Israel: EU legitimizing terror by sending diplomat to Raisi inauguration

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has stated that the EU is legitimizing Iranian aggression by sending its deputy foreign affairs chief to the inauguration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi attends a news conference in Tehran, Iran June 21, 2021.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

The EU is legitimizing Iranian aggression by sending its deputy foreign affairs chief to the inauguration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated on Monday.

 
Enrique Mora, the EU coordinator in Iran nuclear talks and deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Services, the EU’s foreign ministry, plans to attend Raisi’s inauguration. The event is set to take place less than a week after Iran attacked an Israeli-managed ship of the coast of Oman, killing a citizen of Romania – an EU member state, and a British national.
 
Israel called on the EU to cancel its participation in the event.
 
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat said “the decision of the European Union to send a senior representative to the swearing-in ceremony of the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ is puzzling and shows poor judgment.”
 
 
 
Raisi’s nickname refers to the former judge’s role in the execution of thousands of Iranian dissidents, which earned him US sanctions for human rights violations.
 
Calling the attack on the Mercer Street an act of state-sponsored terror, Haiat said EU attendance at Raisi’s swearing in “gives legitimacy to the Iranian attack and the policy of aggression of the ayatollahs’ government.”
 
Former EU high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini attended the inauguration of Iran’s departing president, Hassan Rouhani.
 
However, the current ceremony is taking place after a nearly two-months break from indirect negotiations between Iran and the US to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
 
Mora’s visit to Iran is meant in part to break the impasse and revive the talks, The Wall Street Journal reported.
 
Some of the European parties to the 2015 Iran deal – the UK, France and Germany, known as the E3 – objected to sending Mora to the inauguration, but none of the non-E3 European Union member states opposed it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
 
Earlier Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that “Iran should face up to the consequences of what they’ve done.”
 
“This was clearly an unacceptable and outrageous attack on commercial shipping. A UK national died. It is absolutely vital that Iran and every other country, respects the freedoms of navigation around the world and the UK will continue to insist on that,” Johnson added.
 
The US, UK and Romania have said they are coordinating a response to the Iranian attack.
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Israel settler uses soldier’s gun to shoot at Palestinians in West Bank

The video, taken in Al-Tuwani village, also shows the settlers attacking Palestinian property, ripping branches off olive trees, throwing stones as Palestinians and setting Palestinian property on fire, all in the presence of occupation forces.

An Israeli settler shot at Palestinians in the occupied West Bank using an Israeli soldier’s weapon, footage released by rights group B’Tselem shows.

Palestinian who witnessed the incident, which took place on 26 June, said the soldier gave the settler the weapon, while the Israeli military claims the settler “took the weapon from the soldier and shot in the air”, Haaretz reported.

“With me there were 10 children on the roof and all of us shook, he didn’t fire in the air, he shot toward us,” one Palestinian resident said. Another eyewitness, who was on the same roof, also said he saw the soldier give his gun to the settler, Haaretz added.

The video, taken in Al-Tuwani village, also shows the settlers attacking Palestinian property, ripping branches off olive trees, throwing stones as Palestinians and setting Palestinian property on fire, all in the presence of occupation forces.

The Israel army’s Spokesperson’s Unit said: “A violent incident developed between settlers and Palestinians,” which included “mutual rock throwing and [Palestinians] shooting fireworks at settlers. An IDF [army] soldier collected in a military vehicle a resident who asked to direct him, and when they reached the site rocks were thrown at the vehicle. In response, the resident took the gun from the soldier and fired in the air. There were no injuries. In light of the severity of the incident, the soldier was summoned for an immediate investigation and clarification by the brigade commander, and the regulations were clarified.”

This incident, Palestinian news site Safa said, is further proof of the joint cooperation between Israeli settlers and the army in their aggression against Palestinians.

In May, 11 Palestinians were killed in Israeli army and settler attacks in the occupied West Bank, Safa said.

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Kushner set to travel to Saudi Arabia, with eyes on Israel normalization Outgoing White House adviser said seeking additional Mideast wins before Biden’s January inauguration; will meet crown prince in Neom, where Netanyahu, Pompeo met him last week

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on October 23, 2017. Right: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photos by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

White House adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Saudi Arabia this week, in an apparent last-ditch effort to broker a normalization deal between the kingdom and Israel, according to a report on Sunday.

Kushner will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Neom — the Red Sea city where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week held a secret rendezvous with the prince, alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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IDF fires mysteriously timed flares near Gaza, Lebanon border – reports

IDF artillery allegedly fired flares near the borders with both Lebanon and Gaza around the same time on Monday evening, according to reports by Israeli and Arab media.
 
