Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Love of the Land: Living in the ruins of the Jewish West Bank

Living in the ruins of the Jewish West Bank


Point of No Return
(18 October 09)

It is not the place of this blog to say who should rule those disputed lands that the media like to call 'the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank'. Often overlooked in the current debate, however, is the long pre-Arab history of the region, once again 'ethnically cleansed' between 1948 and 1967 of its Jewish inhabitants. Here Bat Yeor, the groundbreaking historian of the dhimmi, lyrically evokes Jewish Judea and Samaria in an article she wrote in 1978:

"Silence. We have taken cover in the shade of an olive tree. Instantly the children have nestled in the branches, listening solemnly to our guide. Somewhere a fig tree perfumes the air...or is it merely the breeze of the Judean hills? Circular gesture by Ya'acov Meshorer, chief curator of archaeology at the Israel Museum, renowned numismatist and former supervisor of excavations in Judea-Samaria.

"Excavations in Judea have brought to light flourishing towns possessing numerous synagogues. The architecture as well as the ornamental patterns are typical of the attractive pre-Islamic Hebrew civilisation, represented in Galilee by the synagogues of Capernaum, Beth Shearim, Chorazim, Kefar Baram, Meron and other places. Between the years 70 AD and the Arab invasion and occupation in 640, these hills were dotted with Hebrew towns and villages where an intense national, religious and cultural life prospered. Deprived of its indepdendence, the nation concentrated its genius by reflecting upon the richness of the national past. This the period in which the Mishnah was elaborated and completed in the second century, shortly to be followed by the Talmud - monumental religious, legal and social compendia. Completed in about 400, this work was continued for another two centuries, keeping alive an intense Messianic fervour whose force was to be felt as far as Arabia.

"The Arab occupation scarcely modified the Hebrew place-names and the Jewish inhabitants, now considered dhimmis, remained on their land. It was only later that the relentless mechanism typical of every colonisation gradually wiped out the indigenous population, thereby encouraging a progressive Arabisation of the soil."

"In the former Jewish town of Bethar, there are now 1500 Arabs. They call the place where the Jewish vestiges stand Khirbet al-Yahud, the ruins of the Jews. Nevertheless, were the Israelis to return, the Arabs would not hesitate to chase them away with indignation, referring to them as foreign intruders. Mystery of the Oriental mind or logic of the occupant? These Arabs, hardly interested in a past which is not theirs, ignore totally the history of the places where they live. Of course they know that the spot was inhabited formerly by Jews, as the name indicates, but these ruins, relating to a people dispossessed and driven out, are only of interest as a quarry conveniently providing stones which others have hewn. But the excited comments from the olive tree taught me that many a Jewish child knows more about the history of this place than its Arab inhabitants.


Love of the Land: Living in the ruins of the Jewish West Bank

Love of the Land: Leveling the Playing Field: An order of ten both ways

Leveling the Playing Field: An order of ten both ways


Richard Landes
Augean Stables
15 December 09

I have often tried to argue that the situation is the Arab-Israeli conflict is not only exaggerated by the media, but inverted, and that statistics play a critical role in this process.


Now we have two key pieces of evidence of how this works.


Exhibit A: Exaggerate Israeli-inflicted damage by an order of ten.


Palestinians constantly make wild statistical claims, as in when Mahmoud al Zahar of Hamas accuses Israel of killing 8000 in the first, “peaceful” intifada, when the Israelis and the Palestinians killed about 1000 each.


Or when al Zahar accuses Israel of imprisoning one quarter of the Palestinian people.



The Palestinian “human rights” NGO, Adalah gives a number to the fraction: 700-750,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons since 1967. This figure, absurd by any careful statistical analysis – was cited by an Adalah representative who testitifed before the Goldstone Commission. Again the figure is off by an order approaching ten.


But the Goldstone Report took the figures and rounded them down by a mere 50,000 (making the real number of prisoners since 1967 a statistical error):


¶1444. It is estimated that during the past 43 years of occupation, approximately 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained under Israeli military orders. Israel argues that these detentions are necessary on grounds of security


And now, Martin Kramer noticed that in the Goldstone report, the number of factories knocked out by Israel resulted in 40,000 jobs lost, when the original report only stated 4,000.

(Continue article)




Love of the Land: Leveling the Playing Field: An order of ten both ways

Love of the Land: RE: Abbas Still Says No

RE: Abbas Still Says No


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
16 December 09

The new preconditions for negotiations that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas posed this week are, as Jonathan noted, equivalent to refusing to negotiate until there’s nothing left to negotiate about. If talks cannot even start until the PA is granted every inch of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, that doesn’t leave much to discuss. I also agree that Abbas’s reluctance to talk stems partly from the knowledge that his own public would reject any deal Israel could actually sign.

However, another factor is at play here: refusing to talk has consistently proved a very successful Palestinian tactic. As chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al-Dustour in June: “At first they told us we would run hospitals and schools, later they were willing to give us 66 percent, at Camp David they reached 90 percent and today they have reached 100 percent. Why then should we hurry?”

Erekat is correct: the offer Ehud Olmert made Abbas last year — to which Abbas never even responded until after Olmert left office, then finally rejected via the media — indeed gave the PA the territorial equivalent of 100 percent (with swaps).

What is noteworthy, however, is that these ever growing Israeli concessions occurred without a single parallel Palestinian concession. In 16 years, Palestinian positions haven’t budged. The PA still insists on resettling 4.7 million descendants of refugees in Israel; it still won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state; it even rejects a 6 percent territorial swap for the settlement blocs.

(Continue article)




Love of the Land: RE: Abbas Still Says No

Love of the Land: Media Restrictions One Year After the Gaza War

Media Restrictions One Year After the Gaza War

Honest Reporting/Backspin
16 December 09


Gaza_warDiscussion looking back at the Gaza war's media coverage must address head-on the thorny issue of Israeli press restrictions.


