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December 30, 2019 Special Announcements No. 851

2019 Editor's Picks: Top Palestinian Clips From The MEMRI TV Project

December 30, 2019
Palestine | Special Announcements No. 851
The following are selected MEMRI TV clips from The Palestinian Project in 2019, on a variety of topics. #7429 – A President Mahmoud Abbas At Jalazone Refugee Camp: We Will Enter Jerusalem As Millions Of Fighters; Our Martyrs Are The Most Sacred Thing We Have #7367 – Hamas Official Saleh Al-Arouri On Iranian TV: Iran, Hizbullah Have Helped The Palestinian Resistance Advance; Khamenei Is The Greatest Leader In The Islamic World #7345 – Hamas Political Bureau Member Fathi Hammad Calls On Palestinians All Over The World To Slaughter Jews, Says: If Israel Doesn't Lift The Siege By Next Friday, We Will Kill The Jews With Explosive Belts And Knives #7333 – Palestinian Children Burn U.S. Flag, Pictures Of Trump In Palestinian Authority-Run Summer Camp That Integrates Children With Special Needs #7151 – Report On Gazans Studying Hebrew: It Is Important To Know The Language Of The Enemy, Understand Israeli Culture #7106 – Palestinian Cleric Abu Taqi Al-Din Al-Dari At Al-Aqsa Mosque: France Will Become An Islamic Country Through Jihad; Entire World Will Be Subject To Islamic Rule #7606 – Mother Of Palestinian 'Martyr': All Palestinian Mothers Should Urge Their Children To Wage Jihad; Death Is Inevitable, So Why Not Die As Martyrs? #7599 – Khader Habib, Member Of Islamic Jihad Leadership In Gaza: If Zionists Do Not Leave 'The Entity,' We Will Slaughter Them With Our Own Hands #7566 – 'Supporting Women Against Violence' Campaign By Gazan Women Who Had Been Victims Of Domestic Violence Strives To Spread Awareness, Encourages Women To Stand Up For Themselves #7550 – Family Of Female Palestinian Suicide Bomber Hanadi Jaradat: Hanadi's Father Handed Out Sweets In Celebration Of Her Martyrdom, Wanted Congratulations Instead Of Condolences #7527 – Mother Of Islamic Jihad Terrorist Who Decapitated Fallen Israeli Soldier In 2004: I Take Great Pride In My Son's Heroic Achievement #7516 – Al-Aqsa Mosque Address By Palestinian Cleric Nidhal Siam: Women's Rights Slogan 'My Body Is My Property' Is An Evil Attempt To Destroy The Islamic Nation; Islamic State Would Use Jihad To Safeguard Women's Chastity #7434 – In Nablus Friday Sermon, Sheikh Muhammad Nour Malhas: People Who Normalize Relations With Israel Will Not Be Among Muslims To Kill Jews On Judgement Day   #7431 – Fatah Official Dr. Hazem Abu Shanab: Trump Will Be Re-Elected In 2020, Americans Opt For Extremism; TV Host: 'We Are Creating Hitler Worse Than Hitler' #7398 – Palestinian Historian Jamal Al-Jawarish: Zionism Is Rooted In Protestant Belief In Jesus' Second Coming; The Ghettos Were Not Imposed On The Jews, It Was Their Idea #7362 – Hassan Yousef, One Of The Founders Of Hamas In The West Bank: Hamas Coordinated With Arafat During Second Intifada, Played Key RoleIn Planning Operations #7349 – Britain-Based Palestinian Academic Dr. Azzam Al-Tamimi: Al-Aqsa Is The Most Free Mosque In The Islamic World #7287 – Al-Aqsa Mosque Address By Abu Hanifa Awda: We Will Lay Siege To Rome, Turn White House Black, Impose Jizya Tax On London, And Pray On The Slopes Of The Rockies And Andes #7244 – Al-Aqsa Mosque Address By Sheikh Issam Amira: An Islamic State Would Have Political Strategy Of Jihad To Convert Infidels To Islam; They Will Be Fought Against If They Don't Convert #7216 – Al-Aqsa Mosque Address By Cleric Nidhal Siam: Muslims Are 'Time-Bombs' Waiting For The Call To Jihad #7356 – Palestinian Imam Ali Abu Ahmad In Al-Aqsa Address: Only A Caliphate Based On Shari'a Law Can Protect Us; May Allah Kill All Infidels, Cleanse Al-Aqsa Of The Jews' Filth #7332 – Hamas MP Marwan Abu Ras: Hitler Hated The Jews Because Of Their Crimes; Everything Said About The Holocaust Is A Lie #7266 – Palestinian Historian Salman Abu Sitta: American Desire To Improve Palestinians' Economic Situation Is Like Auschwitz Guards Promising Two Meals A Day Instead Of One #7226 – Hamas Official Fathi Hammad: Slaughter Of Zionists Is Near; They Should Look For A Place In Europe, In Hell, Or In The Bermuda Triangle #7183 – Gaza Activist Maryam Abu Moussa: We Will Throw Jews Into Ditches Like Hitler; Trump's End Will Come At The Hand Of A Palestinian Boy #7051 – Abbas Advisor Mohammed Ishtayeh Responds To MEMRI Analysis: We Challenge Hamas To Elections; PLO, Abbas Legitimate Representatives Regardless Of Authority Split #7046 – Hamas Political Bureau Member Fathi Hammad: Kindergartens, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools Will Teach Gaza's Children How To Liberate Palestine; Our Youth Should Join Al-Aqsa And Al-Qassam Brigades #7021 – Mother Of Palestinian Knife Attacker In Praise Of Son: He Was A Butcher, Knew How To Slaughter #7041 – Palestinian President Abbas: We Would Pay Martyrs' Families Even If Their Stipends Were All The Money We Had #7187 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Palestinian Authority Facing Financial Crisis, But We Refuse To Accept Money From Israel If Salary Of Martyrs' Families Is Deducted

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December 30, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8446

Yeni Şafak Editor In Chief: UAE's Crown Prince Ordered The Attack In Somalia 'Right When Turkey Is Preparing For A Military Operation In Libya'; 'Our Biggest Embassy Building And Military Base In The World Are' In Somalia

December 30, 2019
Turkey, United Arab Emirates | Special Dispatch No. 8446
On December 29, 2019, İbrahim Karagül, editor in chief of the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is a mouthpiece of Turkey's ruling AKP, published an article titled: "The Emir's Terrorists Are Attacking Turkey. UAE's Mohammed Bin Zayed Ordered The Attack That Killed 90 In Somalia... The [Turkish] CHP, Good Party Are Using Same Discourse As The Emiratis, Saudis. Turkey Will Foil This Game In Libya. Barbaros Is Back!" Karagül wrote that "the voting of the parliamentary resolution regarding Libya on Jan. 8-9 was rescheduled for an earlier date."[1] İbrahim Karagül, standing second from left, on President Erdoğan's plane (source: Sendika.org). Following is Yeni Şafak's translation of Karagül's column: "A major terrorist attack hit Somalia yesterday, right at a time when Turkey is preparing for a military operation in Libya, [pushing] forward Parliament's legislation meetings to deploy troops to the country and calling for an extraordinary assembly. Close to a hundred people, two of them Turkish engineers, mostly students and security personnel lost their lives in the attack. "Such attacks, rather than portray the utter atrocity of terrorism, often reveal what is happening below the surface. They leave a mark, give information about relations. They show how the global power struggle reflects on that country and, most importantly, what sort of messages are being sent and to whom. "'What Are We Doing In Libya, Why Should We Care About Somalia?' Who's Establishing An 'Inside Front' In Turkey? "The countries that go beyond condemning terrorism and evaluate events as a whole are nobody's fool. Those who fail to see this will say, 'Why should we care about the terror attacks in Somalia?', just as they say: 'What are we doing in Libya?', 'What good is Turkey in the Mediterranean?', 'Why is it intervening in the terror corridor?' and 'Why is it building Canal Istanbul?' This is not something that can be grasped or accepted by those who say 'nay' to everything. "Let them strive to corner Turkey in every field, let them be busy with building fronts for those who attack Turkey in every area of the region. Meanwhile, Turkey is putting up an extraordinary fight in all areas, in the most expansive chain of the region, and will continue to do so. "'Cut Your Ties With Turkey Or See How We'll Attack!' "The most influential country in Somalia is Turkey. This applies to the military, economy and politics. Hospitals and other humanitarian investments aside, our biggest embassy building and military base in the world are in this country. "Hence, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt are applying intense pressure on Somalia to 'sever its ties with Turkey.' Of course, the real pressure has, all along, been applied through the U.K. "UAE-based pressure exacerbated recently and, when it failed to yield results, turned into threats. Political warnings turned into blackmail and a terrorist attack. "UAE's Mohammed Bin Zayed Ordered The Attack That Killed 90 In Somalia "The UAE is behind yesterday's bombing in Mogadishu. This is now clear. The person who conducted this task on behalf of the UAE, the one who is in control over the terror traffic is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. His fingerprints are all over the region's terror map, from Syria to Iraq, Libya to Somalia, as well as the region's dirty relations and civil war scenarios. "Evidence left behind from the bomb vehicle that exploded in Mogadishu leads us to the UAE. A massacre was conducted and the traces lead us to Mohammed bin Zayed. They both attacked the Somalian administration and tried to strike Turkey-Somalia relations. "The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt applied similar pressure on Sudan. The staged a coup in Sudan to spoil Turkey-Sudan relations. The deal concerning the historical Suakin Island between the two countries had them in a frenzy. They greenlighted the project, poured money into soldiers and certain organizations, and paved the way for a coup. Therefore, none of it is as simple as saying, 'Why do we care about Somalia?' "The Emir's Terrorists Are Assembling In Libya! Resolution Set For An Earlier Date "The timing of the attack leads us to other conclusions as well. "Upon the request of the Libyan government, Turkey is preparing to deploy troops to this country. The voting of the parliamentary resolution regarding Libya on Jan. 8-9 was rescheduled for an earlier date. The upcoming week is going to be quite active with respect to Libya. We are going to witness a series of military actions. "The UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are showering Khalifa Haftar's terrorist organization with weapons, and sending troops and air forces in order to overthrow the ruling government in Libya. Terrorist groups are transferring mercenaries from Sudan and other countries to Libya. "Turkey, which has altered the map of the Mediterranean with the maritime deal it struck with Libya, rendering dysfunctional the deals over energy sources that aim to drown us in the Mediterranean, is giving support to Libya's legitimate government with all its might. "Turkey Will Make Them Pay For This "Turkey is also cooperating with countries such as Tunisia and Algeria, located west of Libya, which is being sieged and attacked from the east. It is working together with these countries to hinder the terrorist groups imported from countries like Niger and Mali. "And just as Turkey was preparing to focus more intensely on the process of sending troops to Libya, a brutal attack took place in Somalia. A message was sent to both Somalia and Turkey. "Those who detonated the bomb in Somalia and those who staged the coup in Sudan are one and the same. Those who sabotaged Turkey's relations with Sudan and those trying to strike Turkey through Somalian terrorism are one and the same. "Terrorists Moved To Libya: Instructions Are From The Same Source "Those deploying terrorist gangs from Sudan to Libya, mercenaries working for $20, and those who ordered the terror attack in Mogadishu are one and the same. "Those grooming Haftar's terrorist organization to overthrow the legitimate government in Libya, those who are striving to prevent Turkey from entering Libya, and those who conducted the latest attack are all one and the same. "Its highly possible that instructions were also given to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh. Mark my words. "Those who gave these instructions, the bosses behind them, would have given instructions to a certain local group in Turkey as well to stop Ankara from sending troops to Libya. Take note of this too. "CHP, Good Party Are Using The Same Discourse As The Emiratis, Saudis – It's Extremely Critical! "It is not difficult to discern that the attitude of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Good Party (IP), with respect to sending troops to Libya, and that of the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia overlap. "How can it possibly overlap so well? How is it that the CHP and Egypt's Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are aligned on the same front? What unites them on this common ground? "This is a critical situation. It is both extremely critical and in a way, enmity against Turkey. The CHP and the others are building a front within Turkey on behalf of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is unforgivable. "Turkey's founding party has deviated from its national axis and, on the contrary, turned into a problem. Where they stand is much beyond their party line, and a very grave threat is in question. "Turkey Set To Spoil This Game In Libya! "The resolution will be passed in Parliament and Turkey will enter Libya. If it does not, they are going to drown us in the Mediterranean. They are going to corner us in the East Mediterranean and drown us in the Gulf of Alexandretta. "The 'terror corridor' map they had drawn from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean was much like this. We intervened and negated it. Now they are doing the same thing across the Mediterranean and Aegean. "What were we supposed to do? Surrender, kneel and put out our hands and beg? Turkey is an extremely powerful country. Those encouraging fear within and undermining Turkey, are acting in unison with those trying to siege the country from abroad. "An Order Was Given To 'Paralyze Turkey From Within' But Barbaros Is Back! "They have been tasked to 'paralyze Turkey from within.' Hence, they are working like bees. They do not stop to consider who is on their side, whom they have partnered up with. Everyone is going to pay for this sin in the eyes of history. "It is not for nothing that we say, 'Barbaros Pasha is returning after 473 years.' They are going to bear witness to this as of next week. The whole world will."   [1] Yenisafak.com/en/columns/ibrahimkaragul/the-emirs-terrorists-are-attacking-turkey-uaes-mohammed-bin-zayed-ordered-the-attack-that-killed-90-in-somalia-the-chp-good-party-are-using-same-discourse-as-the-emiratis-saudis-turkey-will-foil-this-game-in-libya-barbaros-is-back-2047286, December 29, 2019.

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December 30, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8444

Former Director Of Qatari Charity Foundation: Participating In Christmas Or New Year Celebrations Is A Crime Against Islam

December 30, 2019
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 8444
In a December 26, 2019 column in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, Sheikh 'Ali bin Rashed Al-Makhri Al-Muhannadi, a former senior manager of the Qatar Charity organization, warned the Muslims that participating in Christmas or New Year celebrations, or aiding them in any way, constitutes a sin and a crime against Islam. He noted that the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions treated Christians with respect all year round but did not celebrate their holidays.[1] It should be noted that Qatar Charity is a Doha-based NGO founded in 1992, which is active in Asia, Europe and Africa[2] and is a partner in multiple UN projects and activities.[3] The organization has for years been accused of having ties with terrorism. For example, testimony delivered to the U.S. Congress indicates that it was one of Bin Laden's major sources of funding,[4] and in 2017 the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries listed it as a terrorist organization for its links to the Muslim Brotherhood.[5] The United Kingdom's Charities Commission has issued a warning about the organization's British branch, because it is funded by the Doha-based one.[6]    'Ali bin Rashed Al-Mukhri Al-Muhannadi (source: alialmuhannadi.com) The following are excerpts from Al-Muhannadi's column:[7] "Some Muslims seem to be celebrating the birth of Christ, or Christmas, as it is called, as well as the start of the new [Christian] year. Those who do this must stop, for anyone who tries to imitate the group [of infidels] is like one of them, and the Prophet warned us not to resemble them or assume their characteristics. "Caution and More Caution: "A believing man or woman must take care and not aid the celebration of these festivals in any way, for they are festivals that contravene Allah's sharia. One must not participate in them or cooperate with people who celebrate them or help them in any way. One must not help organize [holiday] celebrations at hotels or [other] venues, exchange gifts on this day, hold festive dinners or lunches or put up a fir tree or a figure of Santa Claus, for they are part of the Christian belief. One must not serve [the celebrators] coffee, tea, juice or the like.  For Allah said [in Quran 5:2]: ' And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression...' Partaking in their celebrations is tantamount to taking part in a crime and in aggression against our religion and faith, and therefore every Muslim man and woman must avoid this. A reasonable person must not imitate other people on the pretext of being tolerant or the like. The tolerance of Islam was manifested in the virtue of the Prophet, his Companions and their successors, who were treated the Christians with respect all year round, but did not participate in their festivals or [celebrate] Christmas... We must observe the laws of Islam and [do] as they say, and follow the directives of Allah and His Messenger, not those of men... For Allah said [in Quran 6:116]: 'And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah...'" Al-Muhannadi's article on the Al-Sharq website (alsharq.com, December 26, 2019)   [1] This is not the first time the issue of Christmas has come up in the Qatari media. In late 2018, there was a debate about whether public expressions of Christmas should be permitted in the country and whether Muslims were allowed to wish Christians a happy holiday. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7830 - In Qatar, Debate On Christmas, New Year's Celebrations, And Wishing Christians A Happy Holiday, January 7, 2019. [2] Arab.org/directory/qatar-charity-society. [3] See e.g., unhcr.org/uk/news/press, October 3, 2017; un.org/press/en/2017, June 15, 2017. [4] Thefiscaltimes.com, December 29, 2015. [5] Thenational.ae, August 18, 2019.  [6] Telegraph.co.uk, August 17, 2019. [7] Al-Sharq (Qatar), December 26, 2019.

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December 30, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8443

In Interview, Russian Deputy Minister Of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko Takes Pride In Superiority And Cost Effectiveness Of Russian Weapons

December 30, 2019
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8443
In an exclusive conversation with Olga Belova, host of the TV program “The Main”, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko spoke of the Russian army's modernization and future challenges. Krivoruchko stressed that in 2020 the Russian Army must reach a more than 70% level of modernity. The most important field of development is the nuclear triad. “We will continue to rearm our army with ‘RS-24 Yars’,” he said. The Navy's development would continue and “the Navy will probably receive the biggest impetus, precisely in the part of the ships of the long-range maritime zone,” Krivoruchko stated. Below is the interview with Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko:[1] Alexei Krivoruchko (Source: Ria.ru) Krivoruchko: The Challenges Of 2020 Are Difficult. We Must Reach A Level Of Modernity Surpassing 70% Q: “...[Alexei Yuryevich] how do you assess the year 2019 in terms of defense contracts. Did everything desired and planned get fulfilled? For example, did some difficulties arise? Did you have to involve the Ministry of Defense at some point?” Krivoruchko: “Of course there were difficulties, they remain and will always be. One can also say that the 2019 state defense orders were fulfilled by more than 99%. All the main tasks that awaited the Ministry of aDefense and industry are fully completed. And this allowed us to bring the level of modernity in the Armed Forces to ... more than 68%. Therefore, we can say with confidence that the tasks assigned to the Armed Forces have been completed.” Q: “Are there any areas which you are particularly proud of? I know that this year there were many premieres in the field of aviation, for example the new drones were presented. Does the future lie with them?” Krivoruchko: “Of course, both the future and the present. This is a major focus [of our work]. We have several such projects. Already some hardware and some prototypes have been adopted. As for heavier machinery, these projects are ongoing, but in the near future they will be adopted by the army. The tests are in ‘full swing’.” Q: “Will there be any premieres in the 2020? I understand that there is a question of military secrecy, but nonetheless. Maybe something will turn up on May 9 [Moscow Victory Day Parade]?” Krivoruchko: “Indeed, There is a discussion concerning several models of equipment that we have not yet shown. Some of them are going to be shown at the Parade.” Q: “What is expected in the sphere of defense industry in the next year? Are there any areas you want to focus on specifically?” Krivoruchko: “The challenges of 2020 are also difficult. We must reach the level of modernity surpassing 70%. This goal was reflected in the President’s May decrees. I have no doubt that we will achieve these indicators. As for some of the most important areas, it is hard to highlight something. ... I would like to note first everything that concerns our nuclear triad. We will also continue rearmament. We have the highest rate of modernity here. ... We will continue to rearm our army with ‘RS-24 Yars’. ... One of the most significant news, which will await us in the year 2020 is the development of the Navy. We will continue to build, and we will lay [the keel] for eight additional ships. Also, additional contracts will be signed at the ‘Army of Russia’ forum. Therefore, probably, the Navy will receive the biggest impetus, precisely in the part of the ships of the long-range maritime zone.” Q: “And as for hypersonic and laser weapons? Usually they give us only hints about them. Is it correct thing to say that the one who will have hypersonic weapons and laser weapons will control the world?” Krivoruchko: “Indeed, these are the areas of the highest priority in all the armies of the modern world. If we start with laser weapons, we already (as the president and the defense minister said) have such weapons in service. I’m talking about the ‘Peresvet’ complexes. But this is not the only system that we are developing, which will soon go into service. I must say that this is one of the highest priority areas. And all the works are in a full swing. And, I think, in the near future we will show something.” Q: “Speaking of the nuclear triad and, for example, hyper sound or laser weapons. What R&D [projects] are in the spotlight? …” Krivoruchko: “All this is important and requires efforts, one might say the same amount of it. As for nuclear weapons, this is certainly a priority. Here, everything goes smoothly. Laser weapons are also an important area. Hypersound - as you already know, we are here at the forefront. Complexes such as the ‘Dagger’ are already in service. ‘Zircon’ is already in service with the Armed Forces then, in the near future, the tests will all be completed...” Q: “Does the foreign policy situation or, so to speak, a general unstable situation, and global tension do they affect somehow the state defense order, or not?” Krivoruchko: “Of course, we are following this issue closely. And there were attempts, including sanctions, to influence it [state defense order]. That is no secret, literally 5-7 years ago a lot of foreign equipment and components were used in our armament (engines, component base). Today there are no such problems. The import substitution process has been fully completed. We do not have a single supply disruption due to import substitution, therefore, they [sanctions] have no effect on [state defense order] today. But, of course, there were such attempts. Precisely for that sanctions were imposed against the military-industrial complex. Our industry dealt with them, and in the process was able to gain new expertise, new areas [of competency]. …” Q: “There used to be an expression: ‘whatever the Russians try to make, they end up with ‘Kalashnikov”. In your opinion, now how can this be rephrased considering the current development level of the domestic defense complex?” Krivoruchko: “You can definitely say ... that all the equipment that goes to the Armed Forces is modern technology. This is true for all types of troops: the technology of the REP troops, aviation, the navy, land equipment. All weapons are not only at the level of the analogs of other countries, but are well superior to them. And this is also not a secret: the operation in Syria showed it. It is therefore quite clear: We have modern, complex and efficient systems. [They are] significantly cheaper than other countries' models. …” [1] Tvzvezda.ru, December 29, 2019

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Dec 14, 2019
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Former Iranian Ambassador to France Sadegh Kharrazi Criticizes Former President Ahmadinejad’s Statements That Iran Will Wipe Israel off the Map: Our Political Leaders Should Not Use the Same Rhetoric as Khomeini, Khamenei, Who Are Religious Leaders

#7676 | 05:39
Source: IRIB Ofogh TV (Iran)

Former Iranian Ambassador to France Sadegh Kharrazi said in a December 14, 2019 interview on Ofogh TV (Iran) that the JCPOA would be in a different state than it is today had Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden been President of the United States instead of Donald Trump. He criticized Iranian presidents who have used inflammatory rhetoric while in office, such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his declarations that Iran will wipe Israel off the map, for having caused the U.N. Security Council to invoke Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter against Iran, and he argued that Iran's presidents cannot use the same rhetoric used by Imam Khomeini or Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who he said are religious, spiritual, and revolutionary leaders rather than political leaders. In addition, Kharrazi said that Supreme Leader Khamenei had authorized every step of the JCPOA negotiations, and that Iran could not have gotten a better deal than the JCPOA given the political circumstances at the time.

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "If Mr. Trump and a Republican government had not come to power, or if Mrs. Hillary Clinton or someone like VP Joe Biden had become President, would the state of the JCPOA have been the same as it is today? No. The JCPOA came at a time when the Americans needed it, a time when they thought differently about the Middle East.

 

[...]

 

"Since the [1979] Revolution and before the time of the Ahmadinejad government, we never faced sanctions by the U.N. Security Council. During Ahmadinejad's days, we were brought under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

 

[...]

 

"Various terms were introduced into the rhetoric of Iran's foreign policy. Those terms and that rhetoric caused us to be brought under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. Back then, many countries advised us what to do and what not to do. All of a sudden, we started talking about erasing a certain country, about erasing Israel from the geographical map."

 

Interviewer: "Why don't you complain about Imam Khomeini? If this is your claim... The first person who said that Israel should be annihilated was Imam [Khomeini]. Why do you politicize this so much?"

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "I'll tell you..."

 

Interviewer: "This is a verbatim quote from Imam Khomeini: 'We plan to dry up the roots of Zionism, Communism, and liberalism.'"

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "With regard to the Imam, let me tell you a story. When the late [Mohammad-Ali] Rajai became Prime Minister, [French President] Francois Mitterrand sent him congratulations. Rajai published a communique in which he rebuked Mitterrand, saying that the people are doing this and that... In short, he completely dismissed Mr. Mitterrand. The following day, the Imam summoned Rajai. I'm saying this on live TV, with the lights on. The leader [Khamenei] told me this when I was on my way to France. Imam [Khomeini] summoned Mr. Rajai, and said to him: 'Why did you say this?' Rajai said: 'You are the Leader of the Revolution and you say such things. I am merely following you.' The Imam said: 'I am nothing but a student of religion, whereas you are the head of state, and you have a country to run. You are at the head of a government that you need to run.' Even if Imam [Khomeini] or the Leader [Khamenei] say certain things as the leaders of the Islamic world, and even if they use the rhetoric of the leadership of the Islamic world, in the framework of the discourse of the resistance, the person at the head of the government cannot necessarily do the same thing, because he is responsible for the livelihood of the people."

 

Interviewer: "So these are nothing but slogans that shouldn't be said?"

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "Go ask the Imam. Go ask the Leader who told me that story."

 

Interviewer: "For me, this is not a question. Do you know why? Because, and this is true also with regard to the Holocaust... Even if the Leader said that to you in private, he has said many times in public that discussing this is the right policy."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "What the Leader says is the correct thing for him to say, because [the enemies] say bad things, and the Leader amplifies the power and impact of the resistance in the Islamic world. He strengthens the position of the Islamic Republic, thanks to the deterrence that stems from his words."

 

Interviewer: "So from your comments we can conclude that there is no problem... They say one thing, and we do something else."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "No. You are the one coming to that conclusion. Go ask international and political experts. In 2016, I was no longer in an [official] post, but I wrote to the leaders of our country that the way [Ahmadinejad] is leading us would cause the UNSC to hit us with a resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

 

[...]

 

"The Foreign Minister and the President should have latitude. They must not say everything all at once and destroy [this latitude]. Today, Mr. Rouhani is disappointed and upset that the Europeans and the Westerners played him. The greatest blow to Mr. Rouhani's enterprise were the crises and problems created by these cowardly governments.

 

[...]

 

"The Leader authorized each and every step in the JCPOA negotiations."

 

Interviewer: "But the Leader said that his red lines were crossed."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "Allow me [to explain] ..."

 

Interviewer: "What you are saying is peculiar."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "Allow me. The Leader himself has said many times... You do not read things that do not work for you, or you ignore them, and you only mention things that work for you."

 

Interviewer: "For me, the words of the Leader constitute the gold standard, like it or not."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "The essence of what I say is what the Leader has said."

 

Interviewer: "So we are in agreement."

 

Sadegh Kharrazi: "The Leader supported the JCPOA and said that the [delegation members] were pious, brave, and strong soldiers who entered the fray.

 

[...]

 

"The political circumstances of that time did not allow us to get a better deal than the JCPOA."

 

Interviewer: "Would you do a private business deal similar to the JCPOA? On unequal terms?"


Sadegh Kharrazi: "If at one point I have no choice, and, for instance, I have to sell my 500,000-toman house for 50,000 toman, in order to resolve my problem, I would have no choice but to do it."

 

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Dec 25, 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin Criticizes Pro-Hitler Polish Ambassador to Nazi Germany: That Bastard Was an Antisemitic Pig; I Have No Other Words

#7675 | 02:00
Source: Russia 24

On December 24, Vladimir Putin took part in the Defense Ministry Board meeting held at the National Defense Control Centre. During the Defense Ministry Board meeting, Putin discussed the role of European countries in contributing to the outbreak of WWII. Commenting on Poland, Putin used strong words to criticize the Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany, Josef Lipski, who backed Hitler in 1938. “That bastard! That antisemitic pig – I have no other words,” Putin said referring to Lipski. This video aired on Rossiya-24 TV (Russia) and was translated into English by Vesti.

 

The Kremlin’s website published the full transcript of Putin’s remarks:

 

 

President Vladimir Putin: The USSR was the last country in Europe to sign the Treaty of Non-aggression with Germany. The last! All the other leading European countries did this before the Soviet Union. Yes, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (let me remind you that Ribbentrop was Germany’s foreign minister, and Molotov was the foreign minister and chairman of the Council of Ministers) was signed, and there was also a secret protocol which defined the spheres of influence.

 

But what have the European countries been doing before that? The same! They had all done the same thing, starting in 1938, when Hitler claimed part of Czechoslovakia, and Great Britain and France turned their backs on their ally, although France had a treaty of mutual assistance with Czechoslovakia. Thus Hitler got a chance to seize part of the country.

 

But what did the other countries do, Poland, for example? They actually conspired with Hitler. This much is directly evident from the documents – from archive documents. Another question is whether there were any secret annexes or not – but it doesn’t matter. It is important how they acted. They acted in collusion for certain – just from the documents on how they negotiated. And at the so-called Munich Conference, Hitler directly represented the interests of Poland, and partly of Hungary. He directly represented their interests, and then he said to the Poles: It was so difficult to defend your interests, you know. We have it all in the documents. Thank God, we have enough archival documents that we attained as trophies from the European countries after World War II.

 

But that’s not all. What really hit me hard, I’m telling you honestly, was how Hitler and the official representatives of Poland discussed the so-called Jewish problem. Hitler told the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and later bluntly said to the Polish Ambassador to Germany that he had a plan to send the Jewish population to Africa, to the colonies. Imagine, in 1938, to expel Jews from Europe to Africa. [This meant] sending them to their extermination, to destruction.

 

And here is what the Polish ambassador wrote to the Polish Foreign Minister, Mr Beck: When I heard this, he wrote, I responded (to Hitler, he means), that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him (to Hitler) in Warsaw. That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig – I have no other words. He was in complete solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic sentiment and, moreover, he proposed erecting a monument to Hitler in Warsaw for persecuting the Jewish people. And he wrote to his patron, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, apparently hoping for understanding and approval. He would not have written this without a reason.

 

I won’t go into more detail now, but in any case, I want to emphasize again: we have enough materials to prevent anyone from corrupting the memory of our fathers, our grandfathers, and all those who gave their lives for the victory over Nazism.

 

I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces.

 

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December 29, 2019 Special Announcements No. 844

2019 Editor's Picks: MEMRI TV Clips From The Reform Project

December 29, 2019
Special Announcements No. 844
The following are selected MEMRI TV clips from The Reform Project in 2019.   #7128 – Egyptian-American Analyst Magdi Khalil: Second Wave Of Arab Spring Inevitable Egyptian-American political analyst Magdi Khalil said in a video that was uploaded to the Internet on March 13, 2019 that the Arab people are still angry and that tremendous effort is being exerted to oppress them and prevent another wave of the Arab Spring. Khalil said, however, that another wave of the Arab Spring is inevitable, whether it happens tomorrow or in 20 years. Khalil explained that Islam, in addition to Arabic and Bedouin culture, is a significant factor in the Middle East that might delay the second wave of the Arab Spring because it is incompatible and runs contrary to democracy, liberty, human dignity, human rights, and religious freedom. #7242 – Liberal Kuwaiti Activist Nasser Dashti: We Need Cultural, Secular Reform; Western Societies Are Better Than Ours Because They Admit Their Failures, Learn Through Self-Criticism Liberal Kuwaiti activist Nasser Dashti said in a March 21, 2019 interview on Al-Rawdatain TV (Kuwait) that reform cannot be political and that it must be cultural. He said reform begins with education, media, the spreading of secular culture, and confrontation of those who oppose secularism through debate. Dashti added that secular societies openly own up to their mistakes and develop through experience and self-criticism. He said: "The difference between us and them is that we hide [our failures] from the media." Dashti criticized religion for encouraging people against art, for dividing the family, for destroying countries, and for turning people against scientific research by forcing them to accept the "cartoon-like stories" found in religious texts. #7512 – Lebanese TV Host Juomana Haddad On Racism In The Arab World: We Are Tenth, Not Third, World; We're Wallowing In Our Own Backwardness Lebanese TV host Joumana Haddad said in a September 19, 2019 monologue on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that the Arabs are a racist people who lack human and ideological awareness. She criticized the Arab nation for looking down upon other races and nationalities and for not seeing anything shameful about its racism. She said that Arab countries legally condone racism and forms of human trafficking, slavery, and systematic humiliation, and that the Arab countries are "wallowing" in their backward past. In addition, Haddad said that it is human advancement, interest in culture, and intellectuality that determines the value of a country, rather than how many skyscrapers a country has, and added: "We do not belong to the third world, but to the tenth world." #7424 – Iraqi Scholar Dr. Abdul Jabbar Al-Rifaee: Muslims' Small Contribution to Modern Sciences Is an Indication That We Must Re-Examine Our Heritage Iraqi scholar Dr. Abdul Jabbar Al-Rifaee said in an August 7, 2019 interview on Al-Araby TV (U.K.) that modern sciences have been developing for 500 years in many fields, and he asked how much of the contribution to this has come from the Islamic world. Giving the example of the Nobel Prize, which he explained has been given to hundreds of people over the past 100 years or so, Al-Rifaee pointed out that very few of the Nobel Prize recipients have been Muslim, particularly when one considers how large the Muslim population is in the world. Al-Rifaee said that the problem lies in Muslims' historical memory, which he said is suffocating them, and he said: "I am not calling to erase or cancel our heritage. However, we must examine heritage through the lens of the [modern] age." #7391 – Egyptian Philosopher Mourad Wahba: Our Children Grow Up Fearing Wisdom Because We Shame Them For Thinking About Taboo Subjects Egyptian philosopher Mourad Wahba said in a July 21, 2019 interview on Extra News TV (Egypt) that children in the East are shamed for questioning what they learn and for asking questions, while children in the West are taught that they can question anything. He said that the Western mind is therefore free from a young age while the Eastern mind is shackled by culturally taboo subjects. Wahba said that Eastern children are afraid of wisdom and of using their brain, and that they instead choose to avoid questioning things that they have been told are wrong. He added that the education system in the East is continuing this process by making more subjects taboo. #7083 – Syrian Scholar Firas Al-Sawwah: Al-Aqsa Mentioned In Quran Is Not In Jerusalem; We Should Critically Examine Our Past And Some Of Our Religious Traditions Syrian scholar Firas Al-Sawwah said in a March 3, 2019 interview on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that the Al-Aqsa Mosque that was mentioned in the Quran was not in Jerusalem, and that the caliph Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan had decided to build a holy place in Jerusalem and call it Al-Aqsa. He said that a general Arab-Muslim cultural revival that would include a critical review of Arab and Muslim history is necessary. Al-Sawwah also said that the hadiths should be critically examined to determine which ones are true and which are false, and he recalled having laughed in eighth grade when the teacher taught the class the hadith about the trees and rocks calling Muslims to kill Jews hiding behind them. He explained that the class laughed because they had been "raised on modern thought" and it made no sense to them that trees or rocks would speak. #7063 – Tunisian Minority Rights Activist Yamina Thabet Criticizes Tunisian Constitution, Education System For Ignoring Jews And Christians, Says Homosexuals Are Imprisoned, Tortured During a February 15, 2019 show on BBC Arabic (U.K.), Yamina Thabet, the head of the Tunisian Association for Support of Minorities, criticized Tunisian education curricula for omitting mentions of Tunisian Christianity or Jewry and said that it is because the Tunisian constitution defines Tunisian identity as Muslim. She also said that constitutionally-guaranteed rights to privacy are violated in order to verify people's sexual orientation, explaining that homosexuals are imprisoned for three years.  To see more from Yamina Thabet, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 3998 and 5221. #7172 – Egyptian Journalist Ibrahim Eissa: Islamic Terrorism Will End Only When Muslims Stop Trying To Restore Their Past On April 14, 2019, Ibrahim Issa discussed Islamic terrorism in a monologue on his talk show, which is aired on the American Al-Hurra TV. Ibrahim Issa said that ISIS, Al-Qaeda, terrorism, and extremism will only come to an end if Muslims get rid of the "black triangle." This "black triangle," described by Issa, is comprised of three edges. The first edge is "the undisputed belief, held by Muslims in general, that their past was a dream come true, an age of angels and glory." The second edge is the belief held by "most Muslims" that this golden age must be restored. The third edge is the belief held by "some Muslims" that this past must be restored even at the price of "violence, coercion, cruelty, brutality, swords, and bombs." He concluded by saying that the only way to get rid of this triangle is for the Muslims to accept that the past was comprised of both good and bad and to make peace with the fact that "there is no need to restore that past. It is gone." "We must live our lives in our times and in our world, according to our renewed understanding of religion," he said. #7145 – Lebanese Actress Nidal Al-Ashkar: No Freedom of Speech In The Arab World; Change Would Require Real Transformative Revolutions Lebanese actress Nidal Al-Ashkbar said in a March 28, 2019 interview on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that theater is not an intrinsic part of education and culture in Lebanon in the Arab world because there is no freedom of speech or openness in the region, such that actors cannot criticize anyone or talk about religion or sex. She said that it is impossible for there to be theater in the Arab world unless real, transformative revolutions bring about democratic rule. #6931 – Yemeni Hip Hop Dance Crew Breaks Cultural Norms Against Backdrop Of The Civil War This clip is a compilation of videos by WaxOn Crew, a hip hop dance group based in Mukalla, Yemen, that consists of five members. The group performs wearing Guy Fawkes masks. The videos were uploaded to WaxOn Crew's YouTube video between July 14 and November 30, 2018, and include a performance at an event titled "Our Art is Peace", which was held by Meemz Art for Change. The following was written at the end of the video of the Meemz performance: "Seeing the effects of our art and how it touches the hearts of the people is the most powerful source of motivation, despite the obstacles." This clip also includes a flash mob performance at the Mukalla mall, a performance at a carnival in Hadhramaut, Yemen, and a "dance vlog" featuring the group members at the beach. In December 2018, the group was briefly detained by Yemeni security forces, who also broke their equipment. The group members were only released after they had signed a document stating that they would stop dancing in public, and they later reported to Reuters that the security officers had said that their dancing was a religious sin, and that they had been treated as if they were terrorists. #7188 – Egyptian-German Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad: Islamic Extremism Stems From The Core Of Islam; Tens Of Thousands Of ISIS Supporters Live Among Us Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad said that Islamic extremism and terrorism stems from the "core of Islam" – from its texts, its history of conquests, its founder, and its ideology – and that the problem does not lie only with the returning ISIS members, but with the "multiple layers of radicalization," with which the governmental and Islamic structures are not equipped to deal. #7006 – Kahina Bahloul, Future Imam Of First Mixed-Gender Paris Mosque: We Will Welcome Unveiled Women, Homosexuals French Islamic studies researcher and founder of the group "Talk to Me About Islam" Kahina Bahloul was interviewed on France 24 Arabic channel on February 8, 2019. Bahloul will be leading prayers in Paris' first mixed-gender mosque, and she said that the mosque will allow women to choose whether they wear a hijab or not because of the belief that "there is no place for coercion in Islam." She added that homosexuals will also be welcome because the sexual orientation of mosque members is a personal issue. She called for a "re-evaluation of history" and added that it is time for women in Islam to have a say about religious interpretations. #7014 – Lebanese Philosopher Dr. Ali Harb: Colonialism Brought Arabs Out Of Middle Ages Into Modernity; We Need To Change How We See The World Lebanese philosopher Dr. Ali Harb was featured in a two-part series on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that aired on February 3 and 10, 2019. He said that while colonialism had its drawbacks, it created great opportunities for the Arab world and Arab societies to join modernity and emerge out of the Middle Ages. He said that Pan-Arabism, left-wing thought, and other ideologies caused an overall decrease of freedom in Arab societies relative to the era of liberalism and enlightenment, and that the return of religion brought about the hijab, civil wars, the age of terrorism, and the return of colonialism. Dr. Harb said that the Arab world does not produce knowledge or participate in the creation of civilization and added that Arabs needs to change the way they think, see the world, and deal with their heritage and religion. #7578 – Female Saudi Construction Workers: We Want To Benefit Saudi Society On October 25, 2019, Saudi Arabia’s MBC TV aired a report about female construction workers. The report tells the story of three Saudi sisters who work in construction. According to the sisters they initially faced many obstacles from society but have now surmounted them and have become successful. They expressed a hope that this enterprise will be a benefit to Saudi society. #7571 – Former Kuwaiti Information Minister Sami Abdullatif Al-Nesf: Arabs Should Stop Accusing British Colonialism of Preventing Arab Unity; We Are The Ones Who Failed To Unite After Sykes-Picot Agreement; Pan-Arab Historians Are Liars Former Kuwaiti Minister of Information Sami Abdullatif Al-Nesf said in an October 23, 2019 interview on Diwan Al-Mullah Internet TV (Kuwait) that the Arabs gained Mosul, South Sudan, and other territories from the British as part of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and that Arabs should stop accusing the British and British colonialism of having prevented Arab unity. He said that it was the Arabs themselves who failed to unite and that the Arabs should similarly stop blaming the Balfour Declaration for the establishment of Israel, which he said was ultimately established as a result of WWII and the actions of Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem between 1917 and 1947, who he accused of never having made a correct decision. In addition, Al-Nesf said that since the British started abandoning colonialism after 1945, any praise of post-1945 Arab “heroes” who fought off British colonialism is nonsense. He further said that Arabs are generally ignorant about history and that Arab historians are liars who fabricate history and twist shameful events into victories for the Arabs. He added that the Middle East has become the “sick man of the world.” #7566 – "Supporting Women Against Violence" Campaign By Gazan Women Who Had Been Victims Of Domestic Violence Strives To Spread Awareness, Encourages Women To Stand Up For Themselves On October 10, 2019, Ehna Internet TV (Israel) aired a report about “Supporting Women against Violence,” a campaign against domestic violence that was held by Gazan women. At a campaign event, several women wore wedding dresses and make up that made them look like they had bruises, black eyes, and bloody lips as a result of domestic abuse. A campaign participant named Marwa, who was interviewed, said that she used to be beaten by her husband’s family and encouraged women who are experiencing similar abuse to act with courage and stand up for themselves. Hiba Al-Hindi, the Director of the Palestinian Pioneers Cultural Center and the organizer of the event, said that the campaign is the first of its kind in Palestine and that it was organized with the help of volunteers, some of whom she said had been victims of domestic violence. The event also featured a performance by artist Mohammed Aldairi, who drew a picture of Israa Ghrayeb, a Palestinian girl who had been tortured and murdered by her family. The reporter said: “[The women of the campaign] strive to spread the culture of fighting violence, which reflects on society as a whole.” #7562 – Iraqi Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako: Iraqi School Curricula Should Be Rewritten, Made More Tolerant Of Other Religions; Christians In Iraq Are Discriminated Against Louis Raphaël I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, said in an October 18, 2019 interview on Sharqiya News TV (Iraq) that Iraqi school curricula that speak ill of Jews and Christians should be rewritten entirely to discuss comradery, citizenship, and respect towards other religions. When asked about Christian militias that fought against ISIS, Sako said that there are no militias fighting on behalf of Christianity and that he had asked leaders in the PMU to prevent Christian parts of the PMU from identifying themselves as Christian. He expressed opposition to Christians taking up arms and fighting in the name of Christianity. In addition, Sako said that Christians in Iraq and Nineveh have been very hurt by Islamic terrorism in the region and that they are broken, unhappy, and discriminated against by the state and employers. #7552 – Lebanese Constitutional Expert Chibli Mallat: We Should Place Our Heads Of State On Trial; Next PM Can Be A Woman Lebanese constitutional expert Chibli Mallat said in an October 25, 2019 interview on OTV (Lebanon) that the Taif Agreement, which required that Lebanon's three heads of state be representatives of the Sunni, Shi'ite, and Maronite communities, should be abolished and replaced with a government that is based on what it is capable of achieving. As the audience cheered "Revolution!", Mallat cited Robespierre in calling for revolution and added: "Is this or is this not a revolution?" Mallat said that he is proud of Lebanon's constitution, which he described as the most profound in the East, and pointed out that all other constitutions in the region had been abolished by militaries, sectarianism, or Iran's mullahs. He called to topple Lebanon's regime and place its heads of state on trial. Mallat also said that there is no reason why the next prime minister of Lebanon couldn't be a woman. The studio audience cheered in support of Mallat and his statements. #7545 – Egyptian Dissident Mohamed Ali Criticizes Military's Involvement In Egypt's Economy, Civilian Industries: In Egypt, The Military Owns The People Egyptian dissident political activist Mohamed Ali, who resides in Spain, said in an October 23, 2019 interview on BBC Arabic (U.K.) that Egypt should not be under military rule as it is today and that the role of the military should be limited to protecting the country's borders. He criticized the Egyptian military's involvement in the economy and civilian industries and said that the people have no option but to work for the military. Ali said: "Every country in the world owns a military, but only in Egypt, the military owns the people." #7542 – Moroccan MP Omar Balafrej: We Must Not Criminalize Intimate Relations Between Consenting Adults, Including Homosexuals; The State Is Suffocating People's Personal Liberties In an October 3, 2019 interview on Hespress Internet TV (Morocco), Moroccan MP Omar Balafrej said that Morocco should follow the example of Turkey and certain other countries and not criminalize intimate relations between consenting adults, including homosexuals, because the state should respect individual privacy. In addition, Balafrej said that the punishment for pedophilia should be very severe and that he views child rape to be equivalent to murder. In an October 11, 2019 interview on France 24 Arabic TV, Balafrej criticized Morocco for suffocating people's liberties. He argued that many middle- and upper-class young people leave Morocco because of the lack of personal and collective liberties. #7642 – Berlin-Based Syrian-Kurdish Academic Jian Omar: The Arabs' Enmity Towards Israel Has Been A Waste Of Time And Resources; Pan-Arab, Islamist, Religious Parties Mislead The People; Arabs Need Sensible Government That Will Improve Their Lives In a November 19, 2019 show on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar), Syrian-Kurdish academic Jian Omar discussed Arab attitudes towards Israel and the West with TV host Faisal Al-Qassem. Al-Qassem said that Israel and the U.S. removed Austrian politician Jörg Haider from power and assassinated him because of statements that they had considered to be antisemitic, and he argued that this shows Israel would never allow the Arab countries to be ruled democratically. Omar rebutted by questioning the Arabs’ enmity towards Israel and by saying that the Arabs’ 80-year long mobilization against Israel has been a waste of time and resources that hasn’t benefited the Palestinian people. He said that Israeli Arabs enjoy more rights than all other Arabs put together and criticized the view that Israel is omnipotent. Omar went on to criticize pan-Arab, Islamist, and religious political parties for selling “shiny” slogans to Arabs and sending people on a Jihad against America, Israel, Zionism, the West, imperialism and capitalism despite the fact that the West leads the world in science and technology. Omar argued that the Arabs need to find a political elite and a sensible government that would improve their livelihood. Jian Omar is based in Berlin. #7612 –  Iranians Protest In The Wake Of Increase In Fuel Prices, Burn Police Vehicles, Throw Stones At Policemen, Chant: Death To Khamenei, Death To The Dictator! Numerous videos were uploaded to the Internet depicting the November 2019 protests in Iran in the wake of an increase in fuel prices. The protesters chanted "Death to you Khamenei!", "Death to the dictator!", and "Oh Shah of Iran, come back to Iran!" in the streets. People also burned pictures of Khamenei, burned police buildings and vehicles, and confronted riot police, in some cases by throwing stones at them and cursing them. In one video, a man shouted at a police officer: "Sir, are you not with the people?" In another video, a woman stood on a bridge cursed Supreme Leader Khamenei, Imam Khomeini, and the Iranian government as people cheered her on. #7513 – Woman At Entrance To Hospital In Shiraz, Iran: We Are Hungry, Need Medicine; To Hell With Our Leaders; Khamenei's Time Is Up, He Should Go Meet His Maker On October 1, 2019, a video of a woman at the entrance to a hospital in Shiraz, Iran was uploaded to the Internet. Encouraging others to join her in protest, the woman shouted: "My child is hungry [and] our people are hungry... [Our leaders] are thieves [and] they should leave this country... To hell with them... I have diabetes and I can't get my medicine... Mr. Khamenei, your expiration date has come and gone. Go meet your Maker." #7539 – Lebanese TV Host Samar Abou Khalil Accuses Government Of Depravity, Corruption, Blames It For Poverty, Unemployment In Lebanon In an October 16, 2019 show on Al-Jadeed/New TV (Lebanon), Lebanese TV host Samar Abou Khalil criticized the Lebanese government and accused it of political depravity, corruption, theft, robbery, and exploitation of the Lebanese people. She said that the state of anarchy is causing Lebanon to regress and that the Lebanese people are poor, naked, thirsty, hungry, and unemployed. Abou Khalil's comments were made against the backdrop of uproar over fires that raged in Lebanon. #7480 – France-Based Iranian Opposition Activist Dr. Mahmoud Moradkhani, Who Is Khamenei's Nephew: Iran Is Responsible For Extremism In The World; The Opposition Must Unite To Bring Change Dr. Mahmoud Moradkhani, a France-based Iranian opposition activist who is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's nephew, said in a September 8, 2019 interview on Alan TV (UAE) that the leaders of the Iranian regime are responsible for the presence of extremists in the Middle East and in the world. He said that he opposes the "religious democracy" that the Rule of the Jurisprudent claims to espouse because it means that one man has tyrannical control over both civil and religious life in the country. In addition, Dr. Moradkhani said that elections in Iran are meaningless, that Iran has essentially become a Russian colony, and that Iran has been exhausting the resources of the region by plundering oil and spending huge sums of money on weapons. He further expressed disappointment that the opposition in Iran is unable to unite, and he said that it should not "sit and wait for a miracle to bring change." #7464 – Sudanese Religious Affairs Minister Nasr Al-Din Mufreh Invites Jews Who Have Left Sudan To Return, Reclaim Their Citizenship Nasr Al-Din Mufreh, Sudan's Minister of Religious Affairs, said in a September 7, 2019 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that Sudan is pluralistic in its views, values, cultures, ideologies, Islamic schools of thought, and religions, and he called upon Jewish minorities that may have left Sudan to reclaim their Sudanese citizenship and return to the country, which he pointed out is now ruled by secular law. On a same-day interview on Sudania 24 TV, Sudanese writer Haidar Al-Mukashafi said that the Jewish presence in Sudan dates back over a century, and he said that this may be evidenced by a rumor in the Sudanese city of Merow that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was born and raised in Sudan. Al-Mukashafi said that Jews and other minorities may return to Sudan if reforms take place and if there are incentives to do so. #7450 – Lebanese Politician Elie Mahfoud: Who Rules Lebanon? Lebanon's Leaders Are Waiting To Hear Whether Nasrallah Declares War Or Not Elie Mahfoud, the leader of the Lebanese Movement for Democratic Change, said in an August 25, 2019 interview on Al-Arabiya TV (Saudi Arabia) that everybody in Lebanon wants to know who rules over Lebanon and who holds the power to make decisions. Mahfoud said that the current anarchic state of affairs in which Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has the power to declare war cannot continue, and he said that Lebanon's military is perfectly capable of defending Lebanon and its borders. Mahfoud warned that if the Lebanese government does not take initiative, then the situation in Lebanon will decline to an even worse situation than during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, and he emphasized that Lebanon suffered much heavier losses and destruction during that war than Israel did, despite Hizbullah's celebration of the war as a victory. In addition, Mahfoud said that Iran's militant activity in the Middle East is a "sad joke" because there hasn't been a single military operation against Israel, and he said that the Lebanese are "exploiting and riding the horse of the Palestinian Cause" while actually harming the Palestinians and giving Israel more excuses to sow ruin and destruction in the entire region. Mahfoud's remarks were made in light of Hassan Nasrallah's recent speech in which he said Hizbullah will engage Israeli drones flying in Lebanese airspace (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7439). #7410 – Egyptian Actress Shereen Reda: We Are Causing Our Children Psychological Harm By Ritually Slaughtering Sheep In The Streets; Loud Call To Prayer Harms Tourism, Scares Kids (Archival) Egyptian actress Shereen Reda said in a December 22, 2017 interview on ON TV (Egypt) that the call the prayer in Egypt should be "unified" because the bellowing of the muezzin at the early hours of the morning scares children and negatively affects tourism. She also expressed criticism of the custom of slaughtering a sheep on Eid Al-Adha and the fact that children can see the blood, saying: "What kind of customs are these? And then we wonder why our children turn out to be violent." She added that letting the children play with a sheep and then slaughtering it a few days later causes psychological harm to the children. #7397 – Sudanese Writer Hajj Al Warraq: "Cancerous Religious Zeal" Is Killing Creativity And Freedom Of Thought; This Will Lead To The Slitting Of Throats Sudanese writer Hajj Al-Warraq, the editor-in-chief of the Sudanese newspaper, Horiyat, said in a July 23, 2019 interview on Alghad TV (U.K.) that "cancerous religious zeal" has been growing and that it has been trying to kill creativity, arts, politics, and science. He criticized the religious leaders for banning freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and public discourse. Al-Warraq gave the example of Season of Migration to the North, a book by Sudanese author Tayeb Salih, saying that it is banned in Sudan, and he warned: "People who start burning books always end up burning people... They think they have a monopoly over religious truth... [This] will eventually lead to the slitting of throats." Al-Warraq added that the issue is much more dangerous than it seems. #7250 – Syrian Intellectual Hashem Saleh: Muslim Brotherhood Is Most Dangerous Group In Islam's History, "Mother" Of Radical Groups Like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban; This Ideology Must Be Abandoned Syrian intellectual Hashem Saleh said in an April 19, 2019 interview on Sky News Arabia TV (Abu Dhabi) that the Enlightenment was a reaction to the evil of sectarian wars – without which he said people would not have dared to question religion – and that he hopes ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other radical Islamic groups will end up sparking a similar enlightenment for the Arab and Muslim world in the coming years. He said that the biggest problem facing Arabs and Muslims is a "theological problem" and that he considers the Muslim Brotherhood, which he described as the "mother" of other radical groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, to be the most dangerous group in the history of Islam. He added that Arab civilization must abandon the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology so that it can "rise anew." #7233 – Fmr. Egyptian Culture Minister Gaber Asfour: We Are Facing A Cultural Catastrophe; Religious Renewal Is Necessary, Should Involve Dialogue With Secular Scholars Former Egyptian Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour said in a May 2, 2019 interview on Ten TV (Egypt) that Egyptian culture is in a "state of crisis" and is heading towards the worst and most dangerous "cultural catastrophe" it has ever seen. He said that this may be a result of what he described as a radical change that took place in the 1970s, in which he said Egyptian culture turned from liberalism and openness to a closed culture influenced by religion. Asfour pointed out that the Egyptian constitution says that the shari'a is the principle source of legislation and that it protects Al-Azhar University, and he said that education, culture, and the renewal of religious discourse – which he suggested should include "long and deep dialogues" with secular scholars – are matters of national security. He also said that Egypt is facing a population explosion because of a religious hadith that encourages marriage and having children. #7156 – Omani Journalist Salem Bin Hamad Al-Jahwari: Israel Is A reality, Arabs And Israelis Must Negotiate Their Future Together Omani journalist Salem bin Hamad Al-Jahwari, deputy head of the Omani Journalists Association, was interviewed on Russia Today TV. Al-Jahwari referred to a statement by Yusuf bin Alawi the Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, who had said that the Arab nations must reassure Israel that they do not pose a threat to its existence. Al-Jahwari said that the minister "wanted to clarify that it is time for the Arabs and the Israelis to sit together, in order to negotiate about what is to come." Al-Jahwari added: "Today, Israel is part of this region, whether or not the Arabs recognize it." Al-Jahwari said that the Arab leaders are neighbors of Israel, "they are familiar with Israeli mentality." They know that Israel is stalling for time "taking advantage of their territorial expansion." He concluded by stating that the existence of Israel is a reality. The interview was aired on April 7, 2019. #7154 – Jordanian Activist Reem Abu Hassan During Debate On Child Marriage: People Shouldn't Have More Kids Than They Can Afford To Support In a January 28, 2019 debate on Al-Mamlaka TV (Jordan) about underage marriage, Reem Abu Hassan, the Honorary President of the Institute for the Defense of Victims of Family Violence, said that people shouldn't have many kids if they can't afford to treat them all fairly, and that daughters shouldn't be married off in order to enable the sons to become engineers because the needs of the sons shouldn't come at the expense of the daughters. #7438 – Arab-American Researchers: Arab Narratives About Zionism Are False; Israel Is The Most Successful Country In The ME; Instead Of Establishing Palestine, Arabs Tried To Erase Israel Syrian-American human rights activist Ammar Abdulhamid and Egyptian-American researcher Samuel Tadros discussed Zionism and Israel on an August 15, 2019 show on Al-Hurra TV (United States). Ammar Abdulhamid said that there is a colonialist-imperialist streak in all civilizations and this means that the colonialist aspects of Zionism are not unique. He argued that the Arabs have become nihilistic with regard to Israel because they focused on annihilating Israel instead of building a Palestinian state right from the start. He also said that one cannot ignore the role that Arab Jews played in Israel's establishment and the fact that they did so in order to escape persecution by Muslim Arabs. In addition, Abdulhamid pointed out that the West was not always supportive of Israel, despite Arab claims that the West planted Israel as a foreign cancer in the Middle East. He added that Israel is the most successful and most stable country in the Middle East and it would make no sense for Israel to be annihilated while unstable countries like Egypt and Syria survived. #7389 – Iraqi TV Host Mahdi Jassem Reads Text By Syrian Poet: For 1,400 Years We Have Been Cursing The Jews And Christians, But We Are The Ones Left Without Unity In a July 21, 2019 show on ANB TV (Iraq), Iraqi TV host Mahdi Jassem read a text from the late Syrian poet Muhammad Al-Maghut. The text was highly critical of Islam and Islamic scholars, and it questioned why Muslims are still expected to behave in the exact same way the progenitors of Islam behaved 1,400 years ago. Jassem read: "After 1,400 years of cursing the Jews and the Christians, [Muslims] are the ones left with no unity [and] it is only Muslim women who have been enslaved... Oh nation in slumber, the people you curse [have gone to] the Moon [and] split the atom... Meanwhile, for you, the only thing on the rise is your genitalia." The text continued to criticize Muslims for studying outlandish things such as sexual Jihad, incest, breastfeeding of grown men, having "farewell sex" with one's deceased wife, and how to properly have sex with animals. The text went on: "Don't our minds have the right to be influenced by the knowledge, science, and technology that surround us? Must our minds be held captive after 1,400 years?" #7301 – Egyptian Reformist Islam Behery: Terrorism Did Not Begin With Muslim Brotherhood; ISIS-Like Ideology Existed In Islamic Caliphates Egyptian reformist intellectual Islam Behery said in a June 6, 2019 show on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that Islamic terrorism did not begin with Hassan Al-Banna and the establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. Rather, Behery argued that terrorist ideology had been present in the Islamic caliphates that had existed up until then, which he described as terrorist states. Behery argued that the caliphates had perpetrated the same crimes perpetrated by ISIS, such as burning people, raping slave-girls, accusing people of heresy, and aiming to establish a global Islamic state. He also said that the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans had been an example of this terrorism. Behery said that Hassan Al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood were part of a new era of terrorism that emerged after the fall of Islamic establishments. #7269 – Assistant Chairman Of Iraqi PMU Thamir Al-Tamimi: Political Islam Destroyed Iraq, Which Can Only Be Ruled By Secularism, Separation Of Religion And State Thamir Al-Tamimi "Abu Azzam," the Assistant Chairman of the Iraqi PMU, said in a May 21, 2019 interview on Samarra TV (Iraq) that today's religious extremism is a result of Islamic movements and the political Islam that started to spread in the 1990s. He said that Islamic ideology that mixes religious and state affairs has destroyed Iraq, and that, even as a religious man, he believes that only secular ideology and a separation of religion and state is good for heterogeneous countries like Iraq. Abu Azzam also said that the Iraqi system needs to be completely restructured and that the country needs to be "rescued" from fragmentation, foot-dragging and corruption because it has completely disintegrated. #7229 – 'Moroccan Infidel' Presents 'The Myths Of Religions' Song: We Are All Born Free And Then Become Like Sheep Hicham Nostik, who goes by the Internet identity of "Moroccan infidel," posted a song titled “The Myths of Religions” on his YouTube channel on March 14. The song, sung by Suraqa, castigates all religions as “worthless obsolete ideas” and “miracles and fables.” “We are all born free, and then we become like sheep,” goes the song, ending with the question: “When will we say ‘no’ to the myths of the religions?” The German-based Nostik, a former radical Islamist, recounted his transformation in a 2018 interview with Hamed Abdel-Samad. #7123 – Egyptian-German Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad In Scathing Criticism Of The European Left: Racism Of Low Expectations; They Treat Muslims Like Monkeys In A Zoo Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad slammed the European left for its political correctness, saying that while historically, the left has always defended the underdog, when it comes to Islam, it "morphs into the conservative right" and employs "racism of low expectations." In the March 25 episode of his weekly "Box of Islam" Internet show, Abdel-Samad said that while the leftists "embrace and defend anything that is anti-West," they view Muslims as barbaric savages and keep them marginalized. Even when a terrorist leaves a message citing the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran as the reason for his actions, "it's to no avail. The left has him pegged as a victim," he said. "That’s pure racism. It means that they do not see Muslims or Africans as people, responsible for their own lives."  

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December 29, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8442

Sec.-Gen. Of Jordan's Royal Committee For Jerusalem Affairs: Hanukkah Rituals Are A Direct Threat To Al-Aqsa

December 29, 2019
Jordan | Special Dispatch No. 8442
In a December 28, 2019 article in the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, 'Abdallah Kan'an, secretary-general of Jordan's Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, [1] wrote that the festival of Hanukkah is based on traditions relating to the "false" Jewish Temple, and therefore constitutes a direct threat to the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. Titled "The Festival of Lights – A Zionist Colonialist Ritual, Not A Jewish Religious Festival," the article claims that Israel and right-wing organizations in it use Hanukkah to further their plans of Judaizing Jerusalem and to carry out mass raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque "in the guise of Talmudic religious rituals." It should be noted that the article was published amid tension between Israel and Jordan, including over the Jordanian Waqf's management of the Al-Aqsa compound and Jordan's opposition to Jewish worshippers visiting the compound.[2] A month ago, Jordan's king even said that "relations with Israel are at an all-time low."[3]     'Abdallah Kana'an (source: rcja.org.jo) The following are excerpts from Kan'an's article.[4] "In realizing its Zionist plans in Palestine and Jerusalem, Israel's colonialist occupation policy relies on phony religious justifications and excuses designed to mislead global opinion and elicit its support. The religious rituals create an atmosphere that allows the Israeli government and the right-wing organizations that support it to carry out their systematic Judaizing programs in Jerusalem that target the entire area of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque (144 dunams). "The Jews are currently celebrating the Festival of Lights, or Hannukah..., commemorating the building and dedication of the false Second Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC. The misleading Jewish tradition claims that some Jews needed olive oil to light the seven-branched candelabra, but they only had enough oil for one day. But by a miracle, they claim, this small amount lasted for the eight days required to produce more oil. The main ritual of this holiday is the lighting of the eight-branched candelabra (called hanukkiah) after sundown. On the first night of the holiday a single candle is lit while chanting certain prayers, and this is repeated each night until the end of the holiday, on which all eight candles are lit. In addition, large electric candelabras are erected in squares and public buildings. "This Jewish festival is believed to pose the greatest danger to the Muslim and Christian holy places, for it is the only festival that is connected, according to their lies and traditions, to their false temple, and therefore it constitutes a direct threat to Al-Aqsa. Researchers know that Hanukkah is not one of the Jewish holidays mentioned in the Torah, yet it is one of the most popular [Jewish] holidays. On this holiday, organizations such as Women for the Temple, Students for Temple Mount, Leeba and the Temple Organization Headquarters call on the Zionist settlers to storm Al-Aqsa en masse, repeatedly and intensively, in the guise of carrying out Talmudic rituals there to mark the Festival of Lights. They call to place a hanukkiah in the very heart of the mosque, in addition to the one installed near the Al-Buraq Wall [i.e., the Western Wall]. "From the political point of view, the Israeli government uses this holiday to continue its systematic program of Judaizing Palestine and Jerusalem, which is based on daily attacks and crimes, and also to [realize] its ambition to elicit [supportive] positions from certain countries that are biased in its favor. Last year on this holiday, U.S. State Secretary [Mike] Pompeo and [Israeli PM Binyamin] Netanyahu met in Brussels and together attended the lighting of the second Hanukkah candle.  Netanyahu took that opportunity to thank Pompeo for his pro-Israeli positions and statements. This year Pompeo went even further [in his support for Israel] by saying that the Israeli settlements do not constitute a violation of international law. [He said this] while everyone knows that the international resolutions oppose [the settlements], including [UN] Security Council Resolution 2334, from 2016, which demanded an immediate freeze of Israeli settlement [activity]. It is [also] clear that the Jewish [Hanukkah] celebrations in the occupied Arab territories are directed against [Al-Aqsa mosque], the Muslims' first direction of prayer, and [are designed to] provoke the Muslims. "The Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, which follows the news and developments in Jerusalem, has noted the danger and the implications of these holiday rituals, which are used to continue the attacks on our people and on the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. [The committee] realizes that, in the scriptures, the real significance of the holidays is [promoting] peace and spreading love among peoples, in contrast to the hatred and hostility spread by Israel and the right-wing organizations. The Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs stresses Jordan's historic and steadfast position, which is anchored in the Hashemite custodianship of the Muslim and Christian holy places, embodied by King 'Abdullah II bin Hussein... This position [includes] a demand that the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN's international organizations pressure Israel to abide by the UN resolutions, for only they will guarantee peace for the coming generations."   [1] Established in 1971 by a royal decree of King Hussein, the Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs aims to preserve Jerusalem's Arab and Muslim identity and support its Arab residents. Its members are Jordanian officials, including the ministers of foreign affairs and religious affairs, as well as clerics from Jordan and beyond. The committee's website (rcja.org.jo) posts reports and statements on issues related to Jerusalem. [2] Other factors contributing to the tension are the repeated calls in Jordan's parliament and media to cancel the peace accord with Israel and the natural gas deal with it; Israeli statements about plans to annex the Jordan Valley; Jordanian apprehensions about the Deal of the Century, due to fears that Jordan will become an alternative Palestinian homeland (See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1448 - Concern In Jordan About 'Deal Of The Century,' Possible Harm To Jordan's Special Status In Jerusalem – April 8, 2019);  Jordan's reclaiming of the two border enclaves leased to Israel (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8362 - Jordanian Regime, Press: Restoration Of Jordanian Rule Over Border Enclaves Leased To Israel For Past 25 Years Is A Resounding Diplomatic Victory Over Israel – November 12, 2019), and a Jordanian military exercise that simulated a battle with Israel (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8380 - Jordanian Army Conducts Maneuvers Simulating Military Battle With Israel – November 26, 2019). [3] Al-Ghad (Jordan), November 22, 2019. [4] Al-Ghad (Jordan), December 28, 2019.

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December 29, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8441

Russia This Week – Focus On Russia’s Bilateral Relations – December 29, 2019

December 29, 2019
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8441
Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. Photo Of The Week (Source: Kremlin.ru) In The News: Friendly Game Of The All-Russian Night Hockey League Russia-Iran Relations Russia-Libya Relations Russia-Belarus Relations Meeting Of The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council Head Of The Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin: Putin Saved Russia's Economy WWII – Putin: ‘But What Did The Other Countries Do, Poland, For Example? They Actually Conspired With Hitler’ Nord Stream 2 News in Brief: Information Warfare; START 3; Defense; BRICS; Russia-Israel Relations; National Projects Friendly Game Of The All-Russian Night Hockey League (Source: Kremlin.ru)   (Source: Kremlin.ru) (Source: Kremlin.ru) (Source: Kremlin.ru) On December 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in a friendly game of the All-Russian Night Hockey League on the eve of New Year on a skating rink on Red Square. As usual, the Russian leader wore his No. 11 jersey. His team included Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the legendary Russian hockey players Pavel Bure, Valery Kamensky, Sergei Fyodorov and Alexei Kasatonov. They played against governors Andrei Vorobyov and Alexei Dyumin, business managers Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Potanin and Roman Rotenberg, musician Igor Butman and others. Vladimir Putin’s team won 8–5. (Kremlin.ru, December 25, 2019) Russia-Iran Relations On the "Great Game" talk show on Russia's First Channel Russian FM Lavrov stated: "One must not approach Iran in the way they are trying to do from Washington. This is not simply a very flagrant violation of the UN charter to refuse to fulfill a resolution adopted by the UNSC and having a binding character, but moreover it is quite coarse to address demands to the Islamic Republic of Iran – a country with a civilization of thousands of years, traditions and with a huge sense of its own dignity.” (Ria.ru, December 22, 2019) Russia-Libya Relations Haftar with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov (Source: Sputniknews.com, August 14, 2017) The Russian media outlet VZGLYAD reported that in recent days, the diplomatic activity around Libya has reached a new level. According to Lev Dengov, head of the Russian contact group on the intra-Libyan settlement, the current military-political situation proves the relevance of the negotiations between Russia and Turkey for resolving the conflict. "This will depend only on the results of the negotiations between the leaders of Russia and Turkey. The same applies to the discussions about the options of compromise between Moscow and Ankara," Dengov said. The Russian expert Kirill Semenov also does not exclude the possibility that Moscow and Ankara may reach a compromise, and that mutual concessions might be relevant also for Syria. “First of all, Moscow does not aim at supporting Marshal Haftar [leader of the Libyan National Army], as the press says. Russia has even less close contacts with his opponent Fayyez Al-Sarraj [the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA)]. Secondly, Moscow officially denies supporting any of the parties to the conflict, advocating [instead] a peaceful resolution. The differences between the two countries over Libya have nothing to do, for example, with the differences over Syria. Therefore, there is a chance for compromise. And we have repeatedly observed how Putin and Erdogan are able to negotiate with each other,” Semenov said. Professor Mikhail Roshchin, a senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, suggests that Erdogan, as a compromise, could offer Moscow "something to appease Marshal Haftar" so that he "doesn't attack Tripoli so harshly" and agrees to negotiate with Sarraj. In return, Ankara will abandon its plans to send troops to Libya. “This is a real option for compromise. At the official level, we do not support Haftar. But it is well known that Russia gives him some protection. Therefore, we have no choice but to persuade the Marshal to negotiate with Tripoli,” Roshchin told the newspaper VZGLYAD. Roshchin said that, at this stage, the compromise consists precisely in getting Sarraj and Haftar to the negotiating table. However, the implementation of such agreements between Russia and Turkey will hit U.S. interests, Russian experts say. "Washington is not against Sarraj or Haftar. But Washington doesn't like the Russians working with Haftar. That's why he met with the Americans in November, explaining his position to them," Kirill Semenov recalled. “It should also be borne in mind that Haftar retained [his] American citizenship, he lived in the USA for a long time and has always been associated with the Americans. Therefore, they are trying to maintain their leverage, fearing Moscow's excessive strengthening in this Arab country,” the expert added. “And now the Americans are twice as dissatisfied: Moscow, in their opinion, is increasingly influencing Haftar, and Turkey, with which the Americans also have problems, is increasingly supporting Sarraj. In light of the aggravation of the relations between Washington, Moscow and Ankara, this is not a good sign for the Americans,” Semenov summed up. (Vz.ru, December 19, 2019) Read More: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated on Thursday his support for the Libyan National Army (LNA). Putin said that the situation in Libya must be resolved in a peaceful way. "We believe that any intervention by third countries in this situation is unlikely to contribute to a settlement, but any attempts by third countries to directly resolve the problem and help parties to the conflict come to a solution are always welcome," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry stressed. Turkey will send troops to Libya at the request of Tripoli as soon as next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan backs the GNA that is led by al-Sarraj. (Aawsat.com, December 26, 2019; read the full article) Russia-Belarus Relations Belarus President Lukashenko: We Have Not Drifted Far Away From Each Other In Economic, Political And Social Terms After The Breakup Of The Soviet Union (Source: Kremlin.ru) (Source: Kremlin.ru) On December 20, Putin met with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko ahead of the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. The two leaders met earlier on December 7, in Sochi. Putin: “Mr President, friends, We are happy to see you, this time in St Petersburg. “Today we have another important and pleasant event with our colleagues from integrational organizations. “Recently, on December 8, we marked the 20th anniversary of the Union Treaty. First of all I would like to note that although many things – we have spoken with you about this – have not been done under this treaty, there are significant results. “When we began this process, our bilateral trade was $9 billion. Today it amounts to $35.5. This is a significant result. Besides, there are issues resolved in the social spheres and people are getting good support. “And, of course, the experience we have acquired together, I mean between the two countries as part of this interstate building, is widely used in forming integrational organizations, such as the EAEU. So this also has a prolonged effect for us and our partners. “I know that our colleagues have been working actively since our previous meeting. We are very happy to see you so we can continue this discussion.” Lukashenko: “Yes, Mr President, a lot has been accomplished. “For some reason, we do not always say what has been accomplished, and how much has been accomplished. True, we have accomplished a lot in the social sector, for our people, but we can also boast many economic achievements as well. “You mentioned the main statistics, namely, trade volumes, but we have established a common defense infrastructure, as well as one for the operation of our secret services that maintain contacts. “We have always stated that we have no questions for our diplomatic agencies, and we have a common border and a joint customs system in the west. Today, 110 million tons of freight are delivered from the east to the west and vice versa via Belarus. “We have a joint customs system, a common border, a joint air defense system, and Russia and Belarus have established a joint army group in the western sector. “Russia has no problems overflying Belarus, and we always provide decent air traffic control. Belarus and Russia have never had any disagreements on air traffic matters. Our airports in Moscow and Minsk and elsewhere function very efficiently. They also cooperate well with our regions. “In addition, as I have already mentioned to you, our company, Belarusneft, has resumed operations in Russia and already provides services to various companies. It not only reactivates old fields using various technologies; Belarusneft has been going strong since the Soviet era. It already produces oil in the Russian Federation together with other companies. In other words, there is huge progress in the economy. “Speaking of people, Belarus now buys Russian-made raw materials and components. Over ten million Russians work at Russian companies with which Belarusian companies maintain contacts. Speaking of families, we usually multiply by four. Just imagine, how many people are involved in our mutual trade and joint co-production arrangements. “Therefore, generally speaking, we have not drifted far away from each other in economic, political and social terms after the breakup of the Soviet Union. This, too, is a major achievement of this Treaty. We have failed to implement its provisions, but we have not drifted away completely, as is the case in Russia’s relations with other former Soviet republics, and not just the three Baltic states and Ukraine. This is what we have accomplished in the past few years. “As you have noted correctly, we have a lot of work to do.” (Kremlin.ru, December 20, 2019) Belarus Expert Bolkunets: Lukashenko Is Crossing Some Boundaries On December 24, in an interview with the Echo of Moskow radio station, Belarus President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Moscow every year “puts pressure” on Minsk and “tightens the grip”. In addition, he noted that, to date, the trade deficit between the two countries has reached $ 9 billion, and compared the situation to the US-Chinese trade conflict. Belarusian political analyst Dmitry Bolkunets, in an interview with "Evening Moscow", commented on Lukashenko's remarks. According to Bolkunets, Lukashenko is crossing some boundaries and barriers in his statements, which doesn't reinforce his position, but on the contrary his behavior shows his weakness as a country's leader. Contrary to Lukashenko's alarm about a loss of sovereignty, Bolkunets claims that the terms currently being discussed within the framework of the Union State are aimed at strengthening Belarusian sovereignty, and not at weakening it. He then added that when Lukashenko is in Russia, he never makes scandals - he behaves peacefully, smiles and is tactful. (Vm.ru, December 24, 2019) Lukashenko On Belarus’ Sovereignty In the interview with editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station Aleksei Venediktov on 24 December, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on Belarus’s sovereignty. Asked whether Belarus' sovereignty is threatened right now, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the country is in the focus of many events and parties working at cross-purposes. “All interests interlace here these days. From the west to the east (and not only Russian ones), from the south to the north. This is the situation we have. And while we are in this cauldron, we have to act carefully and precisely to avoid getting boiled. It is the problem I have to deal with. And you criticize me for turning either to the west or the east. Let me tell you that I turn to neither. Here is the land god has given us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko said he does not feel some growing threat to Belarus' sovereignty. He explained that no one wants to threaten Belarus' sovereignty because the interests of global players will be affected. “Is it a threat from the side of Russia as some say? Does Russia need another headache in this situation? It doesn't. Certainly, Russia will act gently and carefully,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes. “If Russia tries to violate our sovereignty, you know how not only the international community will react. It will get involved in a war. The West and NATO will not tolerate it because they will deem it as a threat. They will be right to some extent in this regard.” On the other hand, if the West wants to capture or subdue Belarus, it will be deemed as a threat to Russia's sovereignty. “There is a difference between small-range and medium-range rockets deployed near Smolensk and the same rockets deployed far away in Poland,” the head of state noted. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that only economic hardships may pose a genuine threat to his country's sovereignty. “When the state of economy gets terrible, when people cannot live with it,” he said. (Belta.by, December 24, 2019) Lukashenko Describes Belarus As Russia's Outpost Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I said this at our latest meeting. I said that we are Russia's outpost. I asked the president [Vladimir Putin] the question: do you really think we will let tanks go towards Moscow should they decide to invade. Of course I am speaking figuratively here. They do not use tanks for warfare today. They do not start with tanks, tanks are used later.” “But should anyone want to get into some fighting with Russia, we will not stay away”, Lukashenko emphasized.” (Belta.by, December 24, 2019) Lukashenko On Ukraine I do not see Ukraine's possible accession to NATO as a potential threat to Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in the interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station. “I do not see it that way. I have already told Putin about this and I will tell you: the biggest threat to Russia, as far as Ukraine is concerned, will not be accession to NATO, but if the ‘nazis' as you brand them will come to power and get their hands on all the weapons and ammunition. I certainly do not agree with the way you call them. I do not want to insult anyone. Everyone has their own concepts. But you know these radical national forces in Ukraine. This will be scarier for you than NATO. You think about it. It is a dangerous thing," the Belarusian leader said. (Belta.by, December 24, 2019) Read More: ‘Russia Is a Part of Belarus,’ President Lukashenko Quips. (Themoscowtimes.com, December 25, 2019; read the full article) Belarus serves as Russia's outpost, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in an interview with editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station Aleksei Venediktov on 24 December. (Belta.by, December 26, 2019; watch the video) Editor-in-Chief of the radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) Aleksei Venediktov said that, during the interview, Aleksandr Lukashenko presented his view on further integration in the Union State of Belarus and Russia in detail and sincerely. In particular, he said that the interview will help change the Russian public's inaccurate perception of Aleksandr Lukashenko as a capricious leader. “This is quite a popular belief not only among the general public but the elite as well. Because when disputes happen, the stance moves all the time and the actions may seem capricious. The Belarus president has presented his views in no-nonsense terms now,” the journalist noted. (Belta.by, December 24, 2019; read the full article) Izvestia: Russia, Belarus set sights on signing integration deal by early 2020. (Tass.com, December 27, 2019; read the full article) Meeting Of The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (Source: Kremlin.ru) On December 20, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, First President of Kazakhstan and Honorary Chairman of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov held a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, in St. Petersburg. The President of Moldova Igor Dodon also attended the meeting in an expanded format. In 2020, the rotating Presidency of the EAEU will pass from Armenia to Belarus. Watch Video: More Integration and More Subsidies: Putin’s Negotiates New Deal With Belarus’ Lukashenko. (Vesti, December 23, 2019; watch the video) Head Of The Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin: Putin Saved Russia's Economy Alexei Kudrin (Source: Silaedinstva.ru) Alexei Kudrin, head of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to create reserve funds actually saved the country's economy. Putin gave this order in 2008, when he was serving as prime minister [and Kudrin served as finance minister\. According to Kudrin, Putin was the only one who supported the idea of organizing the Stabilization Fund, then the Reserve Fund, then the National Heritage Fund, Kudrin opined that these measures helped resolve the crisis that engulfed the country in 2008-2009. “In this sense, it is to his credit in many respects, despite the fact that we came up with it or we thought it through, nevertheless, it was created only thanks to his political will,” Kudrin noted. Kudrin noted that thanks to the funds, the level of wages remained at the same level and did not fall, while the size of pensions doubled. The Russian government has accumulated significant reserves in the Stabilization Fund at the beginning of the financial crisis. In 2008, it was decided to divide the fund into the Reserve and National Wealth funds. It was at the expense of the Reserve Fund that the authorities managed to support the economy and fulfill all the budget obligations. By 2018, the Reserve Fund was completely exhausted. Currently, the authorities are redirecting all additional oil and gas revenues to the National Welfare Fund, which acts as a “safety cushion” for the budget. According to the Ministry of Finance of Russia, total reserves in the National Welfare Fund reached 7.9 trillion rubles ($ 124 billion) as of December 1, 2019. (Vm.ru, December 25, 2019; Rt.com, December 25, 2019) WWII – Putin: ‘But What Did The Other Countries Do, Poland, For Example? They Actually Conspired With Hitler’ (Source: Kremlin.ru) On December 24, Vladimir Putin took part in the Defense Ministry Board meeting held at the National Defense Control Centre. During the Defense Ministry Board meeting, Putin also discussed the role of European countries in WWII. Commenting on Poland, Putin used strong words to criticize the Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany, Josef Lipski, who backed Hitler in 1938. “That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig – I have no other words,” Putin said referring to Lipski. Putin said: “… The USSR was the last country in Europe to sign the Treaty of Non-aggression with Germany. The last. All the other leading European countries did this before the Soviet Union. Yes, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (let me remind you that Ribbentrop was Germany’s foreign minister, and Molotov was the foreign minister and chairman of the Council of Ministers) was signed, and there was also a secret protocol which defined the spheres of influence. “But what have the European countries been doing before that? The same! They had all done the same thing, starting in 1938, when Hitler claimed part of Czechoslovakia, and Great Britain and France turned their backs on their ally, although France had a treaty of mutual assistance with Czechoslovakia. Thus Hitler got a chance to seize part of the country. “But what did the other countries do, Poland, for example? They actually conspired with Hitler. This much is directly evident from the documents – from archive documents. Another question is whether there were any secret annexes or not – but it doesn’t matter. It is important how they acted. They acted in collusion for certain – just from the documents on how they negotiated. And at the so-called Munich Conference, Hitler directly represented the interests of Poland, and partly of Hungary. He directly represented their interests, and then he said to the Poles: It was so difficult to defend your interests, you know. We have it all in the documents. Thank God, we have enough archival documents that we attained as trophies from the European countries after World War II. “But that’s not all. What really hit me hard, I’m telling you honestly, was how Hitler and the official representatives of Poland discussed the so-called Jewish problem. Hitler told the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and later bluntly said to the Polish Ambassador to Germany that he had a plan to send the Jewish population to Africa, to the colonies. Imagine, in 1938, to expel Jews from Europe to Africa. [This meant] sending them to their extermination, to destruction. “And here is what the Polish ambassador wrote to the Polish Foreign Minister, Mr Beck: When I heard this, he wrote, I responded (to Hitler, he means), that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him (to Hitler) in Warsaw. That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig – I have no other words. He was in complete solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic sentiment and, moreover, he proposed erecting a monument to Hitler in Warsaw for persecuting the Jewish people. And he wrote to his patron, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, apparently hoping for understanding and approval. He would not have written this without a reason. “I won’t go into more detail now, but in any case, I want to emphasize again: we have enough materials to prevent anyone from corrupting the memory of our fathers, our grandfathers, and all those who gave their lives for the victory over Nazism. “I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces.” (Kremlin.ru, December 24, 2019) Putin: The West Tries To Catch Up With Us; Not A Single Country Possesses Hypersonic Weapons, Let Alone Continental-Range Hypersonic Weapons; We already have Kinzhal And Peresvet (Source: Kremlin.ru) During the Defense Ministry Board Meeting, Putin then added: “Here is what I would like to say in this regard, which I think is critically important. Please note: neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia have ever tried to create a threat to other countries. We were always catching up in this regard. The United States created the atomic bomb, and the Soviet Union caught up with it. We did not have nuclear weapon delivery vehicles or carriers. There was no such thing as strategic aviation, and the Soviet Union was catching up in this area, as well. The first intercontinental missiles actually were not built here, and the Soviet Union was trying to catch up. “Today, we have a unique situation in our new and recent history. They try to catch up with us. Not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons. We already have Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile systems in the field, and Peresvet laser combat systems have already been deployed with the troops as well. “The Minister just told us that we have begun to equip the first regiment of the Strategic Missile Forces with the latest Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. Work on other systems is underway, including Sarmat boosted intercontinental ballistic missile; Zircon ground- and sea-based hypersonic rockets; the Poseidon UUV; and the Burevestnik nuclear-armed cruise missile. “Other systems have been fielded as well, including the ones that were tested during various exercises and in combat conditions in Syria, such as Kalibr cruise missiles. “There are also other technologies. They are not covered much in the media, but they do exist, are sent to the army and are operational. “In this regard, I would like to say that even though we spend much less than other countries (we rank 7th at this point, the Minister said, and could even slide to the 9th), this does not mean that we are ready to compromise our combat readiness. No. All we are doing we are doing according to a plan. “At one of the board meetings I deliberately said, and maybe someone in the audience remembers it; I would like to repeat what I said back then. I didn’t say it accidentally. I said it because it represents our competitive advantage and it is about our ability to maintain the defense capability we need. What exactly will help us move forward? I said then literally the following: brains, intelligence, better organization of work, minimizing theft and negligence, and concentrating efforts on key areas will lead us to a high state of defense capability.) (Kremlin.ru, December 24, 2019; read the full transcript) Watch Video: Putin Commits to New Nuclear Weapons Development - Russian Missiles Now Superior to US! “Russia will develop its nuclear forces until the world begins working on new agreements on arms control. That's what Vladimir Putin promised today. “The President held an expanded meeting of the panel of the Ministry of Defense. One of the main results of the passing year — The share of modern arms in the nuclear triad has amounted to 82%. Already entering into service are the Avangard hypersonic glide systems, against which no aggressors will be able to defend themselves in the foreseeable future. That's exactly what domestic arms must be like — the best in the world.” (Vesti, December 25, 2019; watch the video) First regiment of Avangard hypersonic missile systems goes on combat duty in Russia. (Tass.com, December 27, 2019; read the full article) Nord Stream 2 Russian FM Sergey Lavrov: The Construction Of The Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Is Nearing Completion, Which Is Why Its Opponents Have Redoubled Their Efforts To Derail It In an interview with Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency on December 27, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov discussed Nord Stream 2. Question: “The end of the year has witnessed a resumption of activities by the opponents of Nord Stream 2. Could this project be derailed? Considering the unbalanced position of our Western partners, should Russia plan a radical diversification of its hydrocarbon export routes? Is China considered as the most attractive alternative to Europe?” Sergey Lavrov: “The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is nearing completion, which is why its opponents have redoubled their efforts to derail it. The addition of sanctions to the US 2020 National Defense Authorization Act is shameless interference in the affairs of European businesses. Some US senators have openly threatened the management of the companies involved in the project. The aim of this is not the protection of European energy security, which Nord Stream 2 will strengthen, but furthering the interests of US LNG on the European market. It is a shocking example of unfair competition and politicization of energy relations. “We have no doubt, however, that the gas pipeline will be completed even despite this pressure. Europe is aware of the advantages of an alternative export route, although some countries are willing to work for their overseas curators even to the detriment of their own energy security and the prosperity of their citizens, which is regrettable. “Europe so far remains the biggest market for our gas; we deliver some 200 billion cubic meters of gas there annually. At the same time, we are expanding our energy cooperation with Asian-Pacific countries, where the demand for hydrocarbons continues to grow. In early December of this year, we launched the Power of Siberia pipeline, which will be used to deliver up to 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China every year. We are working with our Western partners to develop Arctic resources, including within the framework of the Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2 projects. We are developing the transport logistics of the Northern Sea Route so as to ensure the export of Russian energy to Asia Pacific countries. “Russia will continue to diversify its hydrocarbon export routes.” (Mid.ru, December 27, 2019) News in Brief: Information Warfare The US Cyber Command (CyberCom) is working on information warfare tactics that could be used to counter allegedly possible Russian interference in the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported. (Sputniknews.com, December 12, 2019; read the full article) START 3 Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that Russia had officially sent the US a proposal to “immediately” resume negotiations for extending START-3. (Vm.ru, December 26, 2019; read the full article in Russian) Defense In Severodvinsk, a new submarine of the Yasen-M project was launched. It's the RFS Novosibirsk, a 4th generation nuclear cruiser. The solemn ceremony took place at the Sevmash facility where they built it. (Vesti, December 26, 2019; watch the video) The Ministry of Defense has published the footage of the testing of the new Gibka-S mobile air defense missile system. (Vesti, December 26, 2019, watch the video) BRICS Russia will assume presidency of the BRICS international association on January 1, 2020. (Mid.ru, December 26, 2019; read the full statement) Russia-Israel Relations Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israeli side's initiative. The leaders discussed current issues on the regional agenda, as well as certain aspects of bilateral relations in the context of the President of Russia’s visit to Israel scheduled for January 2020. (Kremlin.ru, December 26, 2019; read the full statement) National Projects Demographics is Key to Survival! Putin Expects National Project Indexes to Be Reached! “There won't be any relaxation in the requirements to fulfill the national projects. Target indexes should be reached to their full extent at every point. This is what Vladimir Putin stated today when he summed up the results of the first year of the implementation of the national development goals. Industrial exports are $8 billion less than planned. The mortality rate is going down slower than announced. Only a quarter of the funds allocated to the digital economy have been spent. Some officials aren't used to working at such pace, the President pointed out.” (Vesti, December 27, 2019; watch the video)

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