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ISRAEL

Dec 18 07:16

Jerusalem: Israeli forces crush protest against eviction of Palestinian family

Israeli military police attacked and dispersed a protest held in solidarity with a Palestinian family whose house is under threat of being seized by a settler group in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

A police force dispersed Palestinian and Israeli peace activists following a Friday prayer at a land plot near the house of the Salem family, who face imminent eviction on 29 December.

Earlier this week, a group of 30 settlers had fenced a plot of land near the house, confiscated it and claimed it as their own.

A member of the family, Sabreen Salem, told Middle East Eye that Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades, and pushed activists who came to show solidarity with them on Friday.

Israeli forces have blocked the area and barred people from entering Sheikh Jarrah, a significant flashpoint in East Jerusalem.

Dec 18 07:14

Press watchdog protests after police assault AP photographer in East Jerusalem

Israel’s Foreign Press Association issued a protest on Friday after an Associated Press photographer was hospitalized with head injuries after being assaulted by Border Police troops while covering a Friday demonstration in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Mahmoud Illean said that police had tossed stun grenades toward him and then physically attacked him without any provocation, some 15 minutes after the protest had ended, the FPA said in a statement.

Illean said he repeatedly identified himself as a journalist but to no avail.

Dec 18 06:30

Trump Says US Jews ‘Either Don’t Like Israel or Don’t Care About Israel’

During his presidency, Trump maintained a warm relationship with Israel. Among other things, he recognized Jerusalem as the "undivided" capital of Israel, although East Jerusalem is considered an "Occupied Palestinian Territory" by the UN. Trump has said that there's "nobody that's done more for Israel" than he has.

Former US President Donald Trump claimed in an interview on Friday that Jewish people in the US “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.”

Trump, who was widely supported by white evangelical voters during the 2016 and 2020 election campaigns, noted that “the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country.” Meanwhile, Jewish, as well as the Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu communities, have traditionally been more inclined to vote for Democratic candidates, such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, according to polls.

Dec 17 10:55

Israel's F-16s Strike 8 Missiles at ??Damascus Airport, 1 Person Killed - Russian Military21 hours ago

The Israeli Air Force's F-16 fighters struck with eight cruise missiles near Damascus airport, damaged a warehouse, killed a person, Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, said on Thursday.

"On December 16, from 1:51 to 1:59, four Israeli Air Force F-16 tactical fighters from the airspace over the Golan Heights struck with eight cruise missiles at targets near the Damascus International Airport," Kulit said at a briefing.

He added that the Syrian air defense forces destroyed from the Pantsir-S systems seven of the eight missiles fired by Israeli fighters.

"As a result of the airstrike, a warehouse was damaged, one person was killed," Kulit said.

Dec 17 08:53

For 4th time, Republican senator blocks passage of Iron Dome funding bill

Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked a fourth consecutive request by Democrats Wednesday to pass legislation granting $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

As he has argued the previous time he blocked the unanimous consent measure in the past two months, Paul insisted that the funding come out of the $6 billion in proposed US assistance to Afghanistan.

Democrats came under fire from pro-Israel groups in early October after House leadership briefly delayed a vote on the bill amid opposition from a handful of progressive members. However, the funding went on to pass overwhelmingly 420-9-2, moving to the Senate, where it has since been held up by Paul.

Dec 17 08:51

Israel Soldiers Injure Three Children In Hebron

Israeli soldiers injured, Thursday, three Palestinian children, and caused dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, in the al-’Aroub refugee camp, and in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Local sources said the soldiers invaded the refugee camp, leading to protests, before firing many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades.

They added that two children were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets before the medics rushed them to a hospital.

Dozens of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and received the needed treatment by the medics without the need for hospitalization.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers are constantly deployed at the main entrance of the refugee camp, causing ongoing tension, especially since they frequently stop and interrogate the residents, in addition to searching cars.

Dec 17 06:29

RUSSIA AND ISRAEL – A DOUBLE-STANDARD IN INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION

Over the past month, in a break from its usual focus on COVID-19, the Western mainstream media has dedicated a sizeable amount of coverage to unverified claims by unnamed US intelligence officials that the Russian Federation is planning an imminent military invasion of its western neighbour Ukraine – under the rule of the successive US-EU friendly governments of Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky since 2014, when the CIA-orchestrated Euromaidan colour revolution toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych, following his November 2013 decision to suspend an EU trade deal in favour of pursuing closer ties with Moscow.

Dec 17 06:27

After 70 years on the sidelines, AIPAC will now officially fundraise for politicians

It has been for decades a recurring confusion for some in Washington: does AIPAC, the country’s largest pro-Israel lobby, have a PAC?

Not until today.

The PAC in AIPAC stands for Public Affairs Committee, not political action committee. But after countless explanations over the years, the group is getting into the fundraising business.

Dec 16 10:45

Israel pushes U.S. into ‘aggressive posture toward Iran that could spiral into war’ — but mainstream press is indifferent

You have heard the news that the talks to revive the Iran deal are apparently on life support in Vienna. The United States claims Iran has moved the goalposts. And though the State Department team remains positive, our dear friend Israel has been demanding that the U.S. break off the talks.

The Israelis get unrivaled access to the White House even as they declare once again that they are drawing up plans to attack Iran– but it would be good if the U.S. went first with some strategic strikes. The U.S. has reportedly restrained Israel on attacking Iran for the umpteenth time.

Dec 16 07:09

Boris Lozhkin named the main topics of the third KYIV JEWISH FORUM

The main topic at the third KYIV JEWISH FORUM, which takes place on December 15-16 as an online conference, is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Ukraine. At the same time, the speakers will consider the topic of relations between Ukrainians and Jews in much broader time and geography frames. This has been shared by the KJF founder, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress Boris Lozhkin.

He paid attention to the fact that although modern diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Israel were established de jure on December 26, 1991, de facto it happened already on May 11, 1949, when Ukraine voted for the recognition of the State of Israel at the UN.

According to the founder of KJF, one of the topics of the forum will also be a discussion of Israel's successful experience and its application both in Ukraine and in other countries of the world.

Dec 16 03:43

ADL Demands Fox News Censor Comic Casting Soros As A 'Puppet Master,' Fox News Dutifully Complies

Jonathan Greenblatt's Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday demanded Fox News take down an "anti-Semitic" comic that portrays George Soros as "a puppet master who manipulates national events."

"As we have told @FoxNews numerous times, casting a Jewish individual as a puppet master who manipulates national events for malign purposes conjures up longstanding antisemitic tropes about Jewish power + contributes to the normalization of antisemitism," the ADL tweeted. "This needs to be removed."

Fox News did as they were told and deleted the post on both Facebook and Instagram just hours later.

Dec 15 16:01

ADL tells Fox News to remove Soros cartoon

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is up in arms over a Fox News cartoon depicting billionaire liberal financier George Soros as a “puppet master” controlling the Democratic Party. The group accused Fox of normalizing antisemitism.

A cartoon by A.F. Branco published on Tuesday by Fox News depicts Soros as controlling Democratic prosecutors who want to end cash bail and defund police departments. The cartoon angered the ADL, which called on Wednesday for Fox to pull it from the internet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dec 15 11:19

Tehran Times reveals list of Israeli targets Iran would strike if Israel makes 'just one wrong move'

Iranian newspaper the Tehran Times has revealed a list of Israeli targets the country would strike if Israel makes 'just one wrong move'.

A map published on the English language newspaper's front page on Wednesday showed pins representing rocket strike locations for dozens of potential targets in Israel, as well as some in Lebanese territory and Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The picture was part of a front-page article with the headline: 'Just one wrong move!'

