Friday, May 6, 2022

At least 3 killed in terror attack in Elad - Israel National News

 

by Israel National News

2 terrorists go on stabbing spree with an axe and a knife in haredi city of Elad.

At least three people have been killed and four others wounded in a terrorist attack in the haredi city of Elad Thursday night.

Several Magen David Adom (MDA)and United Hatzalah ambulances were called to the scene of the incident. According to MDA's statement, there are seven victims in total, three of whom have passed away. Of the other four victims, three are in serious condition, one is in moderate condition, and one is in light condition.

According to preliminary reports, the terrorist attacked people with an axe on a city street before moving to a nearby park to continue his killing spree. Police spokesperson Eli Levy said that there were reportedly two attackers, one armed with an axe, and one with a knife.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Moshe Sa'adon, the head of the Elad chapter for the organization who was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene said, "Unfortunately, one of the people injured in the stabbing incident was pronounced dead at the scene. We had performed CPR on him in an attempt to save his life but were unsuccessful.

"Additionally, together with other first responders, I treated two other people who were in critical condition and three additional people in serious condition. There is also one person in moderate to serious condition and a number of people who sustained light injuries."

Two other victims were later declared dead.

One witness wrote on Twitter: "I was in an attack in Elad. The terrorists approached me and a friend with huge axes. My whole arm was covered in blood but I was miraculously saved. Thank G-d."

Elad Mayor Yisrael Porush called on residents to remain in their homes: "Everyone should stay at home and close the doors to their balconies, as it is not yet clear if the perpetrators have been caught. Security forces are doing their job and we should not make it more difficult for them."

The mayor added: "The incident occurred in the city's main park, which covers a large area and makes it harder for police. To the best of my understanding, there is more than one area of focus in this incident."

 

Israel National News

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/327033

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Russia Threatens to Nuke Britain, France, and Germany - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

A dramatic escalation.

 


Russia threatened a dramatic escalation of its war in Ukraine Thursday when Russia’s Channel One featured a video depicting Russian missiles reaching Berlin, Paris, and London.

Zhuravlyov declared: “One Sarmat [missile] and that’s it – the British Isles are no more.” The show’s cohost, Evgeny Popov, responded: “No one will survive in this war when you propose the strike with a Sarmat. Do you understand that no one will survive? No one on the planet.” Zhuravlyov, however, was undeterred, saying optimistically that “we’ll start with a blank slate,” and boasting that Russian missiles “can’t be intercepted. Their abilities are limited. They say they can shoot it down, we’ll see about that.”

The show’s other host, Popov’s wife Olga Skabeyeva, then added: “Sarmats are not in Kaliningrad yet. From Kaliningrad to Berlin is 106 seconds, from Kaliningrad to Paris is 200 seconds. You’re interested in London, 202 seconds to London.” Zhuravlyov responded happily: “They need to be shown this picture. ‘Guys, look at this picture — count the seconds, can you make it? Hello, it’s already here.’ That’s the way. Let them think about it. Get a stopwatch, count [to] 220 seconds. That’s how you talk to them, they don’t understand anything else.”

This latest round of nuclear threats came after James Stephen Heappey, Britain’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, said that Ukraine should strike inside Russia: “It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt the logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil.” He also voiced support for other countries supplying Ukraine with weaponry: “There are lots of countries around the world that operate kit that they have imported from other countries; when those bits of kit are used we tend not to blame the country that manufactured it, you blame the country that fired it.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wondered if NATO would consider the same actions on Russia’s part to be justified: “Do we understand correctly that for the sake of disrupting the logistics of military supplies, Russia can strike military targets on the territory of those NATO countries that supply arms to the Kyiv regime? After all, this directly leads to deaths and bloodshed on Ukrainian territory. As far as I understand, Britain is one of those countries.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry added a threat: “We would like to underline that London’s direct provocation of the Kyiv regime into such actions, if such actions are carried out, will immediately lead to our proportional response. As we have warned, the Russian armed forces are in round-the-clock readiness to launch retaliatory strikes with high-precision long-range weapons at decision-making centres in Kyiv.” On Wednesday, Putin himself directly threatened retaliation against countries that are aiding Ukraine: “We have all the tools for this, that no one else can boast of having. We won’t boast about it: we’ll use them, if needed.”

This echoed what he said when he launched the invasion on February 24: “Now a few important, very important words for those who may be tempted to intervene in the ongoing events. Whoever tries to hinder us, or threaten our country or our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to consequences that you have never faced in your history. We are ready for any turn of events. All necessary decisions in this regard have been made. I hope that I will be heard.”

He was not heard. France 24 reported on Sunday that “rather than hiding it,” the Pentagon “began openly talking this week about how it is training Ukrainian troops, including inside Germany, to use the weapons they are receiving. And instead of saying, as it did in February, that it wants only to help Ukraine survive, Washington now says its goal in the war is to debilitate Russia for the long term.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

Will this, then, become a nuclear war? We’re closer to that than we have been for nearly sixty years.

 

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. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/russia-threatens-nuke-britain-france-and-germany-robert-spencer/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The Twisted World of Biden's New Ministry of Truth Czarina - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

These are our moral superiors, America.

 


PJ’s Rick Moran revealed recently that the chief of America’s new Thought Police, Disinformation Governance Board executive director Nina Jankowicz, brings a peculiar wealth of experience to her new job: she falsely claimed in 2017 that Republicans funded the notorious Steele Dossier that was a central element of the Russian Collusion hoax, and she insisted that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a “Trump campaign product.” So it’s clear: this is an individual who knows all about disinformation. She also brings a certain enthusiasm to her Disinformation Governance Board job, as is clear from a video Tucker Carlson broadcast Thursday, in which Jankowicz lustily belts out a song, sung to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” denouncing disinformation.

Jankowicz herself tweeted the video on Feb. 17, 2021, with the caption, “You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation.” Affecting a poor English accent, she sang:

Information laundering is really quite ferocious

It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious

By saying them in Congress or in mainstream outlets so disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious

It’s how you hide a little lie, little lie

It’s how you hide a little lie, little lie

It’s how you hide a little, hide a little lie

But Rudy Giuliani shared bad intel from Ukraine

Or when TikTok influencers said COVID can cause pain

They’re laundering disinfo and we really should take note, and not support their lies with our wallet, voice or throat

These are our moral superiors, America! These are the guardians of acceptable opinion! Is there anyone who ever saw this video who thought it was cute or funny? Likely the only people who did were members of Jankowicz’s own social circle: far-Left members of the Washington elite, affluent, comfortable, and untroubled by the rise of authoritarianism in the U.S. because they themselves are the authoritarians.

Tucker Carlson pointed out: “Now, you may have noticed if you listened carefully to the ditty that she just sang that every example of disinformation in her karaoke performance came from people who opposed Joe Biden’s policies. Is that a coincidence? Probably not. In fact, we know it’s not because Nina Jankowicz is telling [us that] all the disinformation is on the other side of the political divide.” That is no surprise, as the whole point of Jankowicz’s Disinformation Governance Board is to quash dissent by stigmatizing it as falsehood that is inimical to the life and health of “our democracy,” by which Leftists mean “Leftist hegemony in politics and culture.”

Jankowicz is a natural for her new job. Not only does her revolting disinformation ditty reveal her enthusiasm for censorship, but she has been calling for it for quite some time. On Jan. 28, 2021, she published a lengthy article in Wired entitled “Online Harassment Toward Women Is Getting Even More Insidious: From coded memes to deepfake porn, abusive disinformation campaigns are sliding past moderation tools. Platforms, Congress, and employers need to help women fight back.”

On the same day, she tweeted: “For @WIRED, I wrote about the online gendered abuse I experienced, and the attacks we tracked against @KamalaHarris, @AOC, @IlhanMN, & more. Platforms and governments aren’t doing enough. It’s time to act. Our national security and democracy are at stake.” Apparently conservative women don’t experience any online harassment; that’s only for Leftist women. Ominously, Jankowicz declared in her article that “Congress should reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and include provisions against online gender-based harassment.” If the definition of “violence” is to be redefined to include certain types of speech, the door is opened to all manner of censorship. Anything can be said to be speech that might lead to violence, including political dissent, and silenced accordingly.

The very idea of the Disinformation Governance Board is bad enough, but the fact that Biden’s handlers would put a convinced and enthusiastic fascist such as Nina Jankowicz in charge of it is even worse. Nina Jankowicz has been preparing for this moment for practically her entire professional life, and this is her chance to shine on the biggest stage of all. Her own website is labeled “Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Expert.” Her bio at that website begins: “Nina Jankowicz is an internationally-recognized expert on disinformation.” This is her entire professional identity. There is no doubt that she is going to undertake her new duties with gusto. And that’s just one more problem with this new Disinformation Governance Board, on top of all the others.

 

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. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/bidens-new-ministry-truth-czarina-lunatic-robert-spencer/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Bret Baier presses Tim Ryan on late term abortions: 'You got to leave it up to the woman' - Fox News Staff

 

by Fox News Staff

What was established in Roe v. Wade is something that we can continue to work with, Ryan said

 

 

Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, talks about his stance on abortion restrictions and if he wants Biden on the campaign trail on "Special Report."

TIM RYAN: Look, I think what we had established in Roe is something that we can continue to work with, and I think those can be the parameters. But then again, if you get rid of what was established law which in many ways was conservative to keep that to appreciate stare decisis and make sure we appreciate the law. If we move away from that you will get states like Ohio that have some of the most extreme laws in the whole country. Where if you are a young girl, and you have been raped or there has been incest that you can’t — you have to — the state, the government is going to force you to bring that baby to term and I don’t think that’s a fundamental value.

BRET BAIER: My question was about any limits to abortion at any point. Late-term, anything?

TIM RYAN: Look, you got to leave it up to the woman. You and I sitting here can’t account for all of the different scenarios that a woman, dealing with the complexities of a pregnancy, are going through. How can you and I figure that out?

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HERE:

Fox News Staff

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/media/bret-baier-presses-tim-ryan-on-late-term-abortions-you-got-to-leave-it-up-to-the-woman

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Rand Paul grills Mayorkas on disinformation: 'I don't trust government to figure out what the truth is' - Ronn Blitzer

 

by Ronn Blitzer

Kentucky senator challenged DHS secretary about government telling people what is true

 

 

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his department's newly-announced Disinformation Governance Board, asserting that the American people do not need the federal government to tell them what the truth is.

Paul specifically pointed to claims that he has made about the COVID-19 pandemic that have not been in line with administration policies.

SEN. RAND PAUL: FAUCI IS AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT AMERICA STANDS FOR

"I’ve said a million times that cloth masks don't work. YouTube takes me down. They’re a private company I can have that beef with him. What about you? You're going to look at that? I often say that natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better. You're going to take that down?"

In recent months, experts have said cloth masks were not very effective in combating COVID-19, yet mask mandates continued in many schools, and until recently on public transportation, with cloth masks being acceptable coverings. Other policies that have required vaccination or testing have failed to account for immunity from previous infection.

"Are you going to put information out there saying that I'm spreading disinformation?" Paul asked.

Mayorkas stated that his agency's staff "are not the public's health experts to make those determinations."

"So public health won't be part of the Disinformation Governance Board? No COVID disinformation? Yes or no?" Paul pressed.

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Jan. 11, 2022, at Capitol Hill.

Sen. Rand Paul questions Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Jan. 11, 2022, at Capitol Hill.  (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Mayorkas would not answer, claiming that Paul was giving him "vague" hypothetical situations. Paul claimed that his examples were "very specific." Mayorkas then gave a situation of his own in which he believes it would be appropriate for the government to get involved.

"'Do not under any circumstances accept the vaccine at a FEMA overseeing vaccination center because they are actually peddling fentanyl,'" Mayorkas said, putting forth an example of a dangerous false claim about COVID-19 vaccines.

"Now, should I sit back and take that, or should I actually disseminate accurate information?" he asked. "That's what we’re doing, what we would do. Should FEMA issue accurate information that the vaccinations that we are administering in the sites that we oversee actually are the COVID-19 vaccines?"

SEN. PAUL CELEBRATES END TO MAKS MANDATE AS HE ARRIVES FOR FIRST FLIGHT SINCE RULING: ‘HAPPY DAY!’

Paul disagreed with the idea that Americans need the government to do this for them.

Mayorkas denies knowing 'disinformation czar' called Hunter Biden laptop 'Russian disinformation'

Video

"I have a greater respect for the American people than you do. I think the American people can figure out the truth," the senator said. "And if you think the American people need to be told there's not fentanyl in the vaccination, feel free to say it. But the thing is, is if you are going to go around saying that you're the arbiter of information and of disinformation, I think you have no clue. And you don't have the perspective of history knowing that disinformation, the largest progenitor of disinformation in our history, has probably been the U.S. government."

That last comment was in line with what Paul said earlier, about the U.S. government having a history of spreading disinformation.

"Do you know, the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government," Paul said. "Are you familiar with McNamara? The Pentagon Papers? Are you familiar with George W. Bush and the weapons of mass destruction? Are you familiar with Iran-contra?" 

"I mean, think of all the debates and disputes we've had over the last 50 years in our country," Paul continued. "We worked them out by debating them. We don't work them out by the government being the arbiter. I don't want guardrails. I want you to have nothing to do with speech. You think we can't determine, you know, speech by traffickers is disinformation. Do you think the American people are so stupid they need you to tell them what the truth is? You can't even admit what the truth is with the Steele dossier. I don't trust government to figure out what the truth is. Government is largely disseminating disinformation."

 

Ronn Blitzer

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rand-paul-grills-mayorkas-disinformation-board

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The Fantasy World of the United Nations - Michael Curtis

 

by Michael Curtis

Has the UN become a negative factor in the search for international justice and peace?

The UN has become, as Volodymyr Zelensky on April 5, 2022, told the UN Security Council, a venue for “conversation,” not one for action to stop aggression by Russia, a country that “has turned the right of veto into a right to die.” The question can be raised of whether it has become a negative factor in the search for international justice and peace. The partiality of the UN was shown in the past by its disproportionate behavior. The UN General Assembly held a moment of silence to honor North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. It refused to honor Vaclav Havel, freedom fighter, who died the day after Kim in 2011. The UN has been more often prominent for its lack of efficiency in preventing conflicts and in being the venue for expressions of anti-Semitism and appeasement, than in championing international justice.