At 9:30, the Palestinian Safa Press Agency tweeted a picture of an alleged flare which their correspondent claimed was fired toward the Kissufim area of southern Israel, east of the Gaza city of Khan Younis.
 
Fewer than 10 minutes later, a reporter for the Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar tweeted a picture of his own, which he claims fell near the Israel-Lebanon border.
 
According to Israeli media, the flares in northern Israel were fired due to fears of an intrusion into Israeli territory in the area of the Manara Cliff in the Upper Galilee, to aid the soldiers conducting searches.
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Message in a balloon: Hamas threatens violence unless Israel allows Qatari aid

Amid now-resolved dispute over delayed entrance of Doha-purchased fuel into Gaza, terror group gives apparent approval for arson attacks along the border

Masked Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists prepare incendiary balloons east of Gaza city, to launch across the border fence towards Israel on June 15, 2021. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

In the context of the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas have developed several methods of communication to circumvent their official lack of direct contact. One of the terror group’s preferred means of getting a message across to Israel has been balloon-borne incendiary devices.

Since the practice of launching them began in 2018, such arson attacks have come to serve as an initial, limited way of indicating to Israel that Hamas is serious about its demands — now, as in the past, for Qatari aid to enter the Strip — and that it is willing to escalate tensions, potentially to the point of combat, in order to see them fulfilled.

Throughout the day on Sunday several balloons sparked brushfires in southern Israel, which were quickly extinguished by Israeli firefighters.

 

The balloons are typically not launched directly by Hamas operatives, but by smaller groups on the border. However, as Hamas maintains strict control over the frontier, it has to give at least tacit approval for the arson attacks, if not explicitly order them.

In response, Israel cut the Gaza fishing zone by half, from 12 nautical miles to six, and launched a series of late-night airstrikes on Hamas targets in the Strip.

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Saudi Arabia prefers to normalize ties with Israel under Biden – report Under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, Israel has already signed normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia appears to have delayed plans to normalize ties with Israel until after US President-elect Joe Biden enters office on January 20, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

It speculated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “pulled back from a deal, according to the Saudi advisers and US officials, largely because of the US election result.”

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Netanyahu’s lawyers to court: The charges are fabricated; cancel them Judges set December 6 session to deal with claims by PM’s attorneys, who say investigators used illegitimate tactics on witnesses

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s defense attorneys on Sunday asked the Jerusalem District Court to throw out the criminal indictment against the premier, claiming law enforcement “invented” the corruption charges.

In their 200-page request, the prime minister’s lawyers alleged that police investigators used illegitimate means to secure evidence, thus disqualifying the criminal charges, and asked the Jerusalem District Court to throw out the case.

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Joe Biden Bows to Force Majeure Kneeling before Israelis is latest indication of who rules in Washington

If one were only limited to viewing or reading the US mainstream media the story of how President Joe Biden went down on his knees to honor two visiting Israelis would never have surfaced. Fortunately, the story did make considerable waves in both the Israeli and the alternative media, though not enough to convince the faceless editors at CBS news and elsewhere to run with it. The kneeling incident reportedly took place while Biden was meeting in the White House with soon-to-be retired Israeli president Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin was doing something like his victory lap, having presumably completed his term of office without being charged with corruption, which is what the Jewish state’s leaders have traditionally been noted for.

In fact, the good news re Israeli corruption is that recent ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been dogged by corruption charges for years, no longer can claim immunity and just might now have to pay the piper and go to jail together with his lovely wife Sara. The thought of Netanyahu in the slammer brings tears of joy to my eyes, not only because he is dishonest and a thief, but also because he was part of an Israeli spy ring that obtained nuclear triggers to construct bombs, which was operating against the United States back when he lived here in the 1970s-80s. But that is another story for another day.

Rivlin was in town to say goodbye but also to discuss Iran. The Israeli view on Iran is that the Mullahs have a secret nuclear weapons program so any kind of agreement with them allows work to proceed clandestinely. Israel believes that allowing the United States to re-enter into 2015’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would take the heat off Iran and would virtually guarantee that the Islamic Republic would wind up with a nuclear weapon, which would threaten the entire region, most particularly Israel and the Saudis. This line is, of course, being echoed by Israel’s many friends in the United States.

The other view, supported by both the United Nations and the US intelligence community, is that it is Israel rather than Iran that has a secret nuclear arsenal which is not subject to international inspection. Everyone but Israel believes that Iran, for its part, long ago gave up an exploratory program that might plausibly have led to a weapon. The only so-called evidence challenging that view consists of information on a lap top that was fortuitously discovered by some opponents of the Iranian government which had previously been fabricated by Israeli intelligence and placed so as to be found and exposed.

