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Iran Was Sent a Message with Assassination of IRGC Senior Leader

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran, Iran, June 21, 2023. Photo: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA via Reuters – The importance of killing Gen. Sayyed Razi Mousavi on Dec. 25—a senior leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—goes beyond the importance of the man himself. It shows that Israel, which has been blamed for the assassination, has decided to step up its struggle not only against Iran’s proxies in the region but against Iran itself.

Mousavi was more than a mid-level commander in the IRGC. He was involved in smuggling weapons from Iran, manufacturing weapons in Syria, and transferring funds to Hezbollah and the Shi’ite militias operating under Iran’s auspices in Syria.

His rank (equivalent to brigadier general) and role were less about his importance and power than his proximity to IRGC Quds Force power centers, especially the most legendary among them, the former Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a January 2020 American strike in Baghdad.

Israel has been blamed for taking out various Iranian figures in Syria. Sometimes, these were targeted killings meant to exact a price from Iran for its activity in the region; sometimes they were a byproduct of attacking weapons warehouses or infrastructure that also housed Iranian civilians or operatives.

From reports coming out of Damascus on Dec. 25, this seems to have been a targeted killing whose dual purpose was to both get rid of the man himself and send a deterrent message to Tehran.

Overt ambiguity

Ever since the Oct. 7 attack on the northwestern Negev, Iran has significantly increased its aggression against Israel. It assists Hamas in various ways, mainly financially, but also in frequent meetings with the organization’s external leadership, and it is an active partner in the rocket attacks Hezbollah is carrying out against Israel from Lebanon.

Iran’s proxies have also operated from Syria on several occasions, and parallel groups have arrived from Iraq to reinforce activity on the Syria-Lebanon border. Another active arena is Yemen, where the Houthis rely on Iranian weapons and guidance to act against Israel by firing cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and by attempting to strike Israeli vessels in the southern Red Sea.

In response, Israel has been careful to remain ambiguous regarding its actions against Iran, so as not to be dragged into a direct confrontation. This has presumably been why there have been airstrikes against several targets related to smuggling and weapons manufacturing in Syria, and an apparent cyberattack last week that shut down most gas stations in Iran.

That attack was attributed to Israel, even though an organization called Predatory Sparrow claimed responsibility.

While Israel has once again avoided taking responsibility for the Mousavi assassination, no one in the region doubts who is responsible for it. This matter also requires re-examination: Until now, Israel has operated within the CBM framework (the Campaign Between Wars) in an attempt to keep hostilities below the threshold of war.

In an era where overt war is being waged in the north and south and where Iran is using many tools at its disposal to challenge Israel, we must examine whether the time has come to remove some of that ambiguity in order to enhance deterrence.

A decision is required

Israel and Iran have been fighting each other in various ways for nearly three decades. Until the events of Oct. 7, Iran bled more than Israel in every possible arena. Hamas’ attack and the regional conflict that developed in its wake changed that picture. Today, it’s Israel that is bleeding, among other things, due to overt encouragement and assistance from Iran, while Iran itself pays a negligible price on its own soil.

It is likely that Monday’s assassination, which Iran attributes to Israel, was meant to send Tehran the message that Israel’s patience is running out. It is not certain that the message was fully received; in fact, the strike may have led Iran to ramp up its activity and also try to exact a price from Israelis and Jews worldwide.

This is a constant Iranian effort taking place across dozens of locations worldwide, which has so far been thwarted thanks to impressive activity by Mossad and various security services.

Therefore, it seems Israel will soon need to have a real discussion: whether to openly strike Iran on its territory. This is a complex decision with costs in every possible aspect—security, political, economic and regional—but it also has real potential to deter Tehran, or at least cause it to deal more with defense and less with offense.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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Brian Mulroney (1939-2024) was a steadfast supporter of Israel and the Jewish community

World Jewish Congress honoured him with the Herzl Award last November.

The post Brian Mulroney (1939-2024) was a steadfast supporter of Israel and the Jewish community appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Quebec officially opened a representative office in Tel Aviv after months of war-related delay—with Israeli consul general Paul Hirschson greeting director Alik Hakobyan

Quebec’s representative office is opening in Tel Aviv this week, after months of delay, caused by the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and the subsequent war. Alik Hakobyan, who is the director of the office, had been operating the bureau in Montreal but officially moved to Israel this week to continue his work with the bureau. […]

The post Quebec officially opened a representative office in Tel Aviv after months of war-related delay—with Israeli consul general Paul Hirschson greeting director Alik Hakobyan appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Uncommitted: Rashida Tlaib Refuses to Say Whether She Will Support Biden in November

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listen as Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on “Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) refused to say earlier this week if she planned to vote for her party’s incumbent, President Joe Biden, in the 2024 election.

During a press conference where she and other members of the so-called  far-left “Squad”, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY),  were calling for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, Tlaib did not comment when asked if she would be voting for Biden in November.

Tlaib is the only Palestinian-American member of Congress and also represents the most Arab district in the country.

During this week’s Michigan primary, she supported the campaign to vote “uncommitted” rather than for Biden, in protest of his pro-Israel stance since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack.

While she would not answer what she plans to do in November, when asked about others who voted “uncommitted,” she told them, “Don’t stay home,” adding, “One thing that I know about staying home is you’re making us more invisible. I want you to exercise your right to vote, I really mean this. But also think of the whole ballot.” 

She urged people to “not always think about that top of that ticket.”

In 2020, she did not endorse Biden, but did campaign against Trump.

During this week’s primary, more than 100,000 people cast an “uncommitted” ballot, making up 13.2 percent of the vote. If a sizable portion of that group decides not to vote for Biden in November, it has the possibility of tipping the state and election toward his opponent — which is likely going to be former President Donald Trump. In 2016, Trump beat Clinton in the state by only about 10,700 votes.

In Tlaib’s district, about 17 percent of people voted “uncommitted,” and 78 percent voted for Biden.

For context, in the 2012 primaries, just over 10 percent of Michigan voters cast an “uncommitted” ballot against former President Barack Obama. However, in raw numbers, it was only about 20,000 people.

Tlaib was clear that she wanted to avoid a second Trump term, saying “I am incredibly, incredibly scared of a second Trump term, and I think it’s really important to emphasize this.” She continued: “Right now, our democracy is at stake. Many of us are saying change course because you’re threatening our democracy.”

During the press conference, Tlaib emphasized that she was not pushing for a temporary ceasefire with Hamas but rather a permanent one.

“A temporary ceasefire isn’t enough,” she said.

Critics of her approach point out that such a solution would allow Hamas to remain in power and would likely leave some number of hostages in the hands of Hamas as well — neither of which is conducive to short or long-term peace.

In recent months, Tlaib has strongly spoken out against Biden’s Israel policy. In November, she said “Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

Then, this week, she said “Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot about how the president and his administration are concerned and troubled by the Israeli government’s actions. We’re here to tell him, so are we.” 

“And yet again, once again, we are continuing though to veto resolutions at the United Nations for the third time calling for immediate, lasting ceasefire,” she lamented.

The post Uncommitted: Rashida Tlaib Refuses to Say Whether She Will Support Biden in November first appeared on

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