MENA WATCH: Der iranische Treibstoffkrieg im Libanon – Wie der Iran von der Treibstoffkrise im Libanon profitieren und seine Verbündeten Assad und Hisbollah stärken möchte.

Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post 12.9.2021

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MENA WATCH: Israel + region continue to feel reverberations of 9/11 two decades later

What began as Israeli intelligence assistance against Al-Qaeda grew into larger cooperation against ISIS • Devastating attacks transformed America’s view of international terrorism • Whether Afghanistan again turns into Sunni terror hub an open question.

BY YAAKOV LAPPIN jewish news syndicate(September 10, 2021 / JNS)

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ENA WATCH : Jailbreak unites Palestinians, confounds Israelis

AL MONITOR  11.9.2021
The escape of six Palestinian prisoners from an Israeli jail on Sept. 6 has united Palestinian public opinion, confounded Israeli security services and could spark a new round of clashes with Israeli forces.

The prisoners, all from Jenin in the West Bank, include Zakaria Zubeidi, the former chief of Palestinian security in Jenin, and five members of Islamic Jihad, all of whom were serving long sentences on terrorism-related charges.

Late Friday evening, two of the prisoners, Islamic Jihad members Mahmoud Aradeh, who is presumed to be the mastermind of the escape, and Yakub Kadari were caught in Nazareth, prompting rocket fire from Gaza.

‘Bolt’ for Palestinian public opinion, resistance factions

The convicts have become folk heroes for pulling off a seemingly impossible escape from Israeli captivity, and their escape united Palestinians in protesting Israeli treatment of prisoners.

“The escape bolted public opinion in a way not seen for years,” writes Daoud Kuttab. ‘Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told journalists that every prisoner wishes to be free and that Israel should free all prisoners…The combination of Fatah [the ruling party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas based in the West Bank] and Islamic Jihad [an Islamist faction based in Gaza] — a collaboration that used to be strong — has reignited ideas of combined acts of resistance.”

Hamas, an Arabic acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement,” which rules in Gaza, had called off demonstrations at the Israeli-Gaza border to give Egyptian and Qatari mediators a chance to negotiate a lessening of the Israel restrictions on trade and travel, as Mai Abu Hasaneen reports from Gaza, and as we discussed here last week.

But following the prison break, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have changed their tune, picking up the cause of the prisoners. Hamas has since called for “days of rage” as sometimes violent demonstrations and clashes with Israeli security forces occurred this week in Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.

Palestinians affiliated or aligned more with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have also used the escape as catalyst to protest mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the conduct of Israeli forces in response to the escape, as we report here.

Israel: Bennett walks a ‘minefield’

Ben Caspit writes that although the jailbreak had until the arrests of the two escapees made a “mockery” of Israeli security services, the fragile Israeli governing coalition led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has yet to be dinged politically by the high profile escape and manhunt.

But if the manhunt continues indefinitely for the remaining four, or if there is more political violence Bennett, according to Caspit, will be walking in a political minefield.

“Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his acolytes have so far been unable to pin the escape fiasco on the new government for the simple reason that it was not directly responsible for the alleged ridiculous amateurism of the prison service and the deep flaws exposed by the escape. But if the event deteriorates into violence, exposing the fragile government’s weakness, Bennett could find himself in trouble,” writes Caspit.

Bennett’s “diverse coalition will not survive a single round of violence sparked by the escape. Knesset member Mansour Abbas, head of the Arab Islamist Ra’am party in Israel that is ideologically close to the Islamist Hamas in Gaza, might find it difficult to remain in government and provide his party’s continued support if bloody clashes break out between Arabs and Jews,” adds Caspit.

Remembering 9/11: the Axis of Evil speech

In recalling the impact of the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 on the Middle East, it is worth revisiting the Jan. 29, 2002, State of the Union address by President George W. Bush, now remembered as the “Axis of Evil” speech.

For US policy in the Middle East,  9/11 begat the Iraq war, which in turn gave new life to Al-Qaeda amidst the post-war collapse of Iraqi institutions and society.

Al-Qaeda’s progeny includes the Islamic State, which overran large parts of Iraq and Syria between 2014-2017, before being defeated by the US-led coalition.

The speech is the most jarring and impactful of any State of the Union in recent memory, especially when recalling the times — just four months after 9/11.  Bush used unusually direct language to convey a new focus for US national security policy — going after state sponsors of terrorism to preempt a threat to the United States.

The speech interestingly begins with a note of triumphalism about the US defeat and overthrow of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Taliban government in Afghanistan, saying that “we are winning the war on terror” and “the American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul. Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo Bay.”

Bush welcomes Hamad Karzai as “leader of a liberated Afghanistan” and notes that Afghan women and girls are now free from being “captives in their homes” by the Taliban.

Bush says that priorities in the new US “war on terror” will not only be to “shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans and bring terrorists to justice,” but to “prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.”

Those “regimes,” Bush explained, are Iraq, Iran and North Korea — and especially Iraq.

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world,” Bush said. “By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.”

Bush puts down a marker for preemptive action to deal with threats from terrorists and their state sponsors: “We will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

“Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun,” he said. “This campaign may not be finished on our watch, yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.”

MENA WATCH 9/11: Obama Caught In Afghanistan Spotlight Again – 4 Extremists Barry Handed Over Are Now Leading The Country

By Adam Casalino|September 8, 2021


What’s Happening:

It seems like everything Biden said about Afghanistan was wrong.

First, he claimed that the Taliban would not take over. Yeah, they conquered the country in less than 2 weeks.Then, Biden claimed that we didn’t need to worry about the Taliban. Apparently, this group of radicals has Joe’s stamp of approval.

That wasn’t true, either. Because we are learning that the Taliban has four new leaders. And they just happen to be bad guys Obama let go.

MENA WATCH REPORT: Libanon bekommt nach über einem Jahr ohne Kabinett neue Regierung

Der Ministerpräsident und der Staatschef einigen sich auf ein neues Kabinett. Die vorherige Regierung war nach der Explosionskatastrophe im Hafen von Beirut vor mehr als einem Jahr zurückgetreten.

10.09.2021, AL MONITOR


Nach einem monatelangen Machtkampf steht im krisengeschüttelten Libanon eine neue Regierung. Ministerpräsident Nadschib Mikati und Staatschef Michel Aoun einigten sich am Freitag auf ein neues Kabinett. Die vorherige Regierung war nach der Explosionskatastrophe im Hafen von Beirut vor mehr als einem Jahr zurückgetreten. Seitdem verhinderten Rivalitäten zwischen den führenden politischen Kräften die Bildung eines neuen Kabinetts.

Auf Mikati, ein Unternehmer und Milliardär, sowie die anderen Minister wartet eine schwierige Aufgabe. Das Land am Mittelmeer erlebt seit fast zwei Jahren die schwerste Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise seiner Geschichte. Grosse Teile der Bevölkerung sind in Armut abgerutscht. Die libanesische Lira hat mehr als 90 Prozent ihres Wertes verloren. Zudem leidet das Land unter einer schweren Versorgungskrise. So fehlen lebenswichtige Medikamente und Treibstoff zur Stromerzeugung, so dass es nur wenige Stunden am Tag Strom gibt. Mikati war bereits 2005 sowie 2011 Ministerpräsident des Libanons. Vor ihm waren in den vergangenen Monaten zwei andere Politiker mit der Bildung einer neuen Regierung gescheitert.

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MENA WATCH NE : Deutsche Israelis verurteilen einseitige Parteinahme des ZdJ gegen die AfD

Während der von der Regierung mit 13 Millionen Euro im Jahr finanzierte „Zentralrat der Juden“ gezielt Wahlkampf gegen die AfD macht (PI-NEWS berichtete), äußern sich konservative Juden in Israel ganz anders dazu.

Unter einem Bericht des israelischen Nachrichtenportals „Arutz Sheva“ mit Sitz in Beit El nördlich von Jerusalem, finden sich ausschließlich positive Kommentare zur AfD, die den „Zentralrat der Juden“ anklagen:

„Diese ‚woken‘ Leute scheinen einen Bundespräsidenten zu bevorzugen, der ständig den Iranischen Mullahs gratuliert, oder einen Außenminister, der mit den Taliban zusammenarbeiten will. Mit der FDP ist die AfD die einzige Partei, die das berüchtigte deutsche Abstimmungsverhalten bei der UNO ändern wollte, oder die Zahlungen an die UNRWA einstellen wollte. Sie sind gegen Atomwaffen für den Iran.“

„Die AfD ist die einzige Juden- und Israelfreundliche Partei in Deutschland. Diese 60 jüdischen Organisationen werden vermutlich von Merkel bezahlt. Sicher sogar.“

„Genau, wählt die Linken, wählt den Islam.“

„Wie geschickt sie es formulieren, um ihre wahren Interessen zu verbergen: Um Himmels willen, die AfD will keine Moslems mehr ins Land lassen. Und diese Juden denken perverserweise, dass sie mehr Moslems in Deutschland brauchen, um sich wohl zu fühlen, in einem Land, das sie offenbar loswerden will.“

„Was für dumme, selbsthassende Juden das sein müssen. Die AfD ist die beste Wahl für Deutschland. Kluge Juden (von denen es gottlob sehr viele gibt) werden sicher AfD wählen.“

MENA WATCH NEW: A VICTORY FOR BASHAR AL ASSAD – Lebanese energy plan includes Syria

A meeting of Jordanian, Egyptian, Lebanese and Syrian ministers seems to have cracked Syria’s isolation.


Osama Al Sharif – AL MONITOR – September 10, 2021 – Four Arab countries have agreed on a road map to supply Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria during a ministerial meeting in Amman on Sept. 8. They also approved a plan to supply Jordanian electricity at a later stage to energy-starved Lebanon through Syrian territory.

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MENA WATCH : The Real Lesson of the Afghanistan Debacle

By Jonathan Ariel ISRAEL BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 2,150, September 10, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Afghanistan has proved once again that even a superpower cannot win a war against a proxy as long as it refuses to confront the power that supports it.

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10.9.2021 – For the first time since 1967, Israel’s government has started to address some of the major problems Palestinian residents of Jerusalem face. Who’s behind the plan? A right-wing organization whose goal is to Judaize Silwan and the Shin Bet

The unexpected reason Israel is improving conditions for Jerusalem Palestinians



“Israel is playing with fire,” a Palestinian Authority official said. “The issue of the prisoners is extremely sensitive. The situation is very dangerous.”

Israel cancels visits for Palestinian prisoners after jail escape

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Inmates riot across prisons in Israel as manhunt for escaped prisoners continues

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