The UN General Assembly has condemned Russia twice in non-binding resolutions over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia has been suspended from membership of the UN Human Rights Council. But it is meaningful that only 93 members of the UNGA voted to condemn Russia. The reality is that a majority of the members of the UN did not vote for condemnation.

The Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, of Portugal, is obviously well meaning and emotionally disturbed by the horrific scenario and images of dead civilians in the streets of Bucha that he visited on April 28, 2022. He called Russian aggression, “an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil. There is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century.”

Guterres supported calling on the International Criminal Court and “appealed to the Russian Federation... to cooperate with the ICC, International Criminal Court.” Similarly, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared she had been horrified by the images of Bucha, but only commented that the “reports emerging from Ukraine raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes as well as grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law.” 

The prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, who was chosen in February 2021, said on March 27, 2022 at the UN in New York, that he favored neither Russia nor Ukraine. In the search for truth, “the law is above us, and if the law is not above us, there’s nothing below is, except the abyss.” In a statement more appropriate coming from Groucho Marx, prosecutor Khan said “there were reasonable grounds” to believe that crimes had been committed in Ukraine., and the focus is on “alleged” crimes committed in Ukraine. The UN is ineffective and helpless, disregarding the admonition by Zelensky to the UN Security Council on April 6, 2022, “You need to act immediately.”

In contrast, British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, stated in a speech on April; 27, 2022, that the war in Ukraine is “our war, it is everyone’s war because Ukraine victory is strategically imperative for all of us. We will keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine.”

The Russian response to Truss is that the UK should clear off from Europe and “eat their porridge, and stop stealing fish and chips from Russia.” More depraved is the communique of foreign minister Sergey Lavrov that Zelensky is a Nazi despite being Jewish, and that Hitler had Jewish blood. More defiant is the Russian pronouncement that strategic stability will only be possible after the “special operation” in Ukraine is finished.

However, the free world has recognized that “the special operation” against Ukraine is part of the struggle between the West and Russia. The struggle has been more uncertain for a variety of reasons. First there is the Western and indeed global dependence on Russian energy. The EU has paid more than 35 billion euros to Russia since the “special operation” began. Germany is still not willing to ban Russian gas, but may ban Russian oil. Hungary, under Viktor Orban, who has opposed economic sanctions on Russia, will not ban both Russian oil and gas.

Secondly, the difficulty for the UN is of understanding the true relationship between Russia and China. At the meeting of Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing on February 4, 2022, this axis of autocracy stated the two countries were bound by “increasingly close partnership.” The countries called for NATO to abandon its “ideologized Cold War approaches,” and for all to respect the sovereignty, security, and interests of other countries. Though Ukraine was not mentioned in any joint statement, the countries pledged to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. 

Countries have refused to condemn Russian for various reasons. India obtains most of its arms from Russia and may, after clashes with China, need Russia as protector against advances by China in the Himalayas. Muslim majority countries have criticized the West, especially the U.S., for hypocrisy and double standards, for invading Iraq in 2003, for prolonging the civil war in Yemen, and for arming the Royal Saudi Air Force which conducts airstrikes in Yemen. African countries have benefited from supplies of Russian arms, which they do not recognize as a form of neo-colonialism.

In the Middle East, Syria has supported Russia, largely responsible for the survival of president Bashar al-Assad. Surprisingly, though supposedly friends of the West, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have not opposed Russian aggression and have been relatively mild in their criticism. The ruler of UAE, crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed, is friendly with Putin

Russian aggression presented the opportunity for the UN to generate global consensus. But it has been ineffective. Instead, the aggression has revived arguments for the reform, even the elimination of the UN, starting with the removal of the veto power which has been a tool of Russian diplomacy, and membership of the Security Council.

 Zelensky told the UN it was an utter failure. If it couldn’t work to end Russian aggression it should dissolve itself. That would stop the clowns in the UN from laughing.

Image: United Nations

 

Michael Curtis

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/05/the_fantasy_world_of_the_united_nations.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The Palestinian State Bill: Palestinians Ask That More Arab Repression Not Be Allowed - Khaled Abu Toameh

 

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The PA leadership apparently fears that stories about corruption, anti-Israel incitement and terrorism will prompt Western donors to halt their funding to the Palestinians.

  • According to the new bill, foreign journalists who do not endorse the Palestinian narrative or who do not "respect the Palestinian identity and history" may soon be banned from operating in PA-controlled areas.

  • The same restriction applies to Palestinian media organizations and journalists seeking permits to operate in these territories.

  • The PA leadership apparently fears that stories about corruption, anti-Israel incitement and terrorism will prompt Western donors to halt their funding to the Palestinians.

  • Unlike other Arab regimes, however, the PA is almost entirely dependent on foreign aid from the US, the European Union and other international donors, who do not seem the least bit bothered by the Palestinian leadership's measures to curb freedom of expression and deprive its people of an independent media.

  • In response, several Palestinian human rights and media organizations, including the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, expressed deep concern and disapproval of the PA leadership's intention to hijack the media.

  • The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate also warned that the draft bill, if approved, would have a negative impact on the international community's support for the Palestinians and undermine Palestinians' "dream of a modern Palestinian state that respects basic rights and freedoms."

  • Sadly, the Palestinians harbor no hope that their current leaders will work towards establishing a state where public freedoms and human rights are valued and respected.

  • The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are corrupt dictatorships that care only about their own interests.

  • What remains difficult for Palestinians to understand is the continuing silence of the international community and foreign media towards the human rights violations and restrictions on the institutions of democracy and freedom of speech perpetrated by the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) apparently fears that stories about corruption, anti-Israel incitement and terrorism will prompt Western donors to halt their funding to the Palestinians. According to a new draft law proposed by the PA leadership, foreign journalists who do not endorse the Palestinian narrative or who do not "respect the Palestinian identity and history" may soon be banned from operating in PA-controlled areas. (Images source: iStock)

While the US administration and many countries seem enthusiastic about the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians themselves are worried that such a state would end up like most of the corrupt and authoritarian regimes in the Arab world.

The Palestinians' concern was recently reinforced when they learned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to impose even harsher restrictions on the Palestinian and foreign media.

The restrictions are included in a draft law concerning the conditions for the licensing of media organizations operating in PA-controlled territories in the West Bank. The bill, currently being studied by the PA government, may soon be approved, turning it into official law.

According to the new bill, foreign journalists who do not endorse the Palestinian narrative or who do not "respect the Palestinian identity and history" may soon be banned from operating in PA-controlled areas.

The same restriction applies to Palestinian media organizations and journalists seeking permits to operate in these territories.

The bill comes in the context of the PA leadership's ongoing effort to silence its critics and tighten its grip on the foreign and local journalists covering Palestinian affairs.

It also comes in the context of the PA leadership's effort to ensure that journalists refrain from reporting stories that could reflect negatively on the Palestinians, especially regarding financial corruption and vicious incitement and terrorism against Israel.

The PA, which does not tolerate any form of criticism, wants to ensure that the local and foreign media's attention remains focused on anti-Israel coverage. This is not a new policy for the PA.

In fact, this has been the PA leadership's policy since its establishment in 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel.