Dec 15 09:44

Over 25 arrested as far-right protesters burn tires, stone police in Jerusalem

Police arrested over 25 people on Saturday night in Jerusalem as hundreds of nationalist activists rioted over the death of a settler teen during a police chase last year.

Ahuvia Sandak, 16, was killed in a car crash while fleeing from police in December 2020, allegedly after throwing rocks at Palestinians. The protesters blame police for his death and demand legal action.

Sandak’s death has become a rallying car for nationalist youths. Protests over the incident have repeatedly escalated into violence and arrests.

Dec 15 08:25

Israel’s Dominance of Washington

At the end of every year, I like to comment on the progress – and the setbacks – in our struggle to make the United States government understand that it exists to improve lives for Americans rather than working full time to pander to the Israelis and their powerful domestic lobby. One would have thought that it could not get worse than the Donald Trump Administration’s crawling on its knees to satisfy every whim expressed or left unexpressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, truly one of the most evil men ever to walk the face of the earth. Trump withdrew from the nuclear treaty with Iran, a move which was driven by Israel and its US lobby backed up by inducements from GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson.

Dec 14 08:39

Gantz Tells US He Ordered Israeli Military to Prepare an Attack on Iran

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told reporters that he notified US officials during meetings in Washington last week that he ordered the Israeli Defense Forces to prepare to attack Iran.

The order he gave was to “prepare for the Iranian challenge at the operational level,” Gantz said on the sidelines of a conference in Miami, Florida, that was held Friday. A senior Israeli military source told The Times of Israel that Gantz might have presented a timeline to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when an Israeli attack could take place.

The Israelis have been pushing hard for the Biden administration to abandon indirect negotiations with Iran to revive the nuclear deal that are ongoing in Vienna. Gantz and other officials want the US to expand sanctions and prepare military operations, and it appears that the Americans are listening.

Dec 14 08:38

Iran showcases medium-range missile that can reach Israel

Tehran has given people around the world a first glimpse of the Hoveizeh cruise missile, allegedly a copy of the Soviet-built Kh-55 model, mounted on an Iranian fighter jet.

On Tuesday, Iran’s Tasnim news agency posted a photo on its Twitter account of a Russian-built Sukhoi 24 fighter from the Army Air Force mounted with a strategic cruise missile. The image came as Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces, visited the Shahid Doran Air Base.

Dec 14 08:27

Israel Finds Planes That Could Be Key to a Strike on Iran Badly Back-Ordered

Israel asked the Biden administration last week to speed up the delivery of refueling tankers that could prove critical to striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, but it was told that the aircraft were back-ordered and it was unlikely that its first one would be ready until late 2024, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

The Israeli defense minister, Benny Gantz, made the request last week when he met with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and other senior officials in Washington. Details were reported earlier by Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper.

Dec 14 07:33

Netanyahu: ‘A grave mistake’ if Israel updated US before striking Iranian sites

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hit out at the government after a report said Israel consulted with the United States before carrying out attacks earlier this year on an Iranian nuclear facility and a missile base.

“I saw the report in the New York Times that Israel is updating the United States regarding its operations and plans vis-a-vis Iran. If this is true, this is a grave mistake,” Netanyahu said during a Knesset faction meeting of his Likud party.

According to the report Saturday, Israel spoke with the US ahead of an attack in June on a facility in Karaj used in the construction of centrifuges needed to enrich uranium. It did so again before allegedly striking a secret missile base belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in September.

Dec 14 06:23

Biden Admin Rejects Israel's Urging For Joint Plan To Attack Iran's Nuclear Facilities

On Monday, Sky News Arabia is reporting that the Biden White House has rebuffed Israeli requests to prepare concrete attack plans: "US rejects scenario for serious US military plan to strike Iran's military facilities," according to the report.

The outlet's sources indicated further that the "Israeli delegation that recently visited Washington accused the United States of making concessions to Iran during the Vienna talks without getting anything in return." And crucially, Sky News Arabia adds this to its reporting: "The Biden administration warned of the danger of Israel taking any unilateral military action against Iran."

Dec 13 08:11

Trump: I thought Israelis would do anything for peace, but found that not to be true

In newly released interview excerpts Saturday, former United States president Donald Trump offered more startlingly frank views on Israel’s leadership during his time in office, a day after he was quoted in an astounding assault on ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the latest taped comments broadcast by Channel 12, Trump said he believed Netanyahu “did not want to make peace. Never did”; claimed he prevented the Israeli leader from annexing West Bank land (“I got angry and I stopped it”); offered his favorable opinion on Defense Minister Benny Gantz (“I think [he] wanted to make a deal… if he won, I think it would be a lot easier”); and his evolving view on the Israel-Palestinian conflict (“I [had] thought the Palestinians were impossible, and the Israelis would do anything to make peace and a deal. I found that not to be true”).

Dec 13 08:08

Israel Develops Further Golan Settlement Expansion Plans

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is presenting a plan to expand settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan, including two new settlements and the creation of a “Special Committee” aimed at increasing settler presence in the area until 2025.

The plan is part of a larger framework being developed by Israeli Authorities in hopes of “encouraging steady demographic growth” soon to be submitted to Israel’s government. If approved, the plan will include the two new settlements, comprised of 12,000 units or more. The new settlements, temporarily named “Asif” and “Matar”, would join the current settlement “Kitzren” where thousands of new units are also slated to be built. The plan includes also agricultural projects and operating areas, construction work and projects related to solar energy.

Dec 13 08:07

‘We’re not touching it’: PM, Kahana shelve plan for Western Wall egalitarian plaza

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana have decided to freeze plans to implement the so-called Western Wall compromise deal that would accommodate mixed-gender prayer at the Jerusalem holy site.

The deal, long a point of contention between Israel’s government and Diaspora Jewry, would create a permanent pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall, with representatives of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism sharing an oversight role.

The arrangement, negotiated between Israel and Diaspora leaders over more than three years, was approved by the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government in 2016, but was indefinitely suspended by Netanyahu in 2017, under pressure from his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners.

Dec 13 07:58

Israel to remove security detail for Netanyahu family

An Israeli parliamentary committee voted Sunday to stop providing personal security for former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife and adult sons, six months after the longtime leader was ousted from power.

The decision, which goes into effect Monday, came despite pleas from Netanyahu that his family is regularly subjected to threats on their lives.

Dec 13 07:58

‘Haaretz’ publisher says Israel is ‘an apartheid state’ — as his paper continues to warn against an Israel-Iran war

Amos Schocken is Israel’s equivalent of the latest Sulzberger to inherit control of the New York Times. Schocken, in his mid-70s, is the third generation of his family to run Haaretz, the most respected newspaper in Israel, and he speaks out regularly in columns and on social media.

Just the other day, Schocken called Israel “an apartheid state.” He was indignantly responding to a right-wing member of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. Here’s the full quotation:

The product of Zionism, the State of Israel, is not a Jewish and democratic state, but has instead become an apartheid state, plain and simple.

Dec 13 07:54

US college bars trauma services for Palestinians

A civil rights group has filed a legal complaint against George Washington University in Washington, DC, after college officials banned campus mental health services from serving Palestinian students following Israel’s attack on Gaza.

The university could shut down the entire office dedicated to supporting students’ emotional well-being over complaints from Israel advocates.

In a June Instagram post expressing solidarity and support for Palestinian rights, George Washington University’s Office of Advocacy and Support (OAS) offered trauma support services to Palestinian students affected by Israel’s attacks on Gaza the month prior.

During its 11-day bombardment of Gaza in May, Israel attacked residential buildings killing entire Palestinian families, sometimes wiping out several generations.

Dec 13 07:49

Gaza: What the iron wall built by Israel means for besieged Palestinians

Stretching along the entire boundary between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israel's new $1.1bn iron wall and fence was hailed as the “only one of its kind in the world” as it was inaugurated on Tuesday.