Biden, completely predictably, assured the Israeli president that his personal commitment to the Jewish state is “iron-clad.” No doubt Rivlin for his part passed the Israeli view regarding Iran on to Biden during their meeting, though there has been no subsequent document describing in any detail that aspect of their discussion. The White House press release described their interaction as follows: “President Biden conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and his commitment to deepening the cooperation between the two countries across all fields. The leaders discussed the many challenges facing the region, including the threat posed by Iran. The President emphasized that under his administration, Iran will never get a nuclear weapon. He also assured President Rivlin that the United States remains determined to counter Iran’s malign activity and support for terrorist proxies, which have destabilizing consequences for the region.”

In reality, of course, it is Israel and the US that are nuclear armed and have been supporting terrorist proxies in the Middle East, but we’ll give that one a pass. Rivlin had with him his 45 year-old chief of staff, a Haredi Orthodox Israeli woman named Rivka Ravitz who has borne twelve children. Many Orthodox Jews apparently believe that procreating up to maximum capacity is a requirement that comes straight from Yahweh. Joe responded with something like delight at the report of the “cheaper by the dozen” offspring and he got so excited that he went down on one knee to honor the lady and, presumably, her boss. And to make matters worse, a photographer who accompanied the Israeli entourage was in the room with the beaming trio and was able to take a picture of Joe on one bended knee, though it also has been claimed that he might have gone down on both knees which raises the question how he managed to get back up at his age. Are Secret Service Agent required to lift up kneeling presidents?

So here we have the president of the United States down on one or two knees in front of two former Israeli government officials. Doesn’t look good, does it? But it could be a metaphor for what the entire United States government and Establishment choose to do when it comes to Israel. Too bad there is no recording of what Honest Joe was saying as he was going down. Was it the usual inarticulate mumble or something acknowledging the power and majesty of his visitors? As noted above, avowed Zionist Joe reportedly said either before or maybe after his prostration that the commitment to Israel is “iron-clad,” which one might suggest to be the unofficial motto of the United States Congress.

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“If we see a different approach from the Blue and White side and cooperation within the government, instead of a government within a government, we can continue to work together.

If not, everyone can understand that this will lead to elections,” the prime minister said.

Under the coalition deal between the Likud party, led by Netanyahu, and Blue and White, the two agreed to pass a budget running through 2021. Netanyahu, however, is now insisting on separate budgets for 2020 and 2021, with a failure to pass a budget allowing him to avoid handing the premiership over to Gantz — as the agreement also requires — and instead go to elections.

If the budget issue is not resolved by late December, early elections would automatically be called, the fourth in two years.

Frustrated by the deadlock, Gantz said earlier this month that he had instructed his party to gather together “all of the relevant bills that will advance equality, fight corruption and other values that are important to us.”

Responding to Gantz’s announcement, Avigdor Liberman, chair of the right-wing opposition Yisrael Beytenu party, told his faction meeting on Monday that the legislative proposals were “nothing but a smokescreen.”

“Gantz does not really intend to promote the laws, he is interested in media noise. Otherwise, how can one explain the fact that he mentioned these laws precisely in the week when a law was proposed to dissolve the Knesset?” Liberman said.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, speaking at the Yesh Atid-Telem party faction meeting, instead urged Gantz to back his proposal for dissolving the Knesset and calling new elections, which is slated to be voted on Wednesday.

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“In 48 hours we can bring to an end the worst government in the history of the country.

In 48 hours we’ll vote on a law to disperse the Knesset,” Lapid said.

He called on Blue and White, which he ran with during three election campaigns but split from over Gantz’s decision to join a Netanyahu-led government, to stop being “accomplices” of the prime minister.

“You had good intentions, it didn’t work. Now it’s time to make amends,” Lapid said. “You’re not sitting in a unity government but in a bloated, corrupt government that’s causing incredible damage to the Israeli economy. Infection rates are increasing again… We need a government that will work for the citizens of Israel.”

Science Minister Izhar Shay from Blue and White said on Thursday that there was a “good chance” his party would vote in favor of the motion of no confidence in the government, toppling the coalition and setting the country formally on the path to new elections.

Gantz has refused to say if Blue and White will support the bill. His party has been reportedly weighing putting forward its own bill to disperse the Knesset to avoid handing Yesh Atid credit for the move. Lapid’s bill would likely fail without Blue and White’s support.

Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked has said that her right-wing religious party would support Lapid’s bill to disband the Knesset, with the government appearing to be teetering on the brink of collapse anyway.

Shaked said last week that her party was now “a leadership alternative” to Likud, and said people were tired of “the failing parties currently running the country.” Yamina leader Naftali Bennett “is able, worthy and needs to be the next prime minister,” she declared.

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