This policy aims to intimidate journalists and their media organizations and prevent them from reporting stories that could harm the PA leadership's image and reputation.

The PA leadership apparently fears that stories about corruption, anti-Israel incitement and terrorism will prompt Western donors to halt their funding to the Palestinians.

The timing of the proposed bill is not coincidental.

It comes on the eve of the meeting in a few weeks of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, a committee consisting of donor countries that serves as the main policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people.

The PA leadership is hoping that the committee will approve additional and unconditional funding for the Palestinians.

That is why it is critical for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians, to ensure that the media remains muzzled about rampant corruption and other issues related to bad governance, and human rights violations by the Palestinian security forces.

Palestinians on the street are saying that instead of working towards guaranteeing a free media and freedom of expression, the PA is seeking to tighten its grip on Palestinian media outlets as part of an effort to prevent the publication of stories that reflect negatively on the PA leadership.

In this regard, the PA leadership is no different from other Arab totalitarian regimes that have absolute control of the media and crack down on all forms of criticism and opposition media outlets.

Unlike other Arab regimes, however, the PA is almost entirely dependent on foreign aid from the US, the European Union and other international donors, who do not seem the least bit bothered by the Palestinian leadership's measures to curb freedom of expression and deprive its people of an independent media.

The proposed law grants the PA government's Ministry of Information, Ministry of Interior (which is in charge of the Palestinian security forces) and the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology wide powers to approve or reject the licensing of newspapers and TV and radio stations.

According to the bill, the media organizations are required, as a precondition for obtaining a license, to commit to "maintaining public order, public security and the requirements of the public interest, refrain from broadcasting any immoral content or anything that is incompatible with the values ​​and principles of Palestinian society, respect the Palestinian identity and history, and not to broadcast any media material that would prejudice the Palestinian identity or prejudice the Palestinian narrative."

In addition, the media organizations are required to obtain security clearance and the approval of the Ministry of Information to replace a director or editor-in-chief. They are also required to provide the ministry with all written contracts of the workers and journalists as a condition for receiving a license.

The bill grants the PA Minister of Information the right to stop the work of any Palestinian or foreign media organization in the West Bank "that does not respect the Palestinian identity and history."

In response, several Palestinian human rights and media organizations, including the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, expressed deep concern and disapproval of the PA leadership's intention to hijack the media.

Palestinian organizations are saying that the proposed law was aimed at serving and promoting the interests of the PA leadership alone. If approved, they are cautioning, the law would contribute to restricting the work of media institutions and limit freedom of expression, negatively affecting civil peace and raising the state of internal tension.

"The organizations believe that this [new measure] comes in the context of a wave of legislation recently issued by the Palestinian Authority with the aim of granting more control to the executive authority and the attack on institutions that protect democratic values ​​and ensure the application of the principles of good governance," reads a statement by the Palestinian Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), which describes itself as a civil society organization that seeks to combat corruption and promote integrity, transparency and accountability in the Palestinian society.

The organizations warned that such legislation would "harm the reputation of the future Palestinian state with regard to respect for human rights and the values ​​of freedom and democracy."

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate also warned that the draft bill, if approved, would have a negative impact on the international community's support for the Palestinians and undermine Palestinians' "dream of a modern Palestinian state that respects basic rights and freedoms."

The Palestinian organizations stressed that ensuring the freedom, plurality and independence of the media comes within the respect and protection of the right to good governance and the rule of law, as well as enhancing the principle of transparency and accountability.

They urged the PA leadership not to endorse the proposed law and instead to launch discussions with human rights and media groups to reach agreement on legislation that takes into account democratic values.

Sadly, the Palestinians harbor no hope that their current leaders will work towards establishing a state where public freedoms and human rights are valued and respected.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are corrupt dictatorships that care only about their own interests.

What remains difficult for Palestinians to understand is the continuing silence of the international community and foreign media towards the human rights violations and restrictions on the institutions of democracy and freedom of speech perpetrated by the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

 

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

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18482/palestinian-state-bill

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Spreading Roe disinformation: Where are the disinformation police? - Jack Hellner

 

by Jack Hellner

The reason the media and Democrats are colluding to scare the public is because their policies are so unpopular.

For decades, scholars on both sides of the issue have said Roe v Wade was wrongly decided by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is supposed to determine if laws are constitutional and Roe V Wade created law, instead of interpreting law. 

Now that it looks like the Supreme Court may correct the wrong, and send the issue back to the states or Congress, the media and other Democrats are having a collective cow and colluding to  just make s*** up to scare the public. In other words, they are intentionally spreading misinformation to influence and interfere in the election.

The LA Times:

Column: Republicans hope the justices will keep rolling back rights after striking down Roe vs. Wade: 

The right to contraception is a ripe target. Also same-sex marriage. And even interracial marriage.

 Is there any likelihood that Clarence Thomas will vote to block interracial marriage since he is married to a white woman? There is not. 

The collusion among the media and other Democrats has been going on for a long time.

Democrat operative George Stephanopoulos, posing as a journalist, was moderating a presidential debate in 2012 and sent the message to the public that Republicans were contemplating banning contraceptives. There was no more evidence of this than there was of Trump colluding with Democrats in the 2016 election, but facts haven't mattered to the media or other Democrats for a long time, only winning.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

MITT ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception.

Isn't it rich when journalists and other Democrats, who will force women to wear masks and get vaccines or get fired or lose other rights, claim that they believe that women can do whatever they want with their body? Freedom of choice to Democrats is only when you choose to do what they want. Democrats wouldn't even let women or anyone choose their own doctor or own policy when they forced Obamacare on the public.

VP Kamala Harris: “How dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can do and not do with her own body? How dare they? How dare they try to stop her in determining her own future?"

Democrats claim the Roe v Wade and abortion are extremely popular, so why haven't they codified it through Congress in 49 years? They had complete control of Congress and the White House in 2009 and 2010, so why didn't they pass a law? Because they didn't want to take a vote. Biden and others opposed Roe v Wade in the past.

When Joe Biden Voted to Let States Overturn Roe v. Wade

It was a new era in Washington in 1981, and abortion rights activists were terrified.

With an anti-abortion president, Ronald Reagan, in power and Republicans controlling the Senate for the first time in decades, social conservatives pushed for a constitutional amendment to allow individual states to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that had made abortion legal nationwide several years earlier.

The amendment — which the National Abortion Rights Action League called “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights” — cleared a key hurdle in the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 1982. Support came not only from Republicans but from a 39-year-old, second-term Democrat: Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The reason the media and Democrats are colluding to scare the public is because their policies are so unpopular. 

They sure don't want to talk about inflation, crime, the border, foreign policy, the Durham investigation, or the Biden family corruption so they change the subject. 

Democrats always claim they are the party of science so here are two easy questions for them:

What is the only scientific date that human life can begin? Here is a hint: It corresponds to when a sperm and egg get together.

Where is the scientific evidence that shows that fossil fuel consumption controls temperatures and justifies the destruction of tens of millions of jobs and that war on fossil fuels causes rampant inflation? Hint: there is none.

 

Jack Hellner

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/05/spreading_emroeem_disinformation_where_are_the_disinformation_police.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

High Noon in the USA - Bruce Thornton

 

by Bruce Thornton

Our country is headed for a showdown.