For Israel it was the culmination of three and a half years' work, the latest in a series of fortifications and security measures that have isolated Gaza and the occupied West Bank, strangling hopes of a two-state solution.

For the two million Palestinians living in Gaza - half of which are children - the hi-tech wall represents more than a technological or security innovation: it is confirmation that they live in the world’s largest "open-air prison".

"The wall left a huge psychological impact on the people of Gaza, especially on the youth," says Ruwaida Amir, teacher and journalist.

"Now it really feels like we are in a prison with this steel wall surrounding us."

Dec 13 07:44

How Israel turned Palestine into a surveillance tech dystopia 

Whether in the occupied West Bank, Gaza or Israel, Palestinians live under a cloud of constant Israeli surveillance. Recent revelations have included the Israeli army’s deployment of Blue Wolf facial recognition technology, which reportedly saw Israeli soldiers incentivised with prizes for taking the most photos of Palestinian civilians, and the installation of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware on the phones of Palestinian human rights workers.

While these revelations might have shocked the international community, Palestinians have long known that Israel uses the occupied territories as a laboratory for testing invasive surveillance technologies. This allows Israeli firms to market their technologies as “field tested” when they are exported around the world.

Dec 13 07:32

Did George Clooney boycott Israel?

Hollywood heartthrob, actor and director George Clooney said he turned down $35 million to advertise a commercial airline because the country "although it's an ally, is questionable at times", he told the Guardian in an interview.

"I was offered $35m for one day's work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal [Clooney, the human rights lawyer he married in 2014] about it and we decided it's not worth it. It was [associated with] a country that, although it's an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: 'Well, if it takes a minute's sleep away from me, it's not worth it.'," Clooney said, without giving details of exactly which country he was referring to.

The comments sent social media users into a frenzy with many speculating if he was referencing Israel, Turkey or the UAE.

Both Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman have fronted advertising campaigns for UAE airlines Emirates and Etihad respectively.

Dec 13 07:29

The construction of Israel’s Gaza concentration camp is complete

Israel announced the completion of an underground wall and maritime barrier surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip. Not a single mainstream media outlet used the term “concentration camp” to report on it but they should have.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a concentration camp as “a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard —used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners.” And a death camp is “a concentration camp in which large numbers of prisoners are systematically killed!”

Dec 13 07:28

New front in ‘antisemitism’ battle is anti-Zionists’ alleged denial of Jewish historical ‘experience’ and ‘intergenerational trauma’

In the last few weeks, Israel advocates have pushed a new front in the battle over the discourse on Palestine: They say that progressive are antisemitic when they characterize Jews as privileged, and don’t acknowledge Jewish history and “the unique collective Jewish vulnerability.”

So the anti-Zionist understanding that Israel is a powerful settler-colonial state is antisemitic because that leaves out European history and the origins of Zionism. Or criticizing the Israel lobby (as I do frequently) is antisemitic because it decontextualizes American Jewish history and fails to acknowledge the “Jewish experience”: Jews were the subject of discrimination in the U.S. several decades ago and still experience “intergenerational trauma.”

These advocates are trying to further expand the definition of antisemitism, so as to protect Israel from criticism.

Dec 13 07:00

Three Palestinian families forced to demolish own homes in Jerusalem

Three Palestinian families were forced to demolish their own homes on Saturday in Silwan, a neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian media reported.

Videos of the demolition were shared on social media. The Israeli-controlled municipality of Jerusalem ordered the destruction of the three apartments under the pretext that they were built without a permit, like many Palestinian homes in the city. The three apartments were home to around twenty people.

Dec 13 06:59

Israeli Colonizers Cut 600 Trees Near Nablus

Illegal Israeli colonizers cut, Saturday, at least six hundred olive and almond trees owned by Palestinians in Deir Shafar village, west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the colonizers invaded farmlands in the al-Harayeq area west of Deir Sharaf, before cutting at least five hundred olive and almond trees.

He added that the lands are close to the illegal Shavei Shomron colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands,

Dec 13 06:58

Israeli forces violently beat Palestinian man during night raid

Israeli occupation forces raided a family home in the village of Qilqis, south of Hebron, and savagely beat a young Palestinian man, inflicting critical injuries that lead him to be hospitalised, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The Israeli soldiers raided Abdessalem Salhab’s home late on Saturday and attacked the occupants, in particular Abdessalem's son, Ahmad.

After beating the young Palestinian, he was taken taken away by the soldiers.

Ahmad’s family was later told that he had been moved to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, due to the critical nature of his injures, which he sustained during the arrest.

Dec 13 06:54

Report: Palestinian Hunger Striker in Critical Health Conditions

Palestinian administrative prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash, 40, is in serious health condition after being on hunger strike for 117 days, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) as saying.

PPS attorney Jawad Boulus revealed that Abu Hawwash is suffering from various pains all over his body, is unable to sleep because of the pain, unable to walk straight, moves on a wheelchair, lost weight, and vomits frequently.

Dec 12 08:26

Israel’s Gantz Says He Told US Officials Iran Is ‘Biggest Threat’ to Global Peace

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Friday that he told US officials during a visit to Washington that Iran is the “biggest threat” to global peace.

Gantz met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday. At the Israeli American Council’s national summit in Florida on Friday, Gantz said he used “every occasion” during the meetings to say, “Iran is first and foremost the biggest threat to global and regional peace and stability, and only then is it a threat to Israel.”

Gantz said it’s not up to Israel to deal with Iran alone and that the world should take action. “The international community, with US leadership, must stand together and act forcefully against Iran’s hegemonic aspirations and nuclear program and restore stability for the sake of global peace,” he said.

Dec 12 08:21

Palestinians freed after hunger strikes have lifelong damage

A year after being released from an Israeli prison following a 103-day hunger strike, Maher al-Akhras is barely able to walk. Frequent bouts of dizziness and sensitivity to noise mean he can neither enjoy social occasions nor return to work on his ancestral farm in the occupied West Bank.

Back home, he is seen as a hero of the Palestinian cause, one of a small group of hunger strikers who have secured release from Israeli detention. But the mental and physical damage from the prolonged hunger strike has left him and others like him unable to resume normal lives, and reliant on long-term medical care.

“My balance is gone,” said al-Akhras. “I can’t walk among the cows, I can’t hold them, I can’t milk them.”

Palestinian prisoners have long used hunger strikes to pressure Israel to improve the conditions of their detention or to secure their release after being held without charges for months or years under a policy known as administrative detention.

Dec 12 08:03

Poverty seems to be the only ‘variant’ plaguing Israel

While most of the news in Israel seems to be focused on the status of COVID-19, there’s another pandemic that is less spoken about - poverty.

In 2021, over two million Israelis were living below the poverty line. More than 40,000 Holocaust Survivors could not afford food or basic care. Israel’s borders remained closed due to the pandemic causing an 80% decrease and over $1.5 billion loss in the tourism industry.

To alleviate the situation, many organizations have been assisting those who have been affected by the economic downturn. One such organization fighting poverty in Israel, Meir Panim, has released some staggering data on what it took to keep up with the challenges of 2021, which included a pandemic and a war.

Dec 12 08:00

Israel PM compares unvaxxed to machine gun-wielding killers in the streets

COVID tyranny is reaching extreme levels in Israel, as the prime minister of the country compared those who refuse to get the abortion-tainted experimental jab to machine gun-wielding killers.

But there are still brave people who are not putting up with this new dictatorship, including one woman who is on a mission to bring to light the testimonies of the vaccine-injured.

I spoke with Israeli actress and singer Avital Livny, who has decided to even leave her career and take a stand for freedom. She created “The Testimonies Project” to highlight the untold stories of those injured by the vaccine, since the government has refused to report this information.