The roots of the policy go back to the 2006 war in Lebanon, when Hezbollah manipulated the press as a weapon against Israel. We saw staged photo ops, accusations that Israel spared Hezbollah rockets for P.R. purposes allegations of uranium shells, and of course, Reuters' ownAdnan Hajj, the poster boy for Mideast "fauxtography."


Dispatches from Lebanon mostly failed to acknowledge Hezbollah's media restrictions, further distorting reports and violating media ethics.


Fast-forward to December, 2008. As rocket and mortar fire from Gaza escalated and Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, it's hardly surprising that the IDF barred journalists from entering the strip after learning hard lessons in Lebanon.


The two most common arguments raised for press restrictions in fact have more compelling counter-arguments:


• It's condescending to tell war correspondents that restrictions are for their safety.

• To claim journalists would get in the way of soldiers may certainly apply to specific military operations, but it's not the basis for a democratic state's blanket policy.


It must be noted that the restrictions could not -- and did not -- lead to an absolute blackout of coverage; plenty of Palestinian journalists were operating in Gaza when the war began. Al-Jazeera still maintained a bureau and took the unusual step of making its content freely available, leading to an astonishing 600 percent increase in web traffic. Other papers relied on stringers. Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesisimply entered Gaza from Egypt.


(Continue article)



Love of the Land: Media Restrictions One Year After the Gaza War

Love of the Land: Guardian assistant editor says on BBC that Israel murders political dissidents whose “style” it doesn’t like

Guardian assistant editor says on BBC that Israel murders political dissidents whose “style” it doesn’t like


Robin Shepherd
robinshepherdonline
16 December 09

When the Guardian’s assistant editor slithers his way on to the BBC, there’s a good bet that something noxious is soon going to be coming across the airwaves. But, in its brazen and flagrant dishonesty, Monday’s contribution to BBC Radio London’s Breakfast Show by Michael White is something to behold.

In a discussion on security for political leaders pegging off the assault on Silvio Berlusconi the other day, White talked meanderingly about previous attacks on political leaders and, understandably for a British discussion show, brought in the case of Northern Ireland where Unionists and Nationalists in the main desisted from assassinating each others leaders. And then, like a flash of lightening out of a clear blue sky, this:

“In Israel they murder each other a great deal. The Israeli Defense Forces murder people because they don’t like their political style and what they’ve got to say and it only means that people more extreme come in and take their place.”

Read the rest of this entry »



Love of the Land: Guardian assistant editor says on BBC that Israel murders political dissidents whose “style” it doesn’t like

Love of the Land: Israel's False Dream of Peace

Israel's False Dream of Peace

Daniel Greenfield
Sultan Knish
15 December 09

During the time of Chanukah, a holiday inspired by the resistance of a band of brothers to the tyranny of Aniochus IV of the Seleucid Empire, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is instead confronting the consequences of buckling under to Obama's tyranny by imposing a building freeze on hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.


As police, housing inspectors and Jewish area residents scuffle over attempts to stop construction on private houses that their owner are already paying mortgages on-- the "settlement freeze" has emerged as yet another disastrous chapter in the long history of Israeli concessions meant to create peace, where there is no peace. Intended as yet another "confidence building gesture" to reassure the Palestinian Authority, which had already preemptively rejected it as well as any further negotiations, but in reality was more of an attempt to appease Obama by propping up his foreign policy credentials-- the "settlement freeze" has wreaked economic havoc on the lives of everyone from newlyweds planning to move into their first home, families looking to add an addition to accommodate an addition to their family to larger housing projects for Israel's growing population of immigrants from Russia and parts of the Middle East where Jews have traditionally been oppressed.

And so in the name of appeasing Obama and Palestinian Arab terrorists, Netanyahu's actions have touched off tensions among Israelis and worsened the economic situation of many working class families. And all for nothing. The "confidence building gesture" did not build any confidence on the Palestinian Arab side, which is confident enough to bypass negotiations entirely in the hopes of bullying Israel into agreeing to yet more concessions before even bothering to sit down at the negotiating table. Neither did it appease the Obama Administration, which remains frustrated that it could not get Jews barred from living in East Jerusalem, which under Jordanian occupation had its Jewish population ethnically cleansed. Like every confidence building gesture that Israel has made in the past, this one has been both destructive and futile, forcing Israel to pay dearly with nothing to show for it.

Unfortunately from the very beginning, Israel's leaders harbored a false dream of peace that has never been fulfilled. And that mirage of a friendly Middle East has tricked Prime Minister after Prime Minister into cutting deals that cut Israel's throat. In 1947, Israel was prepared to accept a UN partition plan that would have left a fingernail of territory for native Israelis and refugees from the Holocaust to build a state on. But the Arab powers rejected the partition plan, and the resulting War of Independence enabled Israel to hold on to at least marginally defensible borders. Had Egypt's Nasser and Jordan's Hussein not chosen war with Israel in 1967, Israel would have remained within those same weak borders and with its capital city cut in half. But Nasser and Hussein chose war and so Israel reunited Jerusalem and liberated some of its villages in Gaza and Judea and Samaria that had fallen into enemy hands in 1948, such as Kfar Darom, villages that the international community would insist on calling "settlements" and "occupied territories". And without those territories as buffer zones, it is likely that Israel would have been cut and half, and destroyed in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Israel's False Dream of Peace

Love of the Land: Gaza’s Blue Baby Syndrome and Brittain’s Bad Blood

Gaza’s Blue Baby Syndrome and Brittain’s Bad Blood


Gilead Ini
CAMERA Media Analyses
15 December 09


Victoria Brittain’s Dec. 9 column in the Guardian has all the elements that typify the newspaper’s simplistic, distorted accounts of the Arab-Israeli conflict. There are the innocent Palestinian victims and aggressive Israeli culprits; the falsehoods; the failure to consider any Palestinian responsibility for their state of affairs; and the brazen omission of information essential for understanding the situation.


The particulars of Brittain’s article, entitled "Who will save Gaza's children?," are especially dramatic. Gazan babies are being poisoned, and the antidote is as simple as one Israeli phone call, which, for no apparent reason, Israel refuses to make. In the columnist’s own words:


Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world, there is one place where the catastrophe has already happened, but could be immediately ameliorated with one simple political act.