 


Since the Sixties the Left has been expanding its influence throughout our nation and its institutions. But decades earlier communism had already established a foothold in the U.S. starting in the early 20th century. Even the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 only briefly checked this process. But history’s repudiation of a totalitarian political order––one fundamentally opposed to the Constitution’s protection of individual freedom and unalienable rights––could not uproot decades of leftist transformation of America.

Indeed, the last 20 years saw the Left reinvigorated by the rise of “woke” ideology and its anti-Constitutional agenda. The Biden administration and its hubristic policies and glaring failures increasingly look likely to ignite a backlash. The showdown between the “woke” Democrats and freedom-loving Americans, whatever their party, is coming in November, and will decide whether the Left has succeeded in “fundamentally transforming America.”

The principles, however, for “woke” leftism were laid down a century ago in the rise of progressivism. Like communism, progressivism favors centralized, concentrated power administered by government bureaucracies and agencies staffed by “experts” who know better than the sovereign people how best to run their lives.

But this ideology conflicts at every point with the Constitution, which balances, checks, and disperses power so that citizens are free to manage their lives, their families, and their businesses as they see fit, checked only by Constitutionally compliant laws created by Congress, whose members are accountable to the citizens who put them in office.

Starting with Woodrow Wilson and continuing through the presidencies of Democrats FDR, LBJ, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Joe Biden, the role of our government has been steadily transformed away from guarding our freedoms, to creating an alleged greater efficiency in establishing the equality of result, what the “woke” call “equity.” The Founders decried this malign idea as the “levelling spirit” that historically has lead to the tyranny of the masses or a despotic elite, for it takes compulsion to make people acquiesce in an idea that their common sense and experience have taught them is untrue and unjust.

The “woke” policies polluting our politics share these progressive technocratic assumptions. Alleged “experts” and cognitive elites are empowered to change our institutions in order to achieve “equity,” “diversity,” and “inclusion” in our businesses, government policies, entertainment, sports, and especially schools, where the young can be molded and trained to accept these dubious ideas.

Thus we’ve arrived at the preposterous policies that violate not just the Constitution, but reason, truth, and logic. Transgenderism, “systemic racism,” “white fragility,” biological sex as a choice rather than an immutable reality––all these irrational, incoherent and empty of empirical evidence ideas are now being taught to students from kindergarten to graduate school, and are reinforced in popular culture, corporate policy, and government policies.

But the same tyranny that defined communism, today camouflages itself with feel-good words like “diversity” or “inclusion.” But in fact these terms replace genuine diversity with rigid orthodoxy, and sincere inclusion with the intolerant exclusion of apostates and blasphemers through “cancel culture” and censorship of free speech, which has now been redefined as dangerous “disinformation” and “hate speech.”

Such linguistic violations of common sense and historical fact create monstrous hypocrisy and blatant double-standards, even as they perpetuate the big lies upon which Left “woke” culture rests. But this dynamic is not new. Take, for example, the long politicized and ideological deformation of words like “imperialism” and “colonialism.” In all the “woke” Left’s identity politics and “inclusion” chatter, in almost every vandalized monuments or discarded name of of a school or a football team, lurk these debased concepts. Given their importance for the Left, and the widespread acceptance of those distorted meanings, it’s useful to review the history of that verbal deformation.

As the historian of Soviet tyranny Robert Conquest wrote, these words now refer not to historical phenomena, but to “a malign force with no program but the subjugation and exploitation of innocent people.” As such, these terms are verbal “mind-blockers and thought-extinguishers,” which serve “mainly to confuse, and of course to replace, the complex and needed process of understanding with the simple and unneeded process of inflammation.”  

The simplistic discrediting of colonialism and its evil twin imperialism became prominent in the early 20th century. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin, faced with the failure of classical Marxism’s historical predictions of the proletarian revolution, in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism gave to the indigenous colonized peoples the historical role of destroying capitalism that the European proletariat had failed to fulfill.

Lenin’s ideas influenced the anti-colonial movements after World War II, as seen in John-Paul Sartre’s introduction to Franz Fanon’s anticolonial screed The Wretched of the Earth: “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” Now the Third World colonized have replaced classic Marxism’s “workers of the world.”  The fledgling U.N. created a division that oversaw and hastened the transition of European colonies into independent nations––with active participation by Soviet communism’s Comintern, whose agents tutored indigenous radicals in how to exploit the Wilsonian ideal of national self-determination in order to rush the European powers into abandoning peoples not yet ready for independence.

In fact, the precipitate abandonment of those peoples to the machinations of communist agents or indigenous autocrats and tyrants created a political and humanitarian disaster that far surpassed the toll in lives caused by the colonial powers, without providing the physical infrastructure, economic improvement, rule by law, and basic human rights that most colonial administrators had spent decades fostering. (If you doubt these assertions, read Bruce Gilley’s just published book The Last Imperialist.)

In his biography of Winston Churchill, Andrew Roberts describes how Churchill would have defended colonialism’s benefits:

[Churchill] admired the way the British had brought internal peace for the first time in Indian history, as well as railways, vast irrigation projects, mass education, newspapers, the possibilities for extensive international trade, standardized units of exchange, bridges, roads, aqueducts, docks, universities, an uncorrupt legal system, medical advances, anti-famine coordination, the English language as the first national lingua franca, telegraphic communications and military protection from the Russian, French, Afghan, Afridi and other outside threats, while abolishing suttee (the practice of burning widows on funeral pyres), thugee (the ritualized murder of travelers), and other abuses.

“Colonialism” and “imperialism,” then, are oversimplifications of complex history, and ideologically loaded terms for the universal human propensity to invade and occupy the territory of others.

The Left’s abuse of these terms, moreover, bespeaks an insufferable hypocrisy. When have leftists ever criticized the tyrannical Soviet Empire’s colonies? After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks didn’t liberate the Central Asian Khanates that Russia had earlier absorbed into its empire. After World War II, Eastern Europe and the Baltic states became de facto colonies as well. All those nations didn’t become independent until the collapse of the Soviet Union, and their liberators were the evil “imperialists” the United States and the British Commonwealth.

Or how about the Islamic Empire? It invaded and colonized two-thirds of the Roman Empire, the incubator of the West. As Middle East historian Efraim Karsh documents in Islamic Imperialism, “The Arab conquerors acted in a typically imperialist fashion from the start, subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth, resources, and labor.” Yet still today, the descendants of these conquerors continue to occupy most of those territories. Why aren’t our “woke” enemies of imperialism criticizing these Muslim nations, who never apologize for their ancestors’ colonialism and imperialism? Instead, the Left gives credence to Palestinian apologists who blame all the region’s dysfunctions on Western “imperialism” and its alleged stooge, Israel.

All this hypocrisy of the “woke” Democrats, all the lunatic policies, all the encroachment on our Constitutional rights, all the politically driven destructive covid protocols, all the economic damage caused by the insane war on cheap energy and the drunken-sailor spending, all the smug and arrogant virtue-signaling and moral preening have produced nothing but failure at the cost of our freedom and the integrity of our language and history.

But over the last several months the signs of resistance to this degradation of our country have been multiplying, most recently by Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter and his stout defense of genuine free speech that respects the only diversity that really counts: that of ideas and opinions whose expression is sanctioned by the First Amendment.