Unlike the United States, Canada, and other nations which have government databases with vaccine injury and death reports, Israel does not have such a system, so Livny has chosen to create one.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

World leaders are clearly desperate to get everyone jabbed. Given that the gene therapy doesn't keep you from getting Covid, doesn't prevent you from passing it on, and has known serious adverse effects (like death), one has to wonder just why that is!

Dec 12 07:43

Iran responds to Israeli drill rumors

A military official in Tehran has warned that aggressors will pay a “heavy price” in response to numerous reports that Israel was seeking US help, or at least approval, in preparing potential strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

Since talks resumed last week aimed at breathing new life into the nuclear pact struck between Iran and world powers in 2015, a steady stream of reports in Israeli and US media hypothesized about possible “other options,” if diplomacy fails. According to the latest stories, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz informed US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about preparations and drills for a potential military strike against the country’s arch-nemesis during his visit to the US.

Any such drills, if they violate Iranian airspace, would be considered an act of aggression that won’t go unanswered, an unnamed military official told Iran's semi-official Nournews news agency, which is allegedly affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council.

Dec 12 07:24

Iran Warns Against Reported US-Israeli Drills Prepping Attack On Nuke Sites

On Saturday a top Iranian military official warned Tel Aviv and Washington against planned-for joint military drills that would simulate attacks on Iran. Reuters earlier in the week reported that Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had met to discuss possible joint 'counter-Iran' exercises, with Israeli media reports suggesting they already might be taking place.

"Providing conditions for military commanders to test Iranian missiles with real targets will cost the aggressors a heavy price," the unnamed military official was cited in state media as saying.

Dec 12 07:18

Jerusalem: Palestinians facing displacement to create 'green space'

On a narrow street in the Wadi Yasul area of Silwan, just south of the Old City of Jerusalem, children play beside a map of Palestine painted on the walls around them.

Depicting their town alongside liberation slogans, the mural tells a story of decades of resistance in a place whose residents, living in “unlicensed” houses, now face the prospect of having their homes demolished.

For over 20 years, the Jerusalem municipality has harassed the Palestinian residents of Wadi Yasul, who have grown accustomed to the dreadful infrastructure that defines life in their part of the city.

The situation has intensified of late. On 14 November, the Israeli municipal court in Jerusalem issued a decision to demolish 84 houses in Wadi Yasul under the pretext of expanding al-Salam forest. The land on which the houses are built is supposedly designated "green space".

Dec 12 07:16

Iran says probing if IAEA cameras had role in alleged Israeli attack on nuke site

Iran has said it was investigating the possibility that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s cameras played a part in an alleged Israeli attack on an Iranian nuclear facility, suggesting this was the reason for Tehran’s refusal of requests to repair the damaged surveillance equipment there.

“There was a sabotage there by Israel and some cameras were damaged and there was some investigation going on,” Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Mohsen Baharvand, said during a briefing in London on Friday, according to Bloomberg.

He added that Iranian judiciary investigators looked into whether the cameras may have been used to aid the attack. “We just asked IAEA to wait for a time for that investigation to be over,” Baharvand said.

Dec 10 16:22

US Sets 1-Week Deadline To See If Iran Talks Advance As Israel Pushes Military Option: Report

Earlier in the week Reuters revealed that top US and Israeli officials were in talks to initiate joint military training exercises that focus on preparations to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has been in Washington this week meeting with Secretary Blinken and others to consider "possible modes of action to ensure the cessation of (Iran's) attempt to enter the nuclear sphere and broaden its activity in the region," according to a prior public statement.

The White House confirmed Thursday that "other options" are on the table should JCPOA nuclear talks in Vienna fail: "The president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options," White House Secretary Jen Psaki said. "We will have no choice but to take additional measures."

Dec 10 10:33

ISRAELI HEALTH OFFICIAL TELLS PUBLIC TO PREPARE FOR ENDLESS BOOSTERS: 'WE WILL NEED TO TAKE THE 4TH SHOT, THE 5TH SHOT, THE 6TH SHOT AND THE 7TH'

Israeli Health Ministry vaccination advisory committee member and deputy chief of Israel's biggest hospital Professor Arnon Afek is telling the public to prepare not only to take their fourth "booster" shot but also their fifth, sixth and seventh.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

and eighth and ninth and tenth and ...

Dec 10 09:45

Israel heads ‘hack simulation’ on global financial markets

Israel has taken point on a 10-country exercise which simulated a crippling cyber-attack on financial markets around the world, attempting to create a realistic scenario of the panic and chaos that would ensue, Reuters reported.

Dubbed ‘Collective Strength’ and carried out on Thursday, the international cyber drill was conducted alongside the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries, as well as major financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, according to the outlet.

Treasury officials from the participating nations were shown a film to outline the simulated events, in which a narrator states that sensitive data was stolen and shared on the Dark Web, “creating havoc in the financial markets” over a period of 10 days.

Dec 10 09:40

Gaza: Report reveals civilian cost of Israeli bombing in heavily populated areas

New research on Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip in May 2021 has revealed the cost of using highly explosive weapons on heavily populated areas, with UK-based monitor Airwars showing exactly where and how almost 200 Palestinian civilians were killed.

The report said between 151 and 192 civilians were killed across the besieged territory by the Israeli army during its assault earlier this year.

They added that between 15 and 20 civilian deaths in Gaza were also likely to have been caused by Palestinian misfires.

According to the latest official information from Palestinian and Israeli sources, around 300 people were killed as a result of the conflict.

The vast majority died in Gaza, with the enclave's health ministry reporting 259 dead, including 66 children and 41 women, along with 2,211 injured.

Thirteen people were reported killed in Israel by rockets launched from Gaza, among them two children.

Dec 10 09:05

Israel needs U.S. Jews to take its side against Biden on Iran deal, Israeli minister tells NY synagogue

“Very soon, my friends, we will need you,” Nachman Shai, the Israeli minister of diaspora affairs, told a synagogue audience this week in New York. The U.S. is trying to restore the Iran deal, and Israel will need American Jews to take its side, he said.

In a discussion at the Park Avenue Synagogue on December 6, about “Building a New Paradigm for American Jewry and Israel,” Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove asked Shai about “the role of American Jewry in shaping policy vis-a-vis the administration” on the Iran deal.

Shai responded that a “crisis” was coming between the two governments over the Iran deal, and when such issues arise, “American Jewry has always been there supporting Israel.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is definitely Israel meddling in the internal affairs of the United States!

Dec 10 08:42

Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in '48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew

The discussions were fraught with emotion. Cabinet minister Haim-Moshe Shapira said that all of Israel’s moral foundations had been undermined. Minister David Remez remarked that the deeds that had been done remove us from the category of Jews and from the category of human beings altogether. Other ministers were also appalled: Mordechai Bentov wondered what kind of Jews would be left in the country after the war; Aharon Zisling related that he had had a sleepless night – the criminals, he said, were striking at the soul of the whole government. Some ministers demanded that the testimonies be investigated and that those responsible be held to account. David Ben-Gurion was evasive. In the end, the ministers decided on an investigation. The result was the establishment of the “committee to examine cases of murder in [by] the army.”

Dec 10 07:37

‘F**k him’: Trump rips former ally Netanyahu for disloyalty

Former US President Donald Trump tore into his ousted Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of interviews, using an expletive and accusing the former prime minister of betraying him.

Journalist Barak Ravid conducted several interviews with Trump for his book ‘Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East’, during which the 45th president had very strong words for his ex-ally. Trump’s comments were revealed by Ravid in Axios on Thursday.

“I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape,” Trump said, noting that Netanyahu was earlier than other world leaders to congratulate Biden’s 2020 presidential victory while the election was still being contested.

