Archive for October 16, 2018

Iran says it has carried out 700 drone attacks in Syria

October 16, 2018

Source: i24NEWS – Iran says it has carried out 700 drone attacks in Syria

Experts say it is relatively simple to convert a standard civilian drone into an effective weapon

RAYMOND ROIG (AFP/File)
In February, Israel shot down an Iranian-operated drone that it tracked entering its airspace from Syria

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have carried out 700 drone strikes against forces of the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria, its aerospace chief told conservative news agency Fars on Tuesday.

“Our bomber drones have carried out 700 military operations using smart bombs against Daesh,” said Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

“They were used in eliminating tanks, personnel carriers, cars used for suicide attacks and 23- millimeter cannons — these were targets prized by Daesh and we significantly turned the tide of battle,” he added.

The guards most recently used military drones against IS targets in Syria on October 1, in retaliation for a deadly attack in September on a military parade in Iran’s southwest claimed by the militant group.

Seven military drones as well as six ballistic missiles struck the “IS headquarters” in the eastern Syrian town of Hajin, about 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of Albu Kamal bordering Iraq, state TV reported.

Iranian media said published images indicated the drones were locally-produced “Saegheh” craft, reverse-engineered from a US RQ-170 Sentinel captured by Iran in 2011.

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said at the time that the strikes were the first time the drones had “crossed multiple countries and reached their targets.”

(Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)
FILE – This file photo provided on Friday Oct. 20, 2017 by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows Iran’s army chief of staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, looks into binoculars as he visits and other senior officers from the Ir 

(Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

It was also the first time Iran had officially announced it was using combat drones outside of its borders, the conservative Tasnim news agency said.

In February, Israel shot down an Iranian-operated drone that it tracked entering its airspace from Syria.

That episode triggered a massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian military installations in Syria, fueling tensions that exploded in another round of rockets and counter-strikes later in the year.

Last month, the Israeli army admitted that it has carried out more than 200 airstrikes in Syria over the last year, many of which Israel claimed were targeting Iranian positions and weapons convoys.

Israel has vowed not to let Iran establish itself in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Over the weekend, reports surfaced of an Israeli drone that blew up a spy device close to the border.

Iran is a key backer of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and a large contingent of Revolutionary Guards operate in the country as “military advisers”.

 

Iranian newspapers: US sanctions violate Iranian human rights 

October 16, 2018

Source: Iranian newspapers: US sanctions violate Iranian human rights – Israel Hayom

 

US designates Lebanon’s Hezbollah a ‘transnational crime organization’ 

October 16, 2018

Source: US designates Lebanon’s Hezbollah a ‘transnational crime organization’ – Israel Hayom

 

Muslim states decry Australia’s possible Jerusalem embassy move 

October 16, 2018

Source: Muslim states decry Australia’s possible Jerusalem embassy move – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

( David, don’t let these forces of evil stop your amazing country from doing the right thing ! – JW )

“They are risking Australia’s trade and business relationship with the rest of the world, in particular (the) Arab and Muslim world.”

BY REUTERS
 OCTOBER 16, 2018 10:18

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator shouts during a protest against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem

Morrison’s comments about recognizing Jerusalem and possibly moving Australia’s embassy there, just like US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision in December, would reverse decades of foreign policy and inflame tension with some of Australia’s Asian neighbors.

Australia is due to a sign a trade deal this year with Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, where the Palestinian question is a sensitive issue and tens of thousands protested against Trump’s decision.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Jakarta, reaffirmed Indonesia’s support for a two-state solution to the Middle East dispute and warned Australia against the risk of insecurity.

“Indonesia asks Australia and other countries to support peace talks… and not take steps that would threaten that peace process and stability of world security,” Marsudi said.

Morrison told parliament on Tuesday he had been in touch with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to explain his position.

Maliki said he was saddened that Australia might violate international law and disrespect a UN Security Council resolution.

“They are risking Australia’s trade and business relationship with the rest of the world, in particular (the) Arab and Muslim world,” he said.

Ambassadors from 13 Arab countries met in Canberra on Tuesday and agreed to send a letter to Australia’s foreign minister expressing their concern, Egyptian ambassador to Australia Mohamed Khairat said.

Morrison’s openness to recognizing Jerusalem and moving Australia’s embassy there comes four days before a by-election in Sydney at which his center-right coalition runs the risk of losing its tenuous hold on power.

The by-election is in the Sydney harbourside seat of Wentworth vacated by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was ousted in a party-room coup by members of Morrison’s Liberal party, the senior partner in a Liberal-National coalition, in August.

Census figures show 12.5 percent of people in Wentworth are Jewish, a significantly larger proportion than elsewhere in Australia. The Liberal candidate contesting the by-election on Saturday, Dave Sharma, is a former Australian ambassador to Israel who has floated the idea in the past.

Morrison will have to negotiate with independent lawmakers in order to continue governing in a minority if the coalition loses Saturday’s by-election.

