News Digest — 1/19/23
Iran Warns EU Not To List Revolutionary Guards As Terrorist Entity
Iran warned on Thursday (19th) that the European Union would “shoot itself in the foot” by listing the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told the EU’s High representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, state media said.
“We have repeatedly said the Revolutionary Guards are a formal and sovereign organization whose role is central for guaranteeing Iran’s security. Steps taken by the European parliament to list the organization as terrorist are in a way a shot in the foot of Europe itself,” Iran’s foreign minister said.
On Wednesday evening (18th) the European Parliament called for the EU to list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, blaming it for the repression of domestic protesters in Iran and the supply of drones to Russia’s military, engaged in Ukraine.
Widespread anti-government protests erupted in Iran in September after the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for resisting the strict dress code imposed on women.
The European Parliament condemned the crackdown on protesters by Iran’s security forces, which included the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps, as “brutal.”
“It is necessary to respect mutual security in the world of diplomacy and increase mutual trust instead of following the language of threats and unfriendly actions. In any case of a terrorist listing, Iran will take reciprocal measures,” Amir Abdollahian said.
Iran and world powers, including EU members France and Germany, have engaged in negotiations since 2021 to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, with discussion in a stalemate since September.
Deri: ‘If They Close The Door, We’ll Go In Through The Window
Hundreds of Shas activists demonstrated on Wednesday evening (18th) in front of the house of party chairman Aryeh Deri in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem to show their support for him following the Supreme Court decision to disqualify him from serving as a minister.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Deri at his home for 45 minutes and told him: “When my brother is in need – I come to him.”
However, it is expected that Deri will be fired from the Cabinet despite the support he enjoys within the coalition.
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana also visited Deri and was jeered by the protestors.
Protestors chanted slogans including: “We will not let them decide for us” and “Deri, the people are with you.”
Numerous MKs from the Shas party also came to Deri’s house.
Deri told the Shas MKs: “If they close the door on us, we will enter through the window. If they close the window on us, we will break through the ceiling.” Deri also said: “Everything is for the best. I have no doubt that it will come out for the best. We will study the issue in the coming days and decide what to do.”
“When I heard of the decision – not that it was unexpected – I was glad,” Deri said. “There is nothing so happy as the removal of doubts.”
“It’s good that they said their piece and it’s good that it ended as it did, with 10 against one. Let the people see and judge.”
Ben-Gvir, Police Prepared For Release Of Terrorist Maher Younis After 40 Years
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Wednesday (18th) instructed the Israeli Police to prevent any acts of sympathy or encouragement for an ‘act of terrorism’ as part of preparations for the release of Arab-Israeli terrorist Maher Younis on Thursday (19th).
Ben-Gvir attended a meeting together with Israeli Police Inspector-General Kobi Shabtai on Tuesday (17th) in anticipation of the release of Younis, who together with his recently released cousin Karim Younis was part of a terrorist group convicted of murdering IDF Cpl. Avraham Bromberg in 1980.
A beefed-up police presence was sent to the outskirts of Arara and near his family’s house on Tuesday (17th), KAN News reported.
The police summoned Younis’ family members and told them they were not allowed to set up a visitor’s tent on the property or display a PLO flag. They pledged not to celebrate his release, the police said.
“This event is a test of our sovereignty, and we must in no way allow serious offenses of encouraging and supporting terrorism anywhere in the State of Israel,” Ben-Gvir said.
“The eyes of all Israeli citizens are on this event, and the sharper, more aggressive and clearer we are, the clearer the statement will be: that the State of Israel and the security forces will not allow such events to occur under our sovereignty.”
Shabtai said: “We are prepared for the release, and at the same time, I spoke with a relative of Avraham Bromberg a few days ago and assured him that the Israeli Police will not allow any support or sympathy for the terrorist.”
Two weeks ago, celebrations over the release of Karim Younis led to calls by politicians and right-wing groups to rearrest him and strip him of his Israeli citizenship.
Erdan Blasts UN’s Inaccurate Reporting On Israeli Terror Casualties
On Wednesday (18th), Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addressed the UN Security Council during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East. In his speech, the Ambassador attacked the lies of the Palestinian Authority and its supporters present at the UN. He said, “Over and over again , we have heard how the past year has been the deadliest year for the Palestinians…Yet these numbers and statistics are not facts. Not even close. They are based on a fundamentally flawed and biased methodology of discrimination, which Israel refuses to accept.”
“Let me explain what I mean. In his letter on Tuesday (17th), a Palestinian representative told the story of Hamdi Shaker Abu Dayah…how Hamdi was supposedly shot and killed in cold blood. Yet what my colleague forgot to mention was that Hamdi, a terrorist that Hamas posthumously glorified, was an imminent threat. Hamdi was actively shooting at soldiers in the moments he was killed, and this occurred only one day after he opened fire at an Israeli bus.”
The vast majority of Palestinian fatalities and casualties are not innocent civilians minding their own business, they are terrorists neutralized in the midst of acts of violence.”
Ambassador Erdan added, “According to the UN report presented to you, here, only twenty Israelis were murdered by terrorists in 2022, when in reality thirty-one Israelis were murdered. The same goes for injured Israelis. The UN number is 253 for injured Israelis, whereas the true number is 418. Discrepancy between the reports and the facts are in the hundreds. Israeli deaths and injuries supposedly do not matter…This may have been the deadliest year for Palestinian terrorists, but it was also the year with the most terror attacks committed against Israelis in a decade.”
The Ambassador also referenced the Palestinians’ decision to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice in The Hague, “let’s not forget that here in September 2021, while speaking in the General Assembly, Chairman Mahmoud Abbas brazenly threatened Israel on the global stage. In the same vein of consistent Palestinian rejectionism, he set forward an ultimatum. Either Israel gives in to one-hundred percent of the Palestinians’ demands – forget negotiations or mutual concessions – or he will turn to the UN in order to use the power of the ICJ. If threatening Israel with an ultimatum is not a unilateral step, I don’t know what is.”
Ambassador Erdan mentioned the steps taken by Israel’s Security Cabinet following the unilateral Palestinian Authority move to again abuse UN mechanisms in their appeal to the ICJ, “When Israel is faced with a threat of terror, like any country would, Israel acts to defend itself. So, when we were faced with the Palestinians latest one-sided act of multilateral terror, we refused to stand idly by. Each measure that was taken by Israel in response to this destructive resolution, wasn’t only justified and legal, but it should have been taken a long time ago…Nevertheless, the only reason Israel held off on implementing these measures was because we did not want to harm chances for dialogue. Yet with the adoption of the resolution, the Palestinians stabbed a knife in the heart of any chances for dialogue or reconciliation. They proved they are not interested in dialogue.”
Iranian General Threatens U.S., Israel: ‘Soon The Great Satan Will Be Destroyed’
An Iranian general boasted on Tuesday (17th) that the Islamic Republic soon will have the military capability to destroy Israel and the United States.
Iranian Brigadier General Ali Fadavi claimed that “very soon the world will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime.”
Fadavi, the deputy commander in chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was quoted by Iranian state media saying that he is providing Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, including Hamas, with equipment to attack Israel, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“The Zionists are taking actions under the guidance of the United States, but soon the Great Satan [the United States] will also be destroyed,” Fadavi said.
The IRGC is equipping Hamas and other terrorist groups, and also developing the military power necessary for attacking the US and Israel, Fadavi claimed.
“What our enemies know about us is very little, and they will truly understand when we use our power against them,” Fadavi said.
His threats against Israel and the US came on the same day that the IRGC was running large war exercises in the Persian Gulf, including testing advanced missiles and combat drones,” according to the Free Beacon.
Fadavi has a long history of making similar incendiary comments.
In 2016, he charged that the US military doesn’t have the “capability” to attack Iran and that if it did, “the damage and blows that it would have to sustain would be way beyond its merits and gains.”
Two years earlier, he threatened to destroy the US Navy, claiming that Iranian naval forces were trained to target US warships and could sink an American aircraft carrier “in less than a minute.”
New York Leaders Rally At Brooklyn Courthouse For Action On Antisemitic Crimes
NEW YORK – New York Jewish leaders gathered outside the Brooklyn Criminal Courthouse on Wednesday morning (18th) to demand action for the Jewish community which continues to be the target of a growing number of hate crimes.
During the rally, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s prosecution of Suleiman Othman took place inside the courthouse. Othman, a Staten Island resident, violently assaulted Blake Zavadsky, a Jewish man wearing an IDF sweatshirt, in Brooklyn in December 2021.
Former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, New York Councilwoman Inna Vernikov and members of the international grassroots movement #EndJewHatred attended the rally.
“Today there are no consequences for those who commit acts of hate against the Jewish people,” Hikind told The Jerusalem Post. “The numbers are skyrocketing to a level never seen before. We are demanding that district attorneys and judges dispense justice for the victims.”
Rallygoers also condemned the recent plea deal offered by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg to an antisemite who participated in a gang attack on a Jewish man near Times Square in May 2021.
In November 2022 alone, antisemitic hate crimes across New York City’s five boroughs more than doubled from a year prior, New York Police Department data revealed, resulting in a 125% increase.