Dec 10 07:07

Israel, Washington Post teach Americans: Palestinian lives don’t matter

In the last few weeks, and throughout 2021, the Washington Post covered several significant stories in Israel and Palestine that, for the analytical reader, reveal startling anomalies – anomalies in how the stories themselves unfold, and in how they are reported (or not reported).

Palestinian attacks

The Washington Post reports that on Saturday, December 4 in Jerusalem, a Palestinian man stabbed and wounded an Israeli. An Israeli police officer shot the Palestinian and he fell to the ground, incapacitated. The police then shot him at least 3 more times, prevented medics from assisting him, and he died at the scene.

An eyewitness filmed the moment, which clearly shows that the Palestinian posed no danger (warning: disturbing).

Dec 09 12:52

Report: Israeli Government Divided on How to Influence Biden on Iran

There’s an internal debate within the Israeli government on the best way to influence the Biden administration’s Iran policy, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed Israeli officials.

The report comes as Defense Minister Benny Gantz is heading to Washington, where he will arrive Thursday and meet with US officials to discuss Iran. The Axios report said Gantz is lobbying for a quieter approach to influence the US through private meetings, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett favors a more public one.

In August, Bennett pledged to Biden that he would avoid the confrontational approach of his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who publicly clashed with the Obama administration when the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated in 2015. But now, it appears Bennett has decided to go back on his pledge.

Dec 09 12:51

Israel Not Expected to Join ‘Bizarre’ U.S. Boycott of Winter Olympics in China

Israel is not expected to join the U.S.-led diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China next year, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz on Tuesday. The official described the diplomatic boycott of the games as “bizarre” and added sarcastically that “Israel’s snow sledding team is already warming up on the sidelines.”

Last week, the White House announced that no American government officials would attend the games in Beijing next year, including the opening and closing ceremonies, in protest at China’s human rights record.

Dec 09 12:51

Israel advances East Jerusalem project 25 years after promising Clinton to trash it

Municipal authorities on Wednesday advanced a housing plan for a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem to be located in an area that was at the center of an international controversy over a quarter of a century ago.

The project, which was given early-stage approval by the Local Planning Committee in the Jerusalem municipality, will be located beyond the Green Line, nestled along the southwest side of the largely Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. But while Arab residents of the latter neighborhood have for decades pleaded with municipal leaders for additional housing, the new, distinctly separate neighborhood named Givat Shaked, with its several planned synagogues, appears to be designed for Jews.

Dec 09 12:41

Israel to urge US to act militarily against Iran amid stalled nuke talks — reports

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea will push during their meetings this week in Washington with senior Biden administration officials for the United States to carry out a military strike on Iranian targets, Israel’s three main TV news broadcasts reported Sunday night.

According to the reports, which did not cite sources, Gantz and Barnea will urge their American interlocutors to develop a “Plan B” vis-a-vis Iran, seeing the stalled nuclear talks in Vienna as an opportunity to press the US to take a more aggressive stance toward the Islamic Republic.

Along with calling for tougher sanctions, the Israelis will reportedly ask the US to take military action against Iran.

Dec 09 12:41

Israel wants US to adopt military-first option with Iran

With the newly-resumed Iran nuclear deal negotiations in the balance in Vienna, a bellicose Israel is urging the US to take military action. Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea are expected to meet senior officials in the White House this week to make the case for a military-first agenda against Iran, Israel's three main TV news broadcasts reported last night.

Gantz and Barnea will urge their American interlocutors to develop a military plan to strike Iran. The stalled negotiations in Vienna are seen by the Israelis as an opportunity to press the US to adopt a more aggressive policy towards the Islamic Republic. A list of targets is said to have been drawn up. This includes a potential attack against Iranian targets in Yemen. The aim of such a strike would be to convince the Iranians to soften their position at the talks about their nuclear programme.

Dec 09 11:13

Israeli army to hold drill simulating attack on Iran

Israeli Air Force (IAF) is going to hold a massive military drill over the Mediterranean this coming spring, using dozens of aircraft simulating strike on Iran, Israeli media revealed on Wednesday evening.

Unsourced report published by Israel's Kan broadcaster stated that the drill is going to be one of the largest ever held by the IAF.

According to the source, F-15, F-35 and F-16 aircrafts are to take part in the drill, as well as Gulfstream G550 spy planes and refueling jets.

The Kan report said that the aircrafts will conduct the drill over the Mediterranean to simulate the distance that they would need to travel in a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Dec 09 11:13

US: Israeli settlement 'has reached a critical juncture'

The United States told the UN Security Council, on Tuesday, that Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories "has reached a critical juncture."

The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, delivered these remarks to the UN Security Council at the monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"US disapproval of settlement expansion goes back decades," she said. "This is nothing new for us, but the practice has reached a critical juncture, and it is now undermining even the very viability of a negotiated two-state solution," she stressed.

Dec 09 08:19

More than half of Israelis support attacking Iran without US backing, poll says

Slightly more than half of Israelis say they would support their country attacking Iran without a "green light" from the United States, according to a poll released on Wednesday by the Israel Democracy Institute.

The results come as world powers are locked in increasingly difficult negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme.

European diplomats have accused Tehran of backtracking on compromises it made earlier this year in a draft agreement that set the stage for the current round of talks.

Dec 09 07:50

Justice denied in The Hague

For those who contemplate ideas vague and theoretical in nature, ‘The Hague’ and ‘Den Haag’ readily conjure up notions about justice and the rule of law. Indeed, Vrede en Recht (Peace and Justice) are emblazoned on the Dutch capital’s municipal coat of arms.

Sadly, yesterday morning here in The Hague, Ismail Ziada was left stone-faced and empty-handed.

Ismail, Mondoweiss readers will recall, is the Palestinian man whose family was slaughtered in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza, back in July 2014, in the midst of that IDF “Operation” with the Orwellian name — “Protective Edge.”

Over 2,000 souls perished in that frightful, ultra-violent, 51-day assault on Gaza, including over 500 children, and more than 10,000 were injured and maimed.

Among those left dead or dying beneath a smoking pile of rubble at Al-Burej refugee camp: Ismail Ziada’s 70-year-old mother Muftia, his brothers Omer (32), Yousef (43) and Jamil (53), Jamil’s wife Bayan (39) and their eldest son Shabaan (12).

Dec 09 07:49

How Google advances the Zionist colonization of Palestine

In October, software engineers at Google and Amazon wrote an anonymous open letter objecting to Project Nimbus – a $1.2 billion contract that would provide these companies’ services to the Israeli state – because of the harm it would bring to Palestinians. The letter also called for a rejection of “future contracts that will harm our users,” including contracts with “any and all militarized organizations in the US and beyond.”

Yet these companies’ complicity with Israel – rooted in their commitment to US empire – goes far beyond direct contracts with the Israeli state. US computing companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook contribute to Israel’s colonial project through multiple avenues.

I have previously examined Microsoft’s commitments to Israel, and I now turn to Google’s.

Dec 09 07:48

Israel and targeted state harassment

In 2001, Israeli authorities arrested me for the first time and imprisoned me for nearly six months, without evidence. I was 16 years old. I didn’t know at the time that it was only the beginning of a long road of state harassment littered with painful hardships, paved by a military occupation that, by condemning me without proof, brought public scorn upon me. From that moment on, by the simple fact of having been arrested and of expressing myself for our rights, I was deemed suspect, without ever being able to prove my innocence.

In 2004, I was arrested once again. The Ministry of Defense made me the youngest “administrative” detainee from Jerusalem. Administrative detention is an arbitrary procedure taken by military order and without indictment, which can be renewed for years and is used as a large-scale tool of control. More than 40 percent of Palestinian men go through Israeli jails in their lifetimes.

Dec 09 07:47

Palestine activists who defaced Israeli arms company in England found not guilty

The “Elbit Three”, a group of British activists who defaced the site of an Israeli arms company, have been acquitted.

In February of 2021 three activists affiliated with the group Palestine Action locked onto the gates of the Elbit subsidiary UAV Engines in Shenstone, Staffordshire and threw red paint on the building. The group targets companies that are “directly complicit in Israel’s ongoing military occupation and subsequent colonization of Palestine.” Elbit is Israel’s largest private arms supplier.

Elbit, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), attempted to hit the group with criminal damage charges, but on December 3 Judge Marcus Waites ruled that the disruption was limited and that the action posed no threat to public order. Notably, Waites ruling also cites Palestine and the arms trade as important issues.

Dec 09 07:13

On ‘Gassing the Arabs’ and Other Diseases: Is Israel a ‘Sick Society’?

For whatever reason, some mistakenly perceive the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, as liberal, progressive and even "pro-Palestinian". Of course, none of this is true. This misconstrued depiction of an essentially Zionist and anti-Palestinian newspaper tells of a much bigger story of how confusing Israeli politics is, and how equally confused many of us are in understanding the Israeli political discourse.

On November 28, newly-elected Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, stormed the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Hebron) with hundreds of soldiers and many illegal Jewish settlers, including the who’s who of Israel’s extremists.

Dec 09 07:12

Report: US and Israel to Discuss Holding Drills to Prepare for Attacks on Iran

According to a report from Reuters, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz are expected on Thursday to discuss possible military exercises that would prepare for attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The Reuters report cited an unnamed senior US official who said Pentagon leaders had briefed National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on what military options the US has to “ensure that Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon.”

Since indirect negotiations between the US and Iran restarted last week in Vienna, Israeli officials have stepped up their rhetoric and are constantly claiming Iran is racing to develop a nuclear weapon. But Iran has repeatedly pledged that it does not want a bomb, and CIA Director William Burns said Monday that there is no evidence Tehran has decided to weaponize its nuclear program.

Dec 09 07:09

Gantz heads to Washington amid Iran tensions

Defense Minister will reportedly meet with both Secretary of State Blinken and Pentagon Chief Austin to discuss potential revisions to the nuclear agreement, as well as additional pressure tools on Tehran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is set to arrive at Washington on Thursday for a series of meetings with top American officials amid rising tensions with Iran.
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During his visit — prompted by the renewed talks in Vienna over the 2015 nuclear deal — the Israeli defense chief will meet with both Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"You will attack Iran for us, or we'll start releasing those Epstein video tapes on you all!"

Dec 09 03:52

Israeli Health Official Tells Public to Prepare For Endless Boosters: 'We Will Need to Take The 4th Shot, The 5th Shot, The 6th Shot And The 7th'

Israeli Health Ministry vaccination advisory committee member and deputy chief of Israel's biggest hospital Professor Arnon Afek is telling the public to prepare not only to take their fourth "booster" shot but also their fifth, sixth and seventh.

Dec 08 08:26

Israel Launches Rare Airstrikes On Syrian Port Close To Russian Airbase

Shortly after 1am local time Israeli warplanes mounted a large-scale missile strike on Syria's key port of Latakia, igniting large fires as shipping containers were engulfed.

International reports underscored that "It was a rare attack on the city's port, a vital facility where much of Syria's imports are brought into the war-torn country." Indeed it was the first such known attack on Latakia's main port throughout the conflict which began over a decade ago.

Syrian state TV said at least five explosions were heard, with circulating social media videos from the site showing high-reaching flames.

The Israeli government didn't comment in the immediate aftermath, but its media is calling the attack a "gamechanger" in terms of drastically shifting the rules of engagement towards civilian ports. Over the course of prior years, Damascus International Airport has been struck several times. Typically the Israelis claim to be acting against Iranian weapons shipments.

Dec 08 07:23

Right-wing Israeli spray racist graffiti on mosque in Arab town

A group of right-wing Israelis sprayed racist slogans on the walls of a mosque in Umm Al-Fahm city, Israel, this morning.

Local sources confirmed that the saboteurs had entered the Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm and sprayed anti-Arab slogans on the Qatayeen Al-Shomar Mosque's walls. Videos on social media show the Star of David and the Israeli flag spray-painted on the mosque walls. Local volunteers have since repainted the area to erase signs of aggression.

Dec 08 07:22

Settlers, Israel army chop down Palestinian almond trees in West Bank

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and Jewish settlers chopped down dozens of fruitful trees in Beit Ummar town to the north of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron today, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.

Mohammed Awad, a local media activist, said that occupation forces and settlers uprooted more than 130 almond trees and bulldozed five dunums of agricultural land owned by two families in the town.

He explained that the destruction was carried out to pave the way for expanding the nearby Jewish-only settlement of Karmei Tzur.

The activist said the families have title deeds proving their ownership of the land.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

An almond tree can take as long as five to twelve years to start producing almonds.

Dec 08 07:21

PA calls for probing Israel's disposal of hazardous nuclear waste in the occupied territories

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh yesterday called for probing Israel's burial of hazardous nuclear and chemical waste in the occupied Palestinian territories, Arab48 reported.

During a conference about Climate Change held in Ramallah and attended by a number of foreign ambassadors, Shtayyeh shed light on the dangerous Israeli measures that devastate the Palestinian environment.

He pointed out that the number of cancer patients in the south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron has sharply increased, linking this to the accumulation of nuclear, chemical and solid Israeli waste.

"Burying nuclear, chemical and solid Israeli waste poses danger to the environment and to people's health," he stressed.

Dec 08 07:20

UN rights chief: Situation in Palestinian territories is 'disastrous'

The human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is "disastrous", UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said yesterday.

Speaking during a meeting organised by the United Nations Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Bachelet said: "Overall, the present human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory can fairly be characterised as disastrous, with severe infringements on the rights of over 4 million people."

"Only an end to the occupation can bring about lasting peace and establish the conditions in which the human rights of all can be fully respected."

Dec 08 07:20

Is the pro-Israel lobby lining up Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon for 'the Corbyn treatment'?

A pro-Israel charm offensive has seen some Scottish government ministers distancing themselves from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, raising concerns that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is being lined up for "the Corbyn treatment" by the lobby working for benefit of the colonial-occupation state. Sturgeon has come under ferocious attack by Zionists for daring to criticise Israel. They have even described her words as tantamount to the "desecration of a synagogue".

The astonishing volley of anti-Semitism allegations against Sturgeon is being viewed in some quarters as part of a concerted effort to destabilise the leadership of the Scottish National Party and the independence movement. The movement is currently enjoying a huge surge of public support in Scotland.

Dec 08 07:17

Even Tom Friedman says leaving Iran deal was a mistake — but risk of an Israeli attack grows

This site rarely agrees with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, but he wrote something the other day that we can endorse enthusiastically. He said the 2018 Trump/Netanyahu decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal “was one of the dumbest, most poorly thought out and counterproductive U.S. national security decisions of the post-Cold War era.” Back in 2018 Friedman wasn’t so quite so vehement about abandoning the deal, but better late than ever.

Friedman’s change of heart was mainly guided by what’s good for Israel. He cites recent published reports that high-ranking Israeli security officials say leaving the deal has made their country less safe. Independent nuclear experts say Iran now has enough material “to produce weapons-grade uranium for a single nuclear bomb in as little as three weeks.” (Friedman doesn’t remind readers that under the deal the experts had said the bomb manufacturing process could take a year.)

Dec 08 07:16

By charging Israel with ‘apartheid,’ former Israeli AG joins list of those Greenblatt and Deutch deem antisemitic

As the apartheid charge against Israel proliferates, Israel’s advocates have fought back by saying that it’s antisemitic to make the charge.

Here is Jonathan Greenblatt saying so in November to the organization he heads, the Anti-Defamation League, in a speech on antisemitism:

Now don’t get me wrong, there certainly are things that the Israeli government has done that deserve rebuke. But criticizing the actions of a government is categorically different than deeming it illegitimate because of wildly inaccurate claims that it is instituting an apartheid or leading a genocide.

Here is Florida Rep. Ted Deutch in September saying on the House floor that his colleague Rashida Tlaib is antisemitic because she had quoted from human rights reports calling Israeli rule apartheid:

Dec 08 07:04

It’s time for the U.S. to treat Israel like a normal country and tell it to screw off

The news from the Middle East is that negotiators in Vienna are trying to restart the Iran deal, and Israel is doing all it can to throw a wrench into the works. Its officials are leading a “blitz” to end the talks: the Prime Minister has called on the U.S. for an “immediate cessation of talks,” while the Defense Minister will travel to Washington this week to appeal to the Biden administration that “there may be a point when we will have no choice but to act,’” Al-Monitor reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"You should be nice to us, or we'll start leaking those Epstein video tapes!" -- The Chosenites

Dec 08 06:47

Israeli “Visitors” to Al-Aqsa Part of Plan for Third Jewish Temple

Accompanied by police, 150 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound during the Jewish festival of Chanukah this past week. Scores of Jews now force their way into Al-Aqsa regularly, in what many Palestinian Muslims fear signals the imminent destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for a Third Jewish Temple.

Dec 08 06:35

Israeli Officials Says Warming UAE-Iran Ties are ‘Not Acceptable’

The UAE’s national security advisor visited Iran on Monday in a sign of warming ties between the two nations, and Israel is unhappy about the rapprochement.

During the visit to Iran by the UAE’s Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Iranian officials said they were happy to ease tensions with Abu Dhabi. “Improving ties with the regional countries is my government’s priority, therefore we welcome improving ties with the UAE,” said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

An Israeli official told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the UAE’s diplomacy with Iran is “worrying” and “not acceptable.” Israel normalized relations with the UAE last year and is hoping to work with Abu Dhabi and other Gulf states against Iran.

Dec 08 06:33

Gaza Strip: Israel announces completion of barrier around besieged enclave

Israel announced on Tuesday the completion of a massive barrier around the besieged Gaza Strip, above and below ground, which took three and a half years to finish.

The project includes a sensor-equipped underground wall, a counter-measure developed after Hamas used tunnels to blindside Israeli troops during their 2014 offensive against the enclave.

Israel went public with the project, which also includes an above-ground fence, a naval barrier, radar systems and command and control rooms, in 2016.

Israel's defence ministry said the barrier, which includes hundreds of cameras, radars and other sensors, spans 65km and that 140,000 tonnes of iron and steel were used in its construction,

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So it's okay for Israel to have a wall, but our southern border remains wide open?

Dec 07 09:28

Israel Will Reportedly Push US to Strike Iranian Facility Amid Lack of Progress in Vienna Talks

Media reports, citing anonymous sources, claimed that the European countries and the US were frustrated by the last week of talks in Vienna seeing to revive the Iran nuclear deal. According to them, Tehran backtracked on many of its promises and thwarted achieved compromises. Iran, for its part, accused western states of stalling talks.

Israel is planning to ask the US to carry out military strikes against Iran amid the reported slowdown in Vienna talks between the signatories of the defunct Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA - also known as the Iran nuclear deal), according to Israeli Channels 12 and 13 which didn't reveal their sources. The proposal will reportedly be made by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad's head, David Barnea, when they visit Washington soon.

Dec 07 08:26

‘Israeli airstrikes’ target Syrian port – state media

A port near the city of Latakia, Syria was targeted in an Israeli air raid overnight, Syrian state media reported, with unconfirmed photos of the scene purporting to show a sizable fire erupting just off the Mediterranean coast.

Bombs fell on the country’s chief port city, Latakia, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), which added that blasts had been heard in the vicinity of the port. It dubbed the strikes “Israeli air aggression.”

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression, with several missiles from the direction of the Mediterranean, southwest of Latakia, targeting the container yard in the commercial port of Latakia,” an unnamed military source told SANA.

Dec 07 07:12

Reports: Israeli Officials to Urge US to Attack Iran

sraeli officials will urge the Biden administration to take military action against Iran during talks in Washington this week, three Israeli TV broadcasters reported on Sunday night.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and David Barnea, the head of the Mossad spy agency, are headed to Washington this week. The TV reports said the two officials will push for the US to develop a “plan B” on Iran that involves harsher sanctions and military action.

Last week, the US and Iran resumed indirect negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. The talks concluded Friday and are expected to continue sometime this week. But the US has been claiming Iran is not serious about the process, and the Israelis see an opportunity to convince the US to take a harder line.

Dec 07 07:12

What AIPAC Is Telling Congress on Biden's Iran Negotiations

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most influential pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, was perhaps the most significant political avatar for opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, devoting significant resources to scuttling support for the Obama administration’s agreement, which was also heavily criticized by then Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While it has kept a conspicuously lower profile as the Biden administration attempts to revive the agreement following then-President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018, AIPAC’s opposition remains. It continues to advocate for a significantly different U.S. approach to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Dec 07 06:48

Drones, bombs, spies — inside Israel’s cunning plan to stop Iran’s nukes

Israel has carried out three major operations over the last 18 months against Iran’s nuclear sites. These attacks involved as many as a thousand Mossad personnel and were executed with ruthless precision using high-tech weaponry, including drones and a quadcopter — and spies within Tehran’s holy of holies, its nuclear program.

While President Biden’s nuclear negotiators try to snatch catastrophe from the jaws of defeat in Vienna, Israel is taking things more seriously.

Last week, Naftali Bennett, the Israeli prime minister, pivoted to a new policy on Tehran: retaliating against aggression from militias backed by Tehran with covert strikes on Iranian soil.

Dec 06 07:50

OHCHR 'shocked' by Israel's killing of Palestinian man in Jerusalem

The UN Human Rights Office in Palestine (OHCHR) said it was shocked by the extra-judicial killing of a Palestinian man by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on Saturday, following an alleged stabbing attack.

"The UN Human Rights Office is shocked by the apparent extra-judicial execution of Mohammad Shawkat Sleemah today at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem," the UN office wrote in a statement on Facebook.

Footage which circulated on social media showed Sleemah, a Palestinian in his twenties, laying injured on the ground after he was shot by Israeli forces. Videos showed the man was then approached by two Israeli officers, who fired at him twice more while he was on the ground, eventually killing him.

Dec 06 07:13

America’s Pro-Israel Diplomacy at the UN Hits a New Level

Israel seems to have acquired another formidably biased ally in the latest US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Her Trump era predecessor Nikki Haley once said, “If there’s anything I have no patience for, it is bullies – and the UN was being such a bully to Israel because they could.” Thomas-Greenfield is going down the same route; less fiery language, perhaps, and more diplomatic tact, but subjugating Palestinians to Israel’s colonial violence nonetheless.

During a briefing to the UN Security Council this week, Thomas-Greenfield spoke about Palestinians’ security concerns while invalidating them in the same speech by upholding Israel’s security narrative.

Dec 05 07:09

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Multiple news outlets revealed Friday that Apple notified at least 11 U.S. State Department officials that their iPhones were recently hacked by an unknown party or parties with spyware developed by the private Israeli firm NSO Group.

The "bombshell," first reported by Reuters, comes after Apple sued NSO Group last month in an effort to protect iPhone users from its Pegasus spyware, which the Israeli company claims to only sell to government law enforcement and intelligence agencies and was the focus of a major reporting project earlier this year.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, The Washington Post and Reuters explained that State Department employees based in Uganda or elsewhere in East Africa were targeted over several months, and the intrusions "represent the widest known hacks of U.S. officials through NSO technology."

Dec 05 07:01

Blinken initiated call with PM, amid doubts Israel actually called off Atarot plan

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken initiated a phone call with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday to express his dismay over Israeli plans to advance a controversial East Jerusalem housing project despite signaling last week that it had shelved the plan, sources familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel.

The phone call was “intense,” an official said, with Blinken expressing the Biden administration’s vehement opposition to the 9,000-home plan in Atarot, which supporters of a two-state solution argue would mark a death knell for the proposal by creating a wedge in the middle of Palestinian contiguity between Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Dec 04 08:55

Bennett under fire as family jets off for vacation amid Omicron fears

Naftali Bennett on Wednesday came under fire after it was revealed that his family has jetted off for a vacation abroad despite the prime minister's own call last week to avoid foreign travel due to the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the family had the holiday a long time ago with the original destination being in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Dec 04 08:45

NSO spyware said used to hack phones of State Department officials working in Uganda

Israeli spyware firm NSO Group’s software was reportedly used by an unknown assailant to hack the cell phones of at least nine United States State Department employees, in what — if confirmed — would be the first time the embattled company’s technology was used to target American officials.

The hack targeted State Department workers in Uganda or those specializing in the East African country, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

All of the American staff targeted were using iPhones. Last week, Apple announced that it was suing the NSO Group for targeting the users of its devices, saying the firm at the center of the Pegasus surveillance scandal needs to be held accountable.

Dec 04 08:45

Israel: Owner of Beitar Jerusalem FC arrested for alleged crypto fraud and sex crimes

Israeli police have arrested Moshe Hogeg, the owner of anti-Arab football club Beitar Jerusalem and crypto mogul, over money laundering, fraud and sexual offences.

Hogeg, who bought Beitar Jerusalem in 2018, one of Israel's top football clubs, was arrested with seven other businesspeople on Thursday, following extensive investigations by Lahav 433, a police anti-corruption unit that tackles financial crimes.

Lahav 433 said the suspects had pocketed tens of millions of shekels through deception and tricking investors into pouring money into cryptocurrency investments that Hogeg had opened.

The Israeli police arrested Hogeg and a family member at Beitar Jerusalem's office. Homes and offices of the other suspects were also raided, to collect evidence.

Dec 04 08:44

Israel closes Palestinian-majority football ground after win over Beitar Jerusalem

Israeli authorities have banned Bnei Sakhnin, a major football club for Palestinian citizens of Israel competing in the country's premier league, from playing matches in its own stadium.

The decision comes after the team beat Beitar Jerusalem, whose fans are notorious for celebrating their anti-Palestinian racism.

On Thursday, Israel's ministry of economy and industry said that it was revoking the licence of Doha Stadium in Sakhnin, a Palestinian-majority town in northern Israel, arguing that the club had exceeded the permitted numbers of fans as agreed with authorities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Talk about petty vindictiveness!

Dec 04 08:24

Mossad chief: Agency committed to ensure Iran will never have nucs.

Mossad chief David Barnea said on Thursday that Israel's security agencies will take any action needed in order to remove the risk posed by Iran.

Speaking at a ceremony at the intelligence agency Barnea said Iran will not have a nuclear weapon. "not in the coming years and not ever. That is my commitment and that of the Mossad," he said.

Dec 04 06:57

Israel Tells U.S. to 'Immediately Halt' Iran Negotiations, U.S. Halts Iran Negotiations

Israel stepped up its opposition to the Iran nuclear deal talks on Thursday and demanded that the US and other world powers put an immediate end to the negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett delivered the message in a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "Iran is carrying out nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tactic, and this should be answered by the immediate halt to negotiations and the implementation of tough steps by the world powers," Bennett said, according to a statement released by his office.

Israel claims that Iran has no intention of reducing its nuclear activity back to JCPOA levels and is only trying to buy time to develop a nuclear bomb. But there's no evidence to support the claim, and Iran has only taken steps to advance its nuclear program in the face of pressure from the US and Israel, and a JCPOA revival would reverse those steps.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Call off the Iran negotiations, or we'll start naming Jeffrey Epstein's 'friends'!"

Dec 03 14:15

UN General Assembly demands Israeli occupation full withdraw from occupied Syrian Golan

The United Nations General Assembly has renewed the adoption of a resolution by a majority of member states calling on the Israeli occupation entity to fully withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of June 4, 1967, in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

94 countries voted in favor of the resolution, while the occupation entity and 7 countries voted against it, and 69 countries abstained from voting.

The General Assembly resolution states that the decision of “Israel” on December 14, 1981 to impose its laws and jurisdiction on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no legitimacy whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution No. 497 of 1981 and demands “Israel” to cancel it and to fully withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan till the line of June 4, 1967, in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Dec 03 10:21

Conflicts of Interest: Does Israeli Aggression Signal Progress in Iran Nuclear Deal Talks?

On COI #195, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman discuss recent developments in the new Cold War with China as well as the resumed JCPOA talks in Vienna.

Kyle details recent reports about how Taiwan, eyeing China, is building its own submarine fleet with assistance from various nations including the United States and the United Kingdom. Kyle then breaks down a propaganda piece from Reason magazine that promotes Sean Roberts, who authored a discredited Newlines Institute report containing debunked lies about China’s Uighur “genocide.” This is a major oversight from Reason and reflects that even mainline, establishment libertarians will traffic in blatant anti-China war propaganda.

Dec 03 10:20

Israel 'whitewashed' probe into army killings during Gaza march of return

A report released on Thursday accuses the Israeli military of improperly investigating its own policies and practices during the Great March of Return, when hundreds of people were killed as Palestinians in Gaza rallied along the fence separating the enclave from Israel every Friday for nearly two years.

The protest campaign called for an end to the blockade on Gaza, imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007, and for Palestinian refugees' right of return to the lands that their families fled or were forced out of during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

The Israeli response - sometimes with live fire - was lethal, leading to the deaths of more than 250 people and tens of thousands of wounds, according to the UN.

Dec 03 09:10

I trust Israel to the Same Degree I trust Iran

Dec 03 07:33

Israel Tells US to ‘Immediately Halt’ Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations

Israel stepped up its opposition to the Iran nuclear deal talks on Thursday and demanded that the US and other world powers put an immediate end to the negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett delivered the message in a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Iran is carrying out nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tactic, and this should be answered by the immediate halt to negotiations and the implementation of tough steps by the world powers,” Bennett said, according to a statement released by his office.

Israel claims that Iran has no intention of reducing its nuclear activity back to JCPOA levels and is only trying to buy time to develop a nuclear bomb. But there’s no evidence to support the claim, and Iran has only taken steps to advance its nuclear program in the face of pressure from the US and Israel, and a JCPOA revival would reverse those steps.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Yes sir! Yes sir! Yes sir!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Dec 03 07:32

Gantz: Israeli Attack on Iran Must Always Be an Option

On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said an attack on Iran must always remain an option for Israel, even if the country acts alone.

“I do think we always have to prepare the option for the moment when we may find ourselves alone,” Gantz told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth. “I say again, an attack [against Iran] is an option. It doesn’t have to be the first one.”

Gantz’s comments come as the US and Iran are holding indirect negotiations in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal, which Israel opposes. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call Thursday that the US should put an “immediate halt” to the negotiations.

Leading up to the talks, Israeli officials stepped up their threats against Iran. While Israel frequently carries out covert attacks on Iran, the recent rhetoric suggests Israel is planning a more overt military strike.

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