‘PRETTY BLATANT’

Morrison said earlier on Tuesday the political orthodoxy that drove such debates suggested that discussion of the Israeli capital was “taboo.” He said no decision had been made and he was simply being open to the suggestion.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper described his apparent change of heart as “unprincipled and craven.”

University of Sydney political analyst Rod Tiffen said the shift in position was being driven by domestic politics.

“It’s a big change, it is out of step with everyone, except America,” said Tiffen.

“But three days out from the Wentworth by-election, it’s pretty blatant… to the extent that there is a Jewish vote there, it probably helps.”

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector that it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital.

Trump’s decision in December enraged Palestinians and upset the Arab world and Western allies. Australia refused to follow its closest ally’s example and has so far kept its mission in Tel Aviv.

The apparent change of policy was welcomed by Israel but swiftly criticized by Palestinian representatives.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Morrison had telephoned to explain his shift, said on Twitter he was “very thankful” Morrison was considering the move.

Palestinians, with broad international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Peace talks between the parties broke down in 2014.

The US Embassy became the only foreign embassy in Jerusalem in May, but Netanyahu has attempted to persuade others to follow suit.

 

‘Anti-racism’ rally in Berlin calls for destruction of Israel 

October 16, 2018

Source: ‘Anti-racism’ rally in Berlin calls for destruction of Israel – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

Demonstrators at the march hoisted symbols in support of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
 OCTOBER 16, 2018 02:21
Protesters gather to the "#unteilbar" demonstration which aims to "rise up against discrimination

The Jerusalem Post reviewed a video showing two speakers who called for the “liberation of all of Palestine 48” and “we must take a stand and boycott Israel. BDS.” The slogan to “liberate all of Palestine” reverts to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 and is widely considered a euphemism to cleanse Israel of Jews.

The German Middle East expert Thomas von der Osten-Sacken wrote an article on the website of the Austrian-based think tank Mena-Watch, with the headline “Speaker at indivisible demonstration calls for Israel’s destruction.” The protest was called #unteilbar (indivisible) by its organizers.

Demonstrators at the march hoisted symbols in support of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to observers and German media reports. The European Union and the US designated the PFLP a terrorist group. In 2014, PFLP terrorists murdered four rabbis in a synagogue in Jerusalem.

The speakers who call for genocidal antisemitism against Israel and BDS delivered their talks under the banner of the pro-BDS and pro-PFLP organization International Alliance.

The Germany-based International Alliance supports sympathizers of the PFLP. As a result of the Post‘s investigative series into terror finance and the BDS campaign, the US online payment service PayPal closed the account of the International Alliance in September. The Post reported on September 1 that the German bank Sparkasse Witten shut down the NGO’s account.

The Post reviewed photographs of supporters and flags from the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany at the Indivisible march. The Marxist-Leninist Party formed an alliance with sympathizers of the PFLP. In 2017, a Postexposé caused the Deutsche Bank and the Postbank to pull the plug on accounts held by the party. The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany suffered a stinging legal defeat in August when it sought to reverse the decision by Deutsche Bank and Postbank to terminate its accounts. A court in the city of Essen ruled in favor of Deutsche Bank and Postbank. The party is seeking to delist the PFLP as a terrorist organization. The party holds an account with the bank GLS in Bochum.

The participation of left-wing extremists and radical Islamists at the Indivisible march caused Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party in Berlin to voice its opposition to the event. The Iranian-regime controlled Islamic Center of Hamburg was present at the march. The city-state of Hamburg’s intelligence agency monitors the Islamic Center of Hamburg because it is considered a threat to Hamburg’s democratic system. The Islamic Republic of Iran-dominated center in Hamburg plays a key role in the annual al-Quds Day rally in Berlin, calling for the elimination of Israel.

The Central Council of Muslims, which is an umbrella organization for groups with ties to the fascist Turkish Grey Wolves and anti-Western Islamic entities, participated in the march. The prominent German-Turkish lawyer and liberal Muslim Seyran Ates told BILD “It is a very naïve idea of tolerance when one demonstrates with people on the street who do not want tolerance.”

BILD reported that one protestor held a sign stating “The Zionists hide in the intelligence agency and lead terror in the world.”

BILD also wrote that the sign represents “classic antisemitic slogans that have nothing to do with reality.” The pro-BDS Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network was also present at the march. Three German intelligence reports and the Bundestag label boycott activity against Israel to be an expression of antisemitism.

One aim of Indivisible was to counter the outbreak of right-wing extremism, xenophobia and neo-Nazism in the East German city of Chemnitz in September.

A spokeswoman for Indivisible, Theresa Hartmann, told the Berlin-based paper B.Z that the event’s organizers rejects hatred of Israel and that the anti-Israel agitators “did not speak on the official stage but the organization has responsibility for what took place at our demonstration.”

She said Indivis distances itself from the anti-Jewish state speeches because its departs from the “joint consensus” of the demonstration. Hartmann said Indivisible expected 40,000 people. There were competing numbers regarding the turnout. The police confirmed that at least a 100,000 demonstrators participated in the march.