In Gaza there is now no uncontaminated water; of the 40,000 or so newborn babies, at least half are at immediate risk of nitrate poisoning – incidence of "blue baby syndrome", methaemoglobinaemia, is exceptionally high; an unprecedented number of people have been exposed to nitrate poisoning over 10 years; in some places the nitrate content in water is 300 times World Health Organisation standards; the agricultural economy is dying from the contamination and salinated water; the underground aquifer is stressed to the point of collapse; and sewage and waste water flows into public spaces and the aquifer.

The blockade of Gaza has gone on for nearly four years, and the vital water and sanitation infrastructure went past creaking to virtual collapse during the three-week assault on the territory almost a year ago.

What would it take to start the two UN sewerage repair projects approved by Israel; a UN water and sanitation project, not yet approved; and two more UN internal sewage networks, not yet approved? Right now just one corner of the blockade could be lifted for these building materials and equipment to enter Gaza, to let water works begin and to give infant lives a chance. Just one telephone call from the Israeli defence ministry could do it – an early Christmas present to the UN staff on the ground who have been ready to act for months and have grown desperate on this front, as on so many others.


The most disturbing message of the column is 1) the assertion that there is a high incidence of methemoglobinemia or "blue baby syndrome" in the Gaza Strip, 2) the implication that this is a result of "the blockade of Gaza," and 3) the central premise that Israel is responsible for this public heath disaster because it refuses to make "just one telephone call" to allow building materials and equipment into Gaza, and thus"immediately ameliorate" the catastrophe.


If the first point is true, the latter two can only be described as an attempt by Brittain to sharply mislead readers.


(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Gaza’s Blue Baby Syndrome and Brittain’s Bad Blood

Love of the Land: Abbas Still Says No to Talks but Everyone Still Blames Bibi

Abbas Still Says No to Talks but Everyone Still Blames Bibi


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
15 December 09


The decision of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a freeze on building homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank has earned him little credit either in Europe or among his country’s Arab foes. Rather than respond to Israel’s gesture aimed at re-starting peace talks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas raised the ante today by telling the PLO Central Council that he won’t engage in talks unless the international community recognize the 1967 lines as the borders of a Palestinian state and unless Israel halt all construction work not only in the settlements but also in Israel’s capital Jerusalem. In other words, until the Israelis make concessions that ensure that nothing be left to negotiate about, he won’t engage in negotiations.

Abbas, whose term in office will probably be extended without holding an election because his Fatah Party knows it might lose to the Islamists of Hamas, has been telegraphing his lack of interest in talks all year. Given the fact that the Palestinian public still won’t accept any deal with Israel no matter where the borders are set, it’s not likely that this will change. Having turned down a Palestinian state in virtually all of the territories as well as East Jerusalem when former Israeli leader Ehud Olmert offered it last year, it’s hard to understand why anyone would think the supposedly moderate Abbas would make peace now. But the focus of pressure and international speculation about peaceful intentions continues to be put on Netanyahu, not on the Palestinians.

(Continue article)


Love of the Land: Abbas Still Says No to Talks but Everyone Still Blames Bibi

Love of the Land: Beyond mere hatred

Beyond mere hatred


Itamar Marcus/Barbara Crook (PMW)
Opinion/JPost
15 December 09

Palestinian anti-Semitism has long been recognized as a vehicle of hatred. From academics teaching that Judaism permits murder and rape of non-Jews, to religious leaders teaching that Islam demands the extermination of Jews, Palestinian anti-Semitism is a compelling force driving hatred and terror.

The Palestinian Authority depicts Jews as the archetypal force of evil throughout history. Jews are said to be responsible for all the world's problems: wars, financial crises, even the spreading of AIDS. Jews are a danger to humanity.

Whereas this paradigm has been used before, the Palestinians take it a step further, turning demonization of Jews into the basis for Palestinian denial of Israel's right to exist and a central component of Palestinian national identity.

Because of Jews' evil nature, according to this Palestinian principle, nations of the world have been involved in continuous defensive actions to protect themselves. The anti-Semitic oppression, persecution and expulsions suffered by Jews throughout history are presented as the legitimate self-defense responses of nations.

Ibrahim Mudayris, a PA religious official, delineated this ideology: "The Jews are a virus similar to AIDS, from which the entire world is suffering. This has been proven in history... Ask Britain!... Ask France!... Ask Portugal... Ask czarist Russia - who invited the Jews and they plotted to murder the czar!... Don't ask Germany what it did to the Jews, since the Jews are the ones who provoked Nazism to fight the entire world" (PA TV, May 13, 2005).

The apex of this Palestinian ideology, and possibly its purpose, is to use this demonization of Jews as the basis for denying Israel legitimacy and to present Palestinians as the ultimate victims. According to this Palestinian model, the Jews, who are said to have no history in the land, would never have considered coming to "Palestine": Europeans created Zionism as the final act in the long series of self-defense measures, to rid themselves of the "burden" of the Jews.

(Continue reading)

Love of the Land: Beyond mere hatred

Rahm Emanuel's Rabbi

Rahm Emanuel's Rabbi

Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel's rabbi until Emanuel moved to Washington, is preparing to move to Israel. He's trying to organize a large group of fellow American Jews to join him and together they'll set up a new settlement north of Beer Sheva. He seems to think he can bring hundred of families, perhaps as many as a few thousand people.

He also seems to be in favor of a one-state solution to the conflict, which puts him far to the left of 99.8% of the Israelis. Frankly, I don't care. If the man can bring a thousand Jews from America to Israel, he's welcome. If once he's here he wants to vote for some fringe party that can't elect anyone for lack of supporters, who cares?
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Jewish American-Israeli Issues

Lawfare vs. Diplomacy

There's a loophole in the British legal system that allows Palestinians in the UK to have local courts order the arrest of Israeli politicians for imaginary violations of international law according to their very peculiar interpretation of it. The most recent case was of Tzipi Livni. The problem for the law-warriors is that Israel, being a sovereign state, plays on the field of sovereign states, or diplomacy in normal parlance. Diplomacy is a fine art of many delicate balances, and it doesn't like rude interferences.