It looks like this year’s midterm elections will be the showdown between the “woke” tyrants and the defenders of freedom.

 

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/high-noon-usa-bruce-thornton/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Abbas Threatens to Cut Ties to Israel - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Why the PA leader is desperate to look tough on the Jewish state.

 


Is it every year, or every other year, that President-For-Life of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas threatens to end all ties to Israel? Sometimes he says he’s done it, but nothing actually changes. Sometimes he says he’s going to do it, and then doesn’t. Sometimes he says he’s waiting for a meeting of the PA leadership to discuss it, then cancels the meeting. A report on the latest farcical threat by the angry rais in Ramallah is here: “Bennett: UN must stop serving terrorists’ agenda,” by Lahav Harkov and Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2022:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has again threatened to halt security coordination and suspend Palestinian recognition of Israel.

The latest threat was made during a meeting in Ramallah on Thursday night with US administration envoys Yael Lempert, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Hady Amr, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs….

Abbas usually makes this threat to cut ties with Israel when he feels the hot breath down his back of Hamas and other even more violent rivals; it’s a way of re-establishing his anti-Israel bonafides with the doubting thomases: he’s assuring them that he still knows how to be tough on Israel, and don’t anyone forget it.

Earlier this week, Abbas abruptly called off an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership that was scheduled to take place in Ramallah on Sunday night to discuss the implementation of a resolution by the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) to terminate all agreements with Israel, including the security coordination and Palestinian recognition of Israel.…

Of course, the only conceivable reason why Abbas called off the emergency meeting was to prevent the Palestinian leadership from meeting. He doesn’t want to discuss how to implement that resolution that the Palestinian Central Committee passed in February, that would have required the PA to terminate all ties to Israel – including security coordination – and most comical of all, would have the PA end its “recognition” of Israel. The Israelis, no doubt, are quivering at the very thought.

During the meeting with the US diplomats, Abbas demanded urgent intervention from the US administration to “stop Israel’s escalation in the Palestinian territories,” said senior Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh, who attended the meeting.

There has been no “escalation” by Israel. There has, instead, been a steady, relentless, measured attempt to bring the rioters on the Temple Mount under control. Ever since April 15, Palestinian and Israeli Arabs have been throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and other objects from the Temple Mount onto Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall far below, and at the Israeli police manfully trying to keep the peace on the Mount. Some of those rioters have been stockpiling rocks and other weapons inside Al-Aqsa itself; they have also been flinging the weapons from inside the mosque, at the Israeli police. Those police have gone into Al-Aqsa briefly, not to interrupt the worshippers, but to seize the cache of weapons and, where possible, to collar some of the rioters. In fact, there are scenes the Israelis have captured on video – they have been posted online — of Arab worshippers outside Al-Aqsa attacking rioters, preventing them from entering the mosque, even pushing them away, so that those worshippers can pray in peace.

The Israelis do not “escalate,” but they do react; when the level of Arab violence rises, so does the firmness of the police response.

Sheikh described the meeting as “clear and frank,” adding that Abbas blamed the occupation for the escalation and the absence of a political horizon, which will push us to implement the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council soon.”

Implement away, PA. End that security coordination with Israel’s Shin Bet, and see what that does to security in the West Bank. Without Israeli intelligence, and Israeli help in rounding up members of Hamas and PIJ, who are perhaps a greater danger to Abbas and the PA than they are to Israel, Mahmoud Abbas’ regime would have a much harder time staying in power. The security coordination with Israel is not something he can end without harming his own hold on the PA presidency..

A statement published by the PA president’s office after the meeting said that he called on President Biden and his administration “to intervene immediately and urgently to assume their responsibilities, given the seriousness of the situation as a result of the Israeli measures in all Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem, al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”…

The statement from Abbas’ office is absurd. How does Abbas think the Bidenites can “intervene immediately and urgently” to change Israel’s determination to protect its own citizens at the Western Wall, and to maintain order on the Temple Mount? So far the Bidenites have, surprisingly, shown a sympathetic understanding of Israel as it tries to contain the Arab violence. Besides, what pressure could the Bidenites bring to bear on Israel at this point? If they tried to make Israel halt its defense of its own citizens now under Arab attack, they know that they can expect a terrific pushback from Congress, including from those Democratic members who want to be re-elected in November.

Abbas said that in light of the absence of “the political horizon and an Israeli refusal to stop unilateral actions and abide by the signed agreements, the Palestinian leadership will soon have the right to implement the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council,” according to the statement.

The “unilateral actions” are those undertaken by the Palestinians themselves, who on April 15 suddenly started rioting on the top of the Temple Mount; the Israelis have merely been reacting to potentially lethal attacks on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, and on the police attempting to keep order on the Mount.

The PA president also called on the Biden administration to fulfill its promises to the Palestinians, including the pledge to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem that served as a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians and was closed down in 2018 by the Trump administration.…

Since that pledge was made by Joe Biden, to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem that in 2018 had been folded into the American Embassy, the Bidenites have no doubt been chagrined to discover that they will not be able to fulfill that promise. They have been made aware of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which prohibits states from opening (or reopening) consulates in what are defined as the “receiving” states, without the express permission of those “receiving” states. Both Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid have made clear that Israel will not agree, as the receiving state, to any such “consulate to the Palestinians” being opened in Jerusalem. One wonders why the Bidenites have not let the Palestinians know about this principle of international law which, after all, gets them off the hook: “We’d like to open the consulate, but the Vienna Convention won’t allow it.” Or could they perhaps still be harboring the hope that they will be able to change the minds of Bennett and Lapid?

The Palestinian Affairs Unit at the US Embassy said that Lempert and Amr met with Abbas and his top advisers “to discuss the need for all parties to call and work for calm, especially in Jerusalem, and our mutual commitment to a two-state solution.”

The Palestinians won’t be working for calm, but intend to keep up the rioting on the Temple Mount, and to keep inciting Arab violence all over Jerusalem and the West Bank by insisting that the Israelis intend to “seize the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Israel has shown over the past week that it knows how to seize both weapons and rioters, on the Temple Mount and in the mosque, so well, in fact, that 100,000 Muslim worshippers felt safe enough to come to the Temple Mount on April 22 not to riot, but to pray.

As for Mahmoud Abbas’ threat to cut ties to Israel, let him this time follow through with that threat. He will regret it. First, if security coordination with Israel ends, the PA security services without Shin Bet’s input will have a much harder time controlling Abbas’ enemies in Hamas and the PIJ who have been expanding their numbers in the West Bank. Second, if the PA cuts all its ties with Israel, the current supplies of water that Israel provides the PA could also be ended. Third, energy sent to the PA would also be halted, after the PA “cuts all ties” to Israel; almost all of the liquid fuel – oil, natural gas — used in the Palestinian territories, is supplied by or via Israel. Fourth, the money that Israel now collects in taxes on imports meant for the Palestinians, and which it dutifully transfers to the PA — save for an amount equivalent to what the PA spends on its “Pay-For-Slay” program, that Israel holds onto — would now be completely withheld. This would lead to the greatest economic crisis in the PA’s history. Fifth, if all ties are cut, Palestinians would likely be prevented from using Israeli hospitals and being treated by Israeli medical personnel. Such care has saved many Palestinian lives. Even the leaders of the PA and Hamas, and their families, have chosen to be treated in Israeli, not Palestinian or other Arab, medical facilities. Sixth, about 140,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been given work permits, allowing them to work in Israel, including the settlements. They receive much higher wages from Israeli employers than they could receive from Palestinian employers, assuming they would have jobs in the PA territories. Their earnings in Israel are an economic lifeline for their extended families. If the PA cuts all ties to Israel, those 140,000 workers would lose their jobs in Israel and again be condemned either to low-wage jobs at home or, in many cases, to unemployment.