 

Off Topic: Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray blocked on Israeli YouTube ads 

October 16, 2018

Source: Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray blocked on Israeli YouTube ads – International news – Jerusalem Post

( Google blames it on an “automatic editor” which simply proves how ant-right left-leaning their goddamned algorithms are. – JW )

Videos by the popular authors were deemed “dangerous and derogatory” after being published with Hebrew subtitles.

BY LAHAV HARKOV
 OCTOBER 16, 2018 14:43

Psychologist and author Jordan Peterson during a lecture on January 10, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.

Hebrew-subtitled videos of popular writers Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray were blocked from being advertised on YouTube this week for being “dangerous and derogatory,” before being reinstated.
Books by both Peterson and Murray are due to be published in Hebrew in the coming months by Shibboleth, an imprint of the right-wing Sella Meir publishing house, together with the Tikvah Fund, a conservative, Jewish institution.
Earlier this week, two videos by Murray and one by Peterson that had been posted by Shibboleth were blocked from paid promotion on YouTube, which is owned by Google, with the claim that they contain “dangerous and derogatory content.”
The ban on advertising the content was lifted on Tuesday shortly after a producer for commentator Erel Segal on 103FM, which is owned by The Jerusalem Post group, asked Google about it.
Peterson and Murray are members of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” a group of heterodox academics and writers, most of whom became known through non-traditional media, like YouTube, and consider themselves to be outside of the usual right-left political discourse.

Murray is a British political commentator who published The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity Islamlast year. He is a critic of Islam and migration, and is on the international advisory board of the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor.

Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, gained notoriety after protesting a Canadian law that sought to enforce the use of preferred pronouns, and his filmed lectures, posted on on YouTube, are very popular. His 2018 book 12 Rules for Life, meant to guide readers to live more ethical and meaningful lives, was a major bestseller.

Peterson is an outspoken opponent of aggressive political correctness and post-modernism, and publicly criticized Google for firing an engineer who wrote a memo citing scientific studies on differences between men and women that some in the company found offensive.

Shibboleth co-publisher Rotem Sella pointed out that the Peterson video he posted with Hebrew subtitles did not deal with any of his controversial statements.
“There are apparently people living in an echo chamber who only hear a specific set of opinions and seem to think that other legitimate and important opinions are dangerous to society,” Sella said. “This only emphasizes the importance of an Israeli publishing house to deal with conservative literature out of the mainstream that will challenge the existing discourse.”
A source at Google said that blocking the videos from being promoted was a mistake made by an automatic system, and that the lifting of the ban had nothing to do with being contacted by the media.
The Peterson and Murray videos did not violate any of Google’s policies, the source said.

 

Avigdor Liberman: Israeli operation against Hamas needed to halt Gaza violence

October 16, 2018

Source: Avigdor Liberman: Israeli operation against Hamas needed to halt Gaza violence – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

“The only formula in my opinion is rebuilding in exchange for disarmament. At the moment, we need to make decisions, and I hope the cabinet will make decisions.”

BY TOVAH LAZAROFF
 OCTOBER 16, 2018 10:53
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman

“Now is the time for decisions. My position is very clear: We must deal a heavy blow against Hamas. This is the only way to return the situation to its previous state and to reduce the level of violence to nearly zero,” Liberman said.

His statement echoed words he had issued already on Monday, both in the Knesset and at the Maariv Conference in Jerusalem.

Liberman has been among the most hawkish voices on the issue of the continued low level Gaza violence that began on March 30. It has included Palestinian riots along the Gaza border, infiltrations into Israel and the launching of flaming devices that have burned thousands of acres of land on the Israeli side of the border.

The security cabinet, however, has not taken a decision to launch a military operation. Egypt this week is making another attempt to broker a cease-fire understanding between Israel and Hamas.

Liberman acknowledged that a Gaza military operations must come after “a decision of the entire cabinet.”

“Everyone understands that the situation today cannot continue. We cannot accept violence week after week. The Defense Ministry has used kid gloves before the violence broke out [on March 30], including with international organizations. We have exhausted our options,” Liberman said.

He explained that he became convinced of the necessity of a military strike after Hamas responded with violence to Israel’s humanitarian gesture last week. To help alleviate the electricity crisis in Gaza, Israel facilitated the transfer into the Strip of a large shipment of Qatari funded fuel for the Gaza power plant.

“The change came last Friday. We allowed tanks of diesel to enter Gaza and, in return, were facing the kind of violence that we have not seen in a long time. We also saw [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh saying: ‘Diesel and salaries are not going to stop the violence until the blockade is lifted.’”

Liberman said that fully opening Gaza’s borders without any inspection mechanism would allow for Iran to strengthen its influence on the Strip and would facilitate a heavy influx of arms.

“This means Iranian weapons and Hezbollah fighters to Gaza. When Hamas says this, we must accept it as it is, without exegesis. We have paid a heavy price for such interpretations in the past, including in the 1930s.”

“The only formula in my opinion is rebuilding in exchange for disarmament. At the moment, we need to make decisions, and I hope the cabinet will make decisions. The only way is a heavy blow that can, in my opinion, lead to five years of quiet,” Liberman said.