This is to explain why it seems the British government is now scrambling to find a solution. If they don't, no Israeli politicians, statesmen of diplomats will visit London anymore, and the British will be cut out of the diplomatic scene of the Mideast - an unpleasant thought for British diplomats...
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Stories from Hebron

Stories from Hebron

Three weeks ago I visited Hebron with B'tselem. I first posted about the tour here, though that story was peripheral to the tour itself.

I've now completed two larger stories. The main one, which I've put here because of its size, tells what we were shown, and what I learned. Unsurprisingly, my conclusions are almost diametrically opposed to what B'tselem wished me to learn, but that's a risk they take when they encourage the general public to tour with them.

My thesis: Hebron has been an experiment in dividing a city between Israel and Palestine; it has been a horrible failure. Anyone who dreams of dividing Jerusalem must understand Hebron.

Finally, one of my fellow travelers, American graduate student Jo Ehrlich, posted her impressions at Mondoweiss. We have severe differences of opinion, Jo and I, and I've posted my reading of her piece here. I have no doubt she doesn't read this blog, but I'll try e-mailing her via the Mondoweiss people. She'll never change her mind, but maybe she'll appreciate that different people can understand the same reality in opposite ways - and also, that knowing facts is useful.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Jewish Mondoweiss

Jewish Mondoweiss

Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss has a touching post on how Jewish he is. I have no doubt he is, and believe him fully when he tells how it's his Jewishness that drives his animosity towards Israel. Jews are complex, Judaism even more so, and given the right (wrong) ingredients, some Jewish ways of seeing the world can make you intensely dislike Israel. It doesn't make you any less wrong, or obtuse to the stories of the Jews, but it's authentic.

Of course, there's the problem of his readers, some of whom are rabid antisemites, as some of his contributors seem also to be. It's either twisted or tragic when a Jew travels with the people who hate his people, but he'd probably retort that the Jews have become so bad he's got no choice. All the sadder for him.

One of the consistent themes of Mondoweiss is the search for proof the numbers of his team are growing. From time to time they may even, on the fringes. If 3,000 years of history are any indication, however, they won't ever grow much, and they'll always stay on the fringes. Most people don't naturally adhere to positions of self hatred.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

The Torah Revolution: We are not bystanders with no interests of our own

The Torah Revolution: We are not bystanders with no interests of our own

Parashat Miketz: Wisdom and Vigor

Parashat Miketz: Wisdom and Vigor

Posted by Mordechai Friedfertig at 10:51 PM
15
Dec
2009
[Tal Chermon p. 92]

Pharaoh publicly installed Yosef as ruler of Egypt: "He had him [Yosef] ride in his second royal chariot and they proclaimed before him 'Avrech'" (Bereshit 41:43). What is the meaning of this title? The Targum Onkelos interprets it as "father (i.e. counselor to the king)." Yosef is the spiritual father, the source of the Divine ideals and culture of the king. He is above the king. Once the king is affiliated with and guided by holy principles, he can then set about organizing and arranging the practical aspects of existence virtuously and properly. Rabbi Yehudah explained the word as a combination of two words "Av" meaning that he is a "father" of wisdom despite being only "Rach" – "tender" and "young" in age. Older people generally have the advantage of wisdom and experience, but they lack the dynamic energy of youth. With the youth, the situation is reversed. There is a popular saying: "If only the elderly 'could' and the young 'understood.'" The ideal situation is when these two forces, wisdom and capability, are present in one person. Yosef was a "young-elder": as wise as an older person and full of youthful vigor.
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Hizbullah -

Hizbullah -

Published December 2009
Vol. 9, No. 15 15 December 2009

Has Hizbullah Changed?









The 7th Hizbullah General Conference and Its Continued Ideology of Resistance

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira

Some Western analysts believe the political manifesto published in the wake of Hizbullah's 7th General Conference at the end of November 2009 represented a fundamental change in Hizbullah policy.

While its link to
Iran as the ultimate source of authority was not mentioned in this or any previous political manifesto, this link - that is part of Hizbullah's essence - appeared in the "Open Letter" (Resala Maftuha) of 1985, which remains the founding manifesto of Hizbullah and continues to serve as the movement's ideological basis.


The preface to the latest manifesto describes the decline of the United States as the sole superpower and the retreat of American power throughout the world. In reflection of these global changes, Hizbullah offers its resistance to Israel and the United States as the model for emulation throughout the world.

Hizbullah's vigorous insistence that it retain an army of its own that does not heed the authority of the state but rather the representative of Iran's leader in
Lebanon makes a mockery of the clauses in the political manifesto about Lebanon being the eternal homeland. Furthermore, by building a state-like system parallel to that of the Lebanese state, and one that relies on aid and funding from Iran and Syria, Hizbullah does not contribute to the strengthening of Lebanon.

The decision of the Lebanese government to recognize the continued legitimate existence of Hizbullah's armed militia demonstrates less a case that Hizbullah underwent a process of "Lebanonization," but rather that the Lebanese state has undergone a process of "Hizbullazation."

Hizbullah's alleged move toward pragmatism is based to a large extent on an Iranian decision to create a new atmosphere in Lebanon that will allow it to work unmolested. Iran is looking for strict silence in the Lebanese arena in order to enable Hizbullah to reconstruct its strategic capabilities (including long-range rockets and missiles) in Lebanon in order to make use of these capabilities at a time to be determined by Tehran.

Hizbullah wound up its clandestine 7th General Conference at the end of November 2009 that took place and lasted about four months. Hassan Nasrallah was again chosen to be Hizbullah's general secretary and, as with previous conferences, the movement published a political manifesto. Some Western analysts believe the manifesto represented a fundamental change in Hizbullah policy. Indeed, a few days after it was proclaimed, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Beirut Daily Star, "carefully considered contact with Hizbullah's politicians, including its MPs, will best advance our objective of the group rejecting violence to play a constructive role in Lebanese politics."1 Later, British spokesmen denied they had changed their policy toward Hizbullah.

