Palestinians, Not Israeli Police, Are Desecrating al-Aqsa Mosque

Listening to National Public Radio or the British Broadcasting Company, one might be aware that Israeli security personnel entered the Muslim sanctuaries on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday, were involved in “clashes” that left over 150 people injured, and arrested some 500 Palestinians. One might not realize, however, that the trouble began when Palestinians started throwing rocks and otherwise attacking nearby Jewish worshippers and Israeli police. But there is even more to the story, as David Horovitz explains:

Tens of thousands of Palestinian Muslim worshippers, including many from the West Bank, gathered at the Aqsa compound atop the Temple Mount, said their midday prayers, and headed quietly back home again on Friday in the early afternoon.

The difference, it should not need saying, is that the midday worshippers had genuinely gathered to say their prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan, and that’s what they did. The young Palestinians who rioted hours earlier, by contrast, had come to fight.

They had assembled piles of rocks and stones and barricaded themselves inside al-Aqsa mosque in preparation for the violence. Some had Hamas flags with them—incited by and affiliating themselves with the Islamist terror group that, with similar cynicism and indifference to true faith, has used Gaza’s mosques to store rockets when engaged in conflict with a Jewish state it openly seeks to destroy. And as with Hamas in Gaza, while ostensibly guarding their religion and its third-holiest shrine, the rioters were actually dishonoring it.

You only had to look at their feet: the stone-throwers who clashed with Israeli security forces in and around al-Aqsa Mosque had their shoes on—in breach of the Islamic tradition to remove impure footwear when entering the house of prayer.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian terror, Ramadan

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy