How a Fake Pro-Hamas Rabbi Took in a Progressive Congressional Candidate

A familiar phenomenon in the bizarre world of social media is the parody Twitter account, where someone creates a fake persona who tweets absurdities. These accounts are usually thinly disguised, but every once in while they can trip somebody up. Take, for instance, an account purporting to belong to the “chief rabbi of Gaza,” created to mock the pro-Palestinian sympathies of some far-left Jews, and its recent interactions with the campaign to make a progressive activist named Imani Oakley the next congresswoman from Newark. Jon Levine writes:

Rabbi Linda Goldstein warns Hamas fighters to practice social distancing in its terror tunnels, posts photos of herself posing with a menorah made of Qassam rockets, and bills herself as the “Jewish-issues advisor” to the Hamas boss Ismail Haniyeh. . . . None of Goldstein’s anti-Israel public messages appeared to pose any red flags for Maita Lockhart, Oakley’s campaign manager, who responded enthusiastically when the faux rabbi reached out in November with an offer to organize a fundraiser in Gaza.

“I would be grateful if you could provide dates/times for this week or next to connect and discuss further,” Lockhart said in a November 23 introductory email.

“I think it would be terrific if Ms. Oakley would in-person or virtually (over Zoom) attend a house party/fundraiser in Gaza. I can’t think of a better way to show off her #FreePalestine bona fides,” Rabbi Goldstein responded on Thanksgiving day. “There are several influential Jewish-Americans in Gaza who can provide plenty of help back in her district, including contributions and media placement.”

Oakley is far from the only far-left progressive who has unwittingly embraced the Hamas-loving rabbi. Thelma Walker, a former Labor member of the British parliament, has also offered Rabbi Linda her “respect and solidarity” in private messages.

Of course, Gaza has no chief rabbi, and its only Jewish resident is a mentally ill hostage who has been held by Hamas since 2014.

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Hamas, Social media, U.S. Politics

 

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