Hizbullah's 6th General Conference was convened in 2004 and, according to the movement's bylaws, the 7th General Conference was to have convened in 2007. However, due to the Second Lebanon War and the debates and internal struggles that erupted in its wake within Hizbullah, together with the death of Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh in a car bombing in Damascus in February 2008, the conference was postponed twice and was finally convened in 2009.2

Hizbullah's Leadership


Anyone proposing that Hizbullah has fundamentally changed should carefully examine the organization's leaders elected by the 7th General Conference. The newly elected Shura Council is comprised of:
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah - Secretary-General
Sheikh Naim Qassem - Deputy Secretary-General
Sayyed Hashem Safi al-Din - Head of the "Shura Council Executive"
Sheikh Mohammed Yazbek - Head of the Spiritual Body
Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed - Head of the Political Council
MP Haj Mohammed Raad - Head of the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc (the Hizbullah faction in the Lebanese Parliament)
Hussein Khalil - Political Assistant to the Secretary-General

The name of the member of the leadership who replaced Imad Mughniyeh, who headed the Jihad Council - the supreme military body - and represented it in the Hizbullah leadership, was not publicized for security reasons.

Aside from the members of the Shura Council, Hizbullah has not published the names of other officeholders in the movement and close associates have made it clear that no substantial change has occurred in the movement's structure and leadership.3 It would seem that whatever changes occurred involved primarily second and third echelon officeholders in the party hierarchy as well as in the intra-party administrative frameworks at the unit and subunit levels. These changes were intended to incorporate new people into the leadership of the militia in order to infuse the ranks of Hizbullah with new blood.

It is plausible to assume that Nasrallah viewed changes in Hizbullah's military framework following the Second Lebanon War and the death of Imad Mughniyeh to be among the 7th Conference's top priorities, in order to rehabilitate and strengthen Hizbullah's military power and to prepare for the next conflict with Israel. Concomitantly, Nasrallah sought to contend with the penetration of Hizbullah ranks by Israeli intelligence, whose footprints are periodically discovered.

The Political Manifesto

On November 30, 2009, Hizbullah's new political manifesto4 was read by Hassan Nasrallah from a hiding place and was projected on giant screens at a press conference in Beirut.

As with previous political manifestos,5 the new manifesto - 32 pages long and published in a sky blue binding - reflected the changing political reality in which Hizbullah operated and the process of Hizbullah's integration into the Lebanese state and its institutions. While the theoretical-ideological foundation focusing on the link to Iran as the source of authority (wali al-fakih) was not mentioned in any of these manifestos, this link - that is part of Hizbullah's essence - appeared in the "Open Letter" (Resala Maftuha) of 1985, which bore the portraits of Imam Khomeini and Sheikh Raghib Harb.6 The Open Letter of 1985 remains, at least formally, the founding manifesto of Hizbullah and continues to serve as the movement's ideological basis.

The preface to the latest manifesto emphasizes that it was intended to present Hizbullah's political position within the framework of the international and Lebanese reality in which Hizbullah was operating. This reality includes historical changes presaging the decline of the United States as the sole superpower, the collapse of financial markets in the United States and worldwide, and the confusion and impotence of the American economy. All this, claimed the manifesto, presages the retreat of American power throughout the world and the beginning of the accelerated decline of Israel. In reflection of these global changes, Hizbullah offers its resistance to Israel and the United States as the perfect solution. In its view, resistance has become an international value that constitutes a source of inspiration and a model for emulation to all those who aspire to freedom and independence throughout the world.
The first chapter of the manifesto surveys American aspirations for global hegemony since World War II and concludes:

There is no doubt that the American Terrorism is the origin of all terrorism in this world. The Bush administration has turned the United States into a threat menacing the whole world on all levels and dimensions, and if an international survey was to be made, the U.S. would turn out to be the most hated in the world.

The second chapter deals with Hizbullah's status in Lebanon, and here we observe a significant change in Hizbullah's position toward the Lebanese state:

Lebanon is our homeland and the homeland of our fathers and ancestors. It is also the homeland of our children, grandchildren, and future generations. It is the country to which we have given our most precious sacrifices for its independence and pride, dignity and freedom.

We want a unified Lebanon for all Lebanese alike. We oppose any kind of partition or federalism.

With regard to the resistance (muqawama), it emphasized that:

It derives from the eternal threat of Israel to Lebanon and the difficult circumstances arising from the absence of a Lebanese authority. These required a campaign to obtain a homeland via armed resistance. The crowning achievements are the liberation in 2000 and the historic victory in July 2006.

The manifesto does not deal with the issue of the continued existence of the Hizbullah militia. This is a fundamental issue that is not open to discussion from Hizbullah's standpoint. Thus, Nasrallah makes clear that it was impossible for Hizbullah to disarm.7 Instead, the Hizbullah leader emphasized that the main effort is now invested in:
creating a defense strategy that will be based on the integration of the resistance that will assist in the defense of the homeland, strengthen its security and stability, [and]...liberate what remains under "Israeli" occupation in the Shaba farms and Kfar Shouba hills and the Lebanese village of Ghajar, as well as liberating the detainees and missing people and martyrs' bodies.

With reference to the political regime in Lebanon, Hizbullah calls for the abolition of the political sectarianism on which the Lebanese state is predicated. Nasrallah explained at a press conference:

Let's be realistic, the abolition of political sectarianism in Lebanon is one of the most difficult issues....Unfortunately, many of those who call for and advocate the abolition of political sectarianism are not serious about the issue.

This committee may continue its dialogue for five, ten, twenty or even thirty years because, ultimately, no one can just simply describe a method of how to abolish political sectarianism....Possibly, after a long debate...we may reach the conclusion that realism necessitates that we accept sectarianism and that any efforts to the contrary would be a complete waste of time; that abolishing political sectarianism in this country is impossible.

The manifesto praises the excellent relations between Lebanon and Syria and views them as a mutual political, military, and economic necessity. It views Islamic Iran as a primary and important country and a chief supporter of the Palestinians. However, it includes no reference to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei as being Hizbullah's source of authority, and does not mention Hizbullah's loyalty to the Iranian leadership.
Nasrallah was asked at the press conference about the 1985 Open Letter that spoke of a single leadership for Iran and Hizbullah. He responded:

We have provided [in the new manifesto] a political document, but have not dealt with aspects of belief, ideology, or intellectual culture....Our position on the question of the source of authority (wali al-fakih) is an intellectual, ideological and religious one, and not a political position subject to review.

In other words, according to Nasrallah, Hizbullah remains ideologically the same party it was back in 1985. Indeed, one analyst with a deep understanding of the Shiite group called the new Hizbullah political manifesto "a point-by-point expansion" of the principles laid out in its founding document in 1985.8

The third chapter of the manifesto deals with Palestine in the peace agreement process, the status of
Jerusalem, and the Palestinian resistance. After determining that Zionism is a racist movement, Hizbullah makes it clear that the liberation of Palestinian lands including Jerusalem is a mission that is imposed upon the Arab and Islamic world. Hence it is clear that in its own self-appraisal, Hizbullah enjoys no special advantage or preferred status in leading the Palestinian struggle against Israel. At the same time, Hizbullah rejects any agreement with Israel that will be predicated on recognition of the legitimacy of its existence or any concessions on Palestinian lands. It was emphasized that this position is consistent, fixed and final, and there can be no retreat from it even if the entire world were to recognize Israel.

While the 7th Conference was taking place in Lebanon, its original architect, Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, was staying in Damascus. Mohtashemi, who crossed the lines and joined the reformist camp, participated in a conclave of support for Palestine that took place at the shrine of Sayyida Zaynab, where he was attacked by Iranian representatives who were supporters of Ahmedinejad.9

Summary

As reflected in its political manifestos, Hizbullah has been focusing on consolidating its status within the internal Lebanese arena since 1992 when Hizbullah received the authorization of Iranian supreme leader Khamenei, its source of authority, and sent its representatives to Parliament, and in 2005 when it sent its representatives into the Lebanese government in the wake of the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon, in order to guarantee the continued existence of its independent military force.

The Lebanese flag, which was brutally trampled by Hizbullah during the 1980s, now occupies a place of honor alongside the yellow banner of Hizbullah. The impression is that Hizbullah has adopted the Lebanese state and in its self-appraisal has become an authentic representative of Lebanese national identity. There is a perpetual gap between the pragmatic spirit coming from the Hizbullah political manifesto and Lebanon's political reality. Hizbullah's vigorous position insisting that it retain an army of its own that does not heed the authority of the state but rather the representative of Iran's leader in Lebanon makes a mockery of the clauses in the political manifesto about Lebanon being the eternal homeland.
Furthermore, by building a state-like system parallel to that of the Lebanese state, and one that relies on aid and funding from Iran and Syria, Hizbullah does not contribute to the strengthening and health of the Lebanese homeland that Nasrallah says he wants to preserve and nurture.

Finally, the subversive conduct of Hizbullah, which acts against the interests of the Lebanese state and sends forth subversive and violent elements into nearby countries such as

Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan, makes the concept of loyalty to the Lebanese homeland void of any content.

It would seem, therefore, that the decision of the Lebanese government headed by Saad Hariri to recognize the continued legitimate existence of Hizbullah's armed militia demonstrates less a case that Hizbullah underwent a process of "Lebanonization," but rather that the Lebanese state has undergone a process of "Hizbullazation." Parallel to adopting the Lebanese identity, Hizbullah preserves its essential link to Iran: its commitment to the Iranian leader as the source of authority surpasses any other commitment including on the political level. Hizbullah adopts decisions on war and peace taken by Iran, the sole recognized source of authority, and not only on theoretical and religious issues, as Nasrallah may wish to claim.

Hizbullah's alleged move toward pragmatism is based to a large extent on an Iranian decision to create a new atmosphere in Lebanon that will allow it to work unmolested. After the Second Lebanon War that erupted at Israel's initiative and caught Hizbullah by surprise, Iran ordered Hizbullah to restrain activities against Israel and intensify its integration into the political life of the Lebanese state. Iran is looking for strict silence in the Lebanese arena in order to enable Hizbullah to reconstruct its strategic capabilities (including long-range rockets and missiles) in Lebanon in order to deter Israel, and to make use of these capabilities at a time to be determined by Tehran in the event that deterrence fails. This is the main reason for the quiet prevailing in South Lebanon, and it seems that Israeli deterrence of Hizbullah plays only a minor role.
* * *
Notes
1. Josie Ensor, "Britain Open to Contacts with Hizbullah," Daily Star (Beirut), December 1, 2009.
2. As-Safir, November 24, 2009.
3. Ibid.
4. Al-Manar, November 30, 2009.
5. This manifesto joins a series of previous political manifestos that were published at the end of the general conferences that Hizbullah conducted in May 1993 (the 3rd Conference), summer 1995 (the 4th), summer 1998 (the 5th), in 2004 (the 6th), as well as the election manifestos for the parliamentary elections in which Hizbullah participated in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2005. For an analysis of Hizbullah's political and election manifestos, see Shimon Shapira, Hezbollah between Iran and Lebanon (Tel Aviv: HaKibbutz Hameuhad, 2000), pp. 186-192.
6. For an analysis of the "Open Letter," see Shapira, pp. 126-8.
7. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, "Nasrallah: Prime Minister of Lebanon," Asharq Alawsat, December 7, 2009.
8. Tony Badran, "For Hezbollah, Lebanon Is an Afterthought," NowLebanon.com, December 8, 2009, http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=131055.
9. www.mowjcamp.com/article/id/64087.
* * *
Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior research associate at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Originally posted by B'NAI ELIM (Sons of the Mighty)

DoubleTapper: Happy Chanukah

DoubleTapper: Happy Chanukah

RubinReports: Two Big Developments: Hillary Announces Start of Sanctions Push, Arab Poll Says Iran is Bigger Threat than Israel

Two Big Developments: Hillary Announces Start of Sanctions Push, Arab Poll Says Iran is Bigger Threat than Israel

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By Barry Rubin

It may well be that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given the signal for the new phase of U.S. policy toward Iran. On December 14, she said that the engagement policy with Tehran hadn’t worked and now it needs to press for additional sanctions.