 Mahmoud Abbas will have to think long and hard before he makes a move — ending all ties to the Jewish state — that does very little harm to Israel, and a great deal of harm to the Palestinian Authority. But if he does decide to carry out his threat, no one in Israel should try to stop him. He won’t be able to sustain that cutting of the PA’s ties to the Jewish state for long.

 

Hugh Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/abbas-threatens-cut-ties-israel-no-one-cares-hugh-fitzgerald/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Ukraine says it is 'ready' as Belarus suddenly announces military exercises to test combat readiness - Greg Norman

 

by Greg Norman

Belarus is an ally to Russia

Ukraine is vowing Wednesday that it’s "ready" after its northern neighbor Belarus – which Russia used as a springboard for its invasion – announced military exercises to assess the combat readiness of their armed forces. 

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said the exercises that began Wednesday would also be used to assess their military’s ability to operate on "unknown terrain in a rapidly changing situation." 

"We do not rule out that the Russian Federation could at some point use the territory of Belarus, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, against Ukraine," said Andriy Demchenko, spokesperson for Ukraine's State Border Service, according to Reuters

Russian and Belarusian armed forces take part in a military drill in Gomel, Belarus on Feb. 19.

Russian and Belarusian armed forces take part in a military drill in Gomel, Belarus on Feb. 19.

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES 

"Therefore, we are ready," he vowed, reportedly adding that Ukraine has strengthened its border with Belarus since the invasion began on Feb. 24. 

Russia held joint military exercises with Belarus prior to its ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, and Russian Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin visit the Vostochny cosmodrome.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, and Russian Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin visit the Vostochny cosmodrome. (Evgeny Biyatov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Belarusian officials did not say how many troops are involved in the exercises but noted that their number would be gradually increased. 

Belarus' armored personnel carriers are seen on Feb. 17 during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at a firing range near the town of Osipovichi outside Minsk.

Belarus' armored personnel carriers are seen on Feb. 17 during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at a firing range near the town of Osipovichi outside Minsk. (Photo by MAXIM GUCHEK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

It claimed the maneuvers "do not threaten the European community in general and any neighboring countries in particular."

 The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


Greg Norman

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukraine-belarus-russia-military-exercises

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Israel Needs a Statesman – Now - Guy Millière

 

by Guy Millière

Since June 2021, for the first time in 12 years, Israel seems to have a weak prime minister, Naftali Bennett. He has evidently promised to work in "quiet coordination" with the Biden administration and never criticizes the administration's anti-Israel policies.

  • The years before 2021 had brought relative calm and improvements. The United States had cut much of its funding for the Palestinian Authority, which had been used for terrorism. As a result, terrorism had substantially decreased. When the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and drastically sanctioned Iran, the mullahs and their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had less money to finance and arm Hamas. ISIS was crushed. A rapprochement began between Israel and the Arab world and led to the Abraham Accords, signed between the United States, Israel, and five Muslim countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Kosovo and Sudan. For the first time in decades in the Middle East, "peace, security and prosperity" held sway.

  • The election of US President Joe Biden, however, quickly revealed that better lives for people in the region, including the Palestinians, were about to end. The Biden administration immediately returned to the policies of the Obama years. It restored the funding that Palestinian leaders use for terrorism, without first stipulating that the terrorism had to stop. The Biden administration resumed nuclear negotiations with Iran -- through an intermediary from, of all places Russia. (Iran did not allow the US officials in the room.) The US government itself had named Iran "the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism;" now the Biden administration was again enabling the ruling mullahs -- who call for "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" -- soon to have an unlimited number of nuclear weapons, the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them, and billions of dollars for terrorism and resuming their efforts to take over the oil-rich Middle East. Meanwhile, America's interlocutor, Russia, has been working with Iran on how it can evade US sanctions for invading Ukraine so that both countries may further enrich themselves by Iran selling Russia's oil.

  • When "settlement expansion" is made to sound as grave a transgression as murder, terrorism will resume.

  • Since June 2021, for the first time in 12 years, Israel seems to have a weak prime minister, Naftali Bennett. He has evidently promised to work in "quiet coordination" with the Biden administration and never criticizes the administration's anti-Israel policies.

  • The leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas see that an anti-Israel administration is in place in Washington and draw their own conclusions.

  • Sunni Arab leaders are currently "trying to decide whether to grovel to Iran, or stand with Israel... Israel has but one option – to become the strong tribe of the Middle East". — Caroline Glick, Israel Hayom, March 25, 2022.

  • Israel needs its strong tribe status. Israel needs a statesman. Now.

Since June 2021, for the first time in 12 years, Israel seems to have a weak prime minister, Naftali Bennett. Israel needs its strong tribe status. Israel needs a statesman. Now. Pictured: Bennett (right) and his foreign minister, Yair Lapid, on June 13, 2021. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

Beersheba, Israel. March 22. Mohammed Abu al-Kiyan rams his car into a rabbi riding a bicycle, killing him, then drives to a gas station and stabs a woman to death there, and then drives to a shopping mall and stabs two more people to death. After fleeing the mall, he crashed his car into another vehicle and was finally shot and killed by armed civilians as he charged at one of them with a knife.

On March 27, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbarieh open fire at people standing at a bus stop in Hadera, kill two Border Police officers and wound ten more people before they, too, are shot and killed by off-duty police officers who were eating nearby.

March 29, in Bnei Brak, a suburb of Tel Aviv, Diaa Hamarsheh, murders five people in a shooting spree before being shot dead by policemen, one of whom Hamarsheh had mortally wounded.

April 7, Raed Hazem opens fire at people in a central Tel Aviv pub, killing three and wounding a dozen. He is killed a few hours later in an exchange of fire with police.

Fourteen Israelis were murdered; two dozen wounded, some seriously. It was the worst wave of terror attacks Israel has seen in a while.

Three of the five terrorists had previously been arrested for serious crimes, tried, imprisoned, then released. Abu al-Kiyan, a teacher who encouraged children to join the Islamic State, was convicted in 2016 for membership in a terror group and sentenced to four years in prison, but released after only three years. There he had taken part in a "rehabilitation program for 'ISIS prisoners'".

Ibrahim Ighbarieh, arrested by Turkish authorities for attempting to join the Islamic State, was handed back to Israel, where he was tried, convicted, served a prison sentence of 18 months and released. Hamarsheh, imprisoned in 2015 for dealing in illegal firearms and affiliating with a terrorist group, had spent six months in prison.

The Israeli judiciary gives light sentences to people who appear ready to commit murder and other terrorist acts. In Israel, constantly threatened by terrorism, terrorists and would-be terrorists are imprisoned only briefly before being released back out on the street.

The terrorists who murdered in Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv came from territories exclusively controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and were in Israel clandestinely. There are many breaches in Israel's security fence; the Israeli government knew about them but did not fix them. The terrorists in Beersheba and Hadera, however, were Arabs from within Israel -- and constitute a threat that may be gaining ground.

There are nearly two million Arabs in Israel, full-fledged citizens who make up about 20% of the population of 9.5 million. Many serve in the military, police and civil service. Israeli Arabs sit as members of parliament, serve as mayors and judges (including on the Supreme Court), and work "in the foreign service, with a handful serving as ambassadors since 1995." Israel's Arab citizens have the same rights as its Jewish citizens but are not required to serve in the military, although many volunteer to join. These Arab citizens are descendants of families who did not flee in 1948 during a war that was begun -- but then lost -- by five Arab countries, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, that invaded and tried to kill the new country.

When, after the war, the Arabs who had fled wanted to return, Israel refused, explaining that they had been less than loyal. These are now known as Palestinians. They live in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank (of the Jordan River; formerly occupied by Jordan), the Gaza Strip (formerly occupied by Egypt), and in other countries around the world. While the Jews welcomed their co-religionists to Israel as full citizens, the many Arab states did not do the same for their brethren. Instead, Arab states left the newly-stateless Palestinians in refugee camps, often squalid, presumably in the hope that one day they would resume the war they lost, but this time win it.

Propaganda from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that advocates jihad and martyrdom indoctrinates the Arabs who live in the Gaza Strip (ruled by Hamas) and the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank (ruled by Fatah).

In an atmosphere of a daily diet to hate Israel and the Jews, some Arabs become murderers. Although all of the Arabs born in Israel have Israeli citizenship, many today, out of communal solidarity, define themselves as Palestinians and believe it is their duty as Muslims to wage jihad against Jews and Israel.

In Israeli Arab towns, or in mixed cities where the population is partly Arab and partly Jewish, there is evidently significant traffic in arms that are stolen or smuggled into Israel. Even though the Israeli police regularly carry out operations to seize them, trafficking continues. Arms not seized by the police are sometimes used to commit ordinary crimes -- or can be used for terrorist attacks.

The uprising of Israeli Arabs that shook Israel last spring, as Hamas launched missile attacks on Israel, indicated that a worrying situation was taking shape. Synagogues were ransacked and burned; nearly 400 Jewish homes were looted. Arabs blocked road to stop cars and attack drivers that were Jewish. Jews were lynched, killed or wounded, in the streets just because they were Jews. Rioters destroyed Israeli flags and raised Palestinian ones. Israeli intelligence established that during the uprising, Hamas operatives had been coordinating with Israeli Arabs.

Israeli security experts said that a problem existed and answers were needed.

The "problem" is all the more serious because the situation in the region has also been deteriorating; the Middle East policies of the United States since January 2021 have been exacerbating the "problem".

The years before 2021 had brought relative calm and improvements. The United States had cut much of its funding for the Palestinian Authority, which had been used for terrorism. As a result, terrorism had substantially decreased. When the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and drastically sanctioned Iran, the mullahs and their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had less money to finance and arm Hamas. ISIS was crushed. A rapprochement began between Israel and the Arab world and led to the Abraham Accords, signed between the United States, Israel, and five Muslim countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Kosovo and Sudan. For the first time in decades in the Middle East, "peace, security and prosperity" held sway.

The election of US President Joe Biden, however, quickly revealed that better lives for people in the region, including the Palestinians, were about to end. The Biden administration immediately returned to the policies of the Obama years. It restored the funding that Palestinian leaders use for terrorism, without first stipulating that the terrorism had to stop. The Biden administration resumed nuclear negotiations with Iran -- through an intermediary from, of all places Russia. (Iran did not allow the US officials in the room.) The US government itself had named Iran "the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism;" now the Biden administration was again enabling the ruling mullahs -- who call for "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" -- soon to have an unlimited number of nuclear weapons, the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them, and billions of dollars for terrorism and resuming their efforts to take over the oil-rich Middle East. Meanwhile, America's interlocutor, Russia, has been working with Iran on how it can evade US sanctions for invading Ukraine so that both countries may further enrich themselves by Iran selling Russia's oil.

Since June 2021, for the first time in 12 years, Israel seems to have a weak prime minister, Naftali Bennett. He has evidently promised to work in "quiet coordination" with the Biden administration and never criticizes the administration's anti-Israel policies.

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas see that an anti-Israel administration is in place in Washington and draw their own conclusions.

The nuclear deal that the Biden administration has been trying to sign with Iran is even more disastrous for Israel than the original 2015 deal, yet Bennett remains silent. He hinted a few months ago that he no longer considers the Iran deal to have been a "historic mistake." Recently, he added, "We are not automatic naysayers. We're taking a practical approach". The deal, however, deeply worries the leaders of the Sunni Arab world, who are as threatened by Iran as Israel; Bennett's attitude can only increase their concerns.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently visited Israel to explain the administration's Middle East policies. He was supposed to go to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed declined to receive him.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid wanted to find a way to remedy the refusals. He invited the leaders of four Arab countries (UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco) to a summit at Sde Boker, in Israel, to meet with Blinken. There was almost no mention during the summit of Iran. Lapid simply stated briefly that "the shared capabilities we are building intimidates and deters our common enemies, first and foremost Iran and its proxies". Blinken used the opportunity to insist on a make-believe "two-state solution", downplay the Abraham Accords and criticize Israel.

Although the summit took place just a few days after the Beersheba attack and coincided with the Hadera attack, Blinken did not denounce terrorism. He said instead that the Abraham Accords "are not a substitute for progress between Palestinians and Israelis," and added that peace involves working "to prevent actions on all sides that could raise tensions, including settlement expansion, settler violence, incitement to violence".

When "settlement expansion" is made to sound as grave a transgression as murder, terrorism will resume. Lapid said nothing. The Arab leaders also said nothing; they could hardly have been reassured.

On December 29, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his home, and offered the PA a $32.2 million loan against future tax revenues that Israel collects on Ramallah's behalf, as well as to "legalize the status of 9,500 undocumented Palestinians and foreigners living in the West Bank and Gaza." Gantz reported that the meeting had gone well and added, "I will continue to meet with him and other elements... with whom discourse helps our stability, security and interests". Two days later, Abbas delivered a speech accusing Israel of "racial discrimination", "organized terrorism" and "ethnic cleansing". Gantz said he was disappointed, but ready to meet Abbas again.

"[F]or the past 70 years," wrote the journalist Caroline Glick, "the nations of the Middle East have viewed the US as the most powerful tribe in the region", but that this is no longer applies. The Biden administration's concessions to Iran are perceived by Arab leaders as treason, and the behavior of the Israeli government has led them to doubt Israel's strength. Sunni Arab leaders, Glick wrote, are currently "trying to decide whether to grovel to Iran, or stand with Israel". She concluded that today, "Israel has but one option – to become the strong tribe of the Middle East".

The Israeli government will have to curb the Israeli Arab terrorist threat and, internationally, take a stand on the Biden administration's policies on terrorism and the immense danger coming from Iran.

Israel needs its strong tribe status. Israel needs a statesman. Now.

 

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18481/israel-needs-a-statesman

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter