Los Angeles DA is a wealthy white, and he was supported by a white billionaire, George Soros.

It is hard to believe that millions of Americans do not deem stealing from stores morally wrong, so let's try to explain how this has come about.

Reason No. 1 is moral relativism. For as long as there has been a Left, it has rejected moral absolutes. As the great British historian, Paul Johnson, pointed out a half-century ago in his magnum opus, "Modern Times," the secular world applied the relativism of the natural sciences to morality.

Reason No. 2 is the reason for reason number one: the collapse of the Judeo-Christian value system and the accompanying abandonment of, and often disdain for, biblical ethics. Biblical morality posits moral absolutes — meaning that stealing is wrong for everyone, certainly people of every color. Yes, one can offer a biblical defense of a starving man stealing food for his starving family. But that is hardly what is happening in San Francisco and other American cities.

Reason No. 3 is Marxist morality. From Marx to the present, Marxism has divided the world not between right and wrong, but between economic classes. Therefore, it is morally acceptable for members of the poorer classes to steal from members of the more affluent classes. This notion has made its way into young people's minds for decades. About 30 years ago, I spoke to students from four Cleveland high schools. I asked them to raise their hand if they would steal something they really wanted from a department store if they were certain they would not get caught. Nearly all the students raised their hands. When I asked some of them to justify their reasoning, they all said the same thing: they wouldn't steal from a mom-and-pop store, but they would steal from a department store. It is OK to steal from "the rich."

Reason No. 4 is leftists' view of nonwhites, especially blacks, a view that conservatives have never shared. Leftists truly believe that blacks are intellectually and morally inferior to whites. The evidence? They do not believe blacks should be held to the same intellectual and moral standards to which leftists hold whites. Leftists do not defend whites who steal, and they hold whites to higher intellectual standards. Leftists do not argue for lowering math standards for whites, only for blacks.

The bottom line is the Left is immoral. That is why it defends stealing.

 

Dennis Prager

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/11/stealing-wrong-dennis-prager/

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US officials claim Iran seized Vietnamese oil tanker - Elad Benari

 

​ by Elad Benari

US officials say Iran seized a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on October 24 and still holds the vessel.

Iran seized a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman last month and still holds the vessel, two US officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops took control of the MV Southys, a vessel that analysts suspect of trying to transfer sanctioned Iranian crude oil to Asia, on October 24 at gunpoint, the officials said.

US forces had monitored the seizure, but ultimately didn't take action as the vessel sailed into Iranian waters, according to AP.

Iran celebrated its capture of the vessel in dramatic footage aired on state television, the day before the 42nd anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran.

Officials at the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ship-tracking data analyzed by AP from MarineTraffic.com showed the vessel still off Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday. A satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. also showed the vessel off Bandar Abbas in recent days.

The report came after Iranian state TV claimed that Iran had foiled an attempt by the US to "steal" oil in the Sea of Oman.

According to the Mehr news agency, there was a confrontation between speedboats belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and a US ship.

The US ship left the scene, Mehr said, promising that footage would soon follow.

Asked about Iran's assertion of US aggression, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said it was false and that it was Iran that had seized what he described as a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Oman on October 24.

“It's a bogus claim,” Kirby said of the Iranian assertion. “The only seizing that was done was by Iran." He declined to cite the nationality of the vessel that was seized, saying it was up to that country to discuss it.

In August, Iran attacked an Israeli-owned oil tanker, the MV Mercer Street, as it sailed in the Arabian Sea. Two of the ship's crew members were killed in that attack, which the US promised to repay with an "appropriate response."

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the Persian Gulf. The Revolutionary Guard typically patrols the shallower waters of the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.

One such incident in May of 2020 included a tense encounter between US and Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.

The US military said at the time that 11 Revolutionary Guards naval vessels from the Guards navy came close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged that the incident had taken place, but also claimed that it was American forces who sparked the incident.

In April of 2020, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the Islamic Republic will respond “severely” if US vessels violate its territorial waters.

 

Elad Benari

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/316283

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