Either this is her attempt to lobby for a tougher line against other administration officials or it's the long-awaited start of the sanctions made necessary by the looming of the administration’s own end-of-the-year deadline to get a deal with Iran or impose more sanctions.

Trying to negotiate, she said, has "produced very little" so "additional pressure is going to be called for."

Her phrasing was interesting, almost as if she was taking a poke at rivals in the administration who are reluctant to take action. "I don't think anyone can doubt that our outreach has produced very little in terms of any kind of a positive response from the Iranians," Clinton said, as if daring someone in the White House to disagree?

So what is the administration going to do? Try to get the UN and EU to support more sanctions. Here the administration likes to claim that its popularity and patient (arguably too patient) coalition-building will bring broad support.

Yet there’s another development that shows the opposite may be true. An important meeting to discuss sanctions, set for December 22, has been postponed at China’s request. As an AP account put it:

“Russia in recent days has moved away from suggesting it would support [sanctions]. And recent statements from Chinese officials indicate that Beijing has not changed its traditional opposition to new sanctions. While Russia and China signed on to three previous sets of UN sanctions against Iran, they also forced their Western Security Council partners to water them down substantially.”

Note that the administration keeps claiming that Moscow and Peking are on board. We are going to see something quite different when the negotiations get serious in January and February.

Buried in a paragraph of an obscure article is explosively important news. A survey of people in 18 Arabic-speaking countries commissioned by a Qatari group—and not fully released yet-- found that a majority see Iran as a bigger threat to their security than Israel and one-third believing Iran is as big a threat as Israel.

This is of historic importance and, of course, reflects reality. This doesn’t mean the Arab attitude toward Israel is going to change drastically, but it does indicate that the real main demand of Arabs toward the West is not making instant Israel-Palestinian peace but protecting them from Iran’s extremist Islamist regime. Western policymakers should take note.



RubinReports: Two Big Developments: Hillary Announces Start of Sanctions Push, Arab Poll Says Iran is Bigger Threat than Israel

RubinReports: The Obamas Watch But Don't See the Tragic Fate of Middle East Women: A Four-Picture Allegory

The Obamas Watch But Don't See the Tragic Fate of Middle East Women: A Four-Picture Allegory

[Please subscribe for more original coverage of the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and other important stories]

By Barry Rubin

Turkey used to be a secular state striving for modernization and a place in the Western world. That dream is turning into a nightmare. The AKP regime, despite its pretense of being a center-right, family values, good government party, is moving Turkey toward Islamism. Washington and the West in general doesn't seem to notice though horrified Turkish secularists and liberals are yelling for help.

Look at the photos below of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his wife arriving in Washington to meet the Obamas. It's not so much that his wife, Ermine, is wearing a hijab (in Turkey called a turban) but look at her slumped over and self-effacing like a slave. I'm of no importance, is what her posture seems to say. Compare her abject stance to the three others in the picture standing tall and proud. In the first photo her sleeves are so long to conceal her hands that she can't even control them. Her head is slumped in a pose conveying submissiveness and shame at being a woman. And then in the fourth photo, she slinks off, like a servant who has been dismissed.

The sequence seems to symbollize the fate stalking Turkish woman, subverting the equality envisioned under the Ataturk republic to a status of servility and second-class citizenship. This holds true in much of the Muslim-majority countries and it is getting worse--Egypt and Iraq come to mind--not better.

Yet the Obamas don't even notice what's going on before their eyes. To them, Turkey is the very model of a moderate Muslim democracy, a good model to be encouraged rather than a NATO ally slipping steadily into the Iranian-Syrian alliance.

Take a look at those photos below and shiver.

But for sheer insanity there's this New York Times article. It celebrates the growing Turkish-Syrian alignment, claiming that this means Syria is becoming more moderate! The author actually states:

"For some [in Syria], the new closeness with secular, moderate Turkey represents a move away from Syria’s controversial alliance with Iran. For others, it suggests an embrace of Turkey’s more open, cosmopolitan society. And for many — including Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad — it conjures different dreams of a revitalized regional economy, less vulnerable to Western sanctions or pressure."

Let me explain something. When a former ally joins your enemies you don't cheer about how your enemy is becoming your friend. Why should Turkey-Syria friendship mean Syria-Iran coolness, especially when Turkey and Iran are acting like great buddies? This article is just a pitiful parroting of Syrian disinformation. Shameful.


It isn't that Syria is aping a moderate pro-West Turkey but Turkey imitating an Islamist Iran. Want to see where Turkey is headed? Look at the photos below:

















RubinReports: The Obamas Watch But Don't See the Tragic Fate of Middle East Women: A Four-Picture Allegory

IDF Generals Deliver Sobering Chanukah Messages - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Generals Deliver Sobering Chanukah Messages - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Video of Violence at Tzufim: 11 Hurt, Two Arrested - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Video of Violence at Tzufim: 11 Hurt, Two Arrested - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

'Shocked' British Foreign Minister Calls Livni - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'Shocked' British Foreign Minister Calls Livni - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'Shocked' British Foreign Minister Calls Livni - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'Shocked' British Foreign Minister Calls Livni - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'We Will Sue Terrorists in Britain' - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'We Will Sue Terrorists in Britain' - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

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Jewish Communities in Samaria Find Friends on Facebook - A7 Exclusive Features - Israel News - Israel National News

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New Yorkers Brave Cold to Protest Freeze - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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Eichler: Media is Afraid Religious Soldiers will Take Over - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

We haven't had latkes yet this Chanuka, but that will probably change tomorrow night. All the children, the spouses of the married children and our grandson are all coming for dinner. Here's Sam Glaser's Latkes Rockin' Chanuka.

Let's go to the videotape.




Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Advice for foreign correspondents in Israel

Advice for foreign correspondents in Israel

Jonathan Tobin has some good advice for foreign correspondents based in Israel.

But the frustrating aspect of this discussion isn’t so much in the condescension toward Netanyahu, but rather in the way the peace process is framed—that is, in such a way as to put the entire onus on Israel to make concessions, while the Palestinians continue complete refusal to accept the concept of peace with a Jewish state is virtually ignored. The point is, rather than wasting time worrying whether editorial writers at Ha’aretz or President Shimon Peres think Netanyahu is sincere, foreign correspondents based in Israel might want to spend a little more time paying attention to the fact that the political culture of the Palestinians makes peace an impossibility even for their allegedly moderate leader.

Indeed.

Israel Matzav: Advice for foreign correspondents in Israel

Israel Matzav: Appalling bias in the British media

Israel Matzav: Appalling bias in the British media

Israel Matzav: Abu Mazen bids the 'peace process' Salaam

Abu Mazen bids the 'peace process' Salaam

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has set out his 'conditions' for resuming 'negotiations' with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the Palestine Liberation Organization on Tuesday that he would resume suspended peace talks with Israel if it halts settlement building "for a specific period" and recognizes the pre-1967 borders as a basis for a Palestinian state.

"When Israel stops settlement activity for a specific period and when it recognizes the borders we are calling for, and these are the legal borders, there would be nothing to prevent us from going to negotiations to complete what we agreed to at Annapolis," Abbas told the PLO legislature in Ramallah.

In other words, Abu Bluff, the loser, wants a guaranteed 100% before he even steps up to the 'negotiating table.' If that's the case, why bother to 'negotiate.'

Bye bye Abu Bluff. It's been real....

Israel Matzav: Abu Mazen bids the 'peace process' Salaam

Israel Matzav: It's not just biased, it's shoddy

It's not just biased, it's shoddy

Martin Kramer comes upon an error in the Goldstone Report that shows just how shoddy a job the would-be UN Secretary General did.

The most important sentence in this section of the Goldstone Report is this one: "Mr. Amr Hamad indicated that 324 factories had been destroyed during the Israeli military operations at a cost of 40,000 jobs" (paragraph 1009). I did a double-take when I read that: 40,000 would be astonishing in an economy like Gaza's. This is what Hamad said in his testimony (June 28, Goldstone in the chair):

The industrial sector that was destroyed, for example, the 324 factories that were destroyed, that we[re] destroyed used to employ four-hundred thous-, uh, 40,000 workers. And these have lost their uh, jobs, uh, forever.

So that's the source of the number. But if you return to the report of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, it puts the job losses at these 324 factories not at 40,000, but at 4,000. That's an order-of-magnitude misrepresentation by Hamad of his own organization's findings. The Goldstone Mission should have wondered at the figure, checked Hamad's testimony against the Palestinian Federation of Industries report, detected the discrepancy, and gotten it right. But it didn't. Perhaps the mission members, hearing the word "factories," thought that 40,000 jobs sounded credible. In fact, more than a quarter (88) of these 324 "factories" employed five people or less, and over half (189) employed from five to twenty people (Federation report, p. 12). The vast majority of these "factories" should really be described as "workshops." Only three employed a hundred or more people.

4,000? 40,000? Who cares? Certainly not Richard Richard Goldstone.

Read the whole thing. I'm sure that the report has many more errors like this one.


Israel Matzav: It's not just biased, it's shoddy

Israel Matzav: Military Intelligence Chief: Iran can already make a nuclear bomb

Military Intelligence Chief: Iran can already make a nuclear bomb

Israel's Military Intelligence Chief, Amos Yadlin, told the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on Tuesday that Iran is already capable of making a nuclear bomb.

Speaking at a conference on security challenges in the 21st century at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Yadlin said that Iran is extremely close to mastering the necessary nuclear technology and will wait on the threshold until it feels that the international community is too weak to stop them to move forward towards the bomb.

Iran, he said, already has enriched 1.7 tons of low enriched uranium at its facility in Natanz, which is enough for a nuclear weapon.

"They are also improving long-range missiles with solid fuel propellant, are also developing nuclear detonators and taking other steps that do not fit Iranian claim that its program is for civilian purposes," he said.

Yadlin said that it appeared that the diplomatic efforts to stop Iran had failed and that the time had come for the international community to impose tough sanctions on the regime. He rejected the claim that sanctions would unite the Iranian people behind the regime and said that the post-election demonstrations in June were proof that there was a deep rift between the people and the regime.

Yadlin also said that any weapons that are in the hands of Iran or Syria could eventually be delivered to Hezbullah in Lebanon.

Haaretz adds:

Speaking at The Institute for National Security Studies, Yadlin said that Iran had embarked on a "measured and sophisticated strategy for a solid nuclear infrastructure, by spreading out in facilities both overt and covert, while simultaneously developing a military capability that would allow a breakthrough when it so decides."

According to Yadlin, there are three clocks now ticking with regard to Iran's contentious nuclear program ? those of technology, diplomacy, and of the stability of the Islamic regime. Technologically, said Yadlin, time was almost up.

Meanwhile, the Times of London discloses the name of the man who heads Iran's nuclear program.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is the man everyone would like to reach to learn the secrets of Iran’s nuclear programme. No one outside Iran has succeeded so far. The Times has seen a memo signed by Mr Fakhrizadeh, identifying him for the first time as the chairman of the Field for the Expansion of Deployment of Advance Technology (Fedat).

Intelligence sources say that this is the most recent cover name for the organisation running Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.

The United Nations’ atomic watchdog has long believed him to be the head of Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme, but Tehran, which jealously guards his secrets, has repeatedly rejected attempts to interview him.

Mr Fakhrizadeh, a physics professor and a former officer in the elite Revolutionary Guard, is no longer able to leave Iran because the UN Security Council imposed travel sanctions and an assets freeze on him. However, he is regarded as one of the regime’s most loyal servants.

In the old days, the Mossad would have found him and either killed him or captured him. Can that still happen? That remains to be seen.


Israel Matzav: Military Intelligence Chief: Iran can already make a nuclear bomb
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