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Khamenei’s War Aims

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting via video conference with people from East Azarbaijan in Tehran, Iran, February 17, 2022. Photo: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

JNS.orgI’m sure you’ve heard commentators describe the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel as “rivals” engaged in a “tit-for-tat” conflict. That misinterprets reality.

Ali Khamenei, Iran’s “supreme leader” since 1989, seeks to establish a new Middle Eastern empire.

Israelis, by contrast, only want to survive as an independent nation within a slice of their ancient Jewish homeland.

They would like nothing better than to enjoy amicable relations with Iranians, as they did prior to Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979.

I should add: Substantial evidence suggests that most Iranians do not hate Israelis. Nor would most Iranians suffer under the jackboot of an antisemitic, misogynist, coercively religious ruling class if they had a choice.

As for the fate Khamenei envisions for Israelis, we saw a preview on Oct. 7.

Genocide is what he indisputably intends.

Apologists for Tehran insist that its proxy, Hamas, gleefully burned babies and raped young women to “resist Israeli occupation.” That would be a despicable claim even if the Israeli government had not withdrawn every last Jew from Gaza in 2005.

Two years after that, Hamas established a dictatorship and began not infrequently launching rockets at Israelis. Israel’s missile defense systems prevented most of those weapons from reaching their intended victims.

Israelis also constructed a high-tech border fence that, they were confident, would keep them secure on the ground.

Most Israelis have now come to realize that “deterrence by denial”—a purely defensive posture—allowed Hamas’ threat to metastasize. They now see the necessity for the imposition of significant costs on aggressors—“deterrence by punishment.”

On April 1, an Israeli air strike killed Mohammad Reza Zahedi, an Iranian general deployed to Damascus to assist Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Shi’ite militias in Syria, as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. He reportedly was involved in the Oct. 7 attacks.

In retaliation, Iran’s rulers on April 14 launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel—the first time they had ever attacked Israel not using proxies but from Iranian soil.

The attack failed thanks to the air-defense capabilities of Israel, the United States and other countries.

After that, President Biden urged Israelis to “take the win”—to be satisfied with deterrence by denial. But that would have been an invitation to Tehran to try, try again.

So, on April 19, Khamenei’s 85th birthday, Israel hit targets close to a nuclear facility and an airbase in Isfahan, in central Iran. Russian-built S-300 missile defense systems proved ineffective.

The damage was not extensive—it wasn’t intended to be—but the message was loud and clear: You attacked us, and our shield stopped you. Now you have felt the tip of our sword, which you cannot block.

This long war is far from over.

In that regard, recall that soon after entering the White House in 2009, Barack Obama stated plainly, as had previous presidents, Democrats and Republicans, that the United States has “core national security interests in making sure that Iran doesn’t possess a nuclear weapon and it stops exporting terrorism outside of its borders.”

He set out to achieve that goal with many carrots and few sticks. “We have provided a path whereby Iran can reach out to the international community, engage, and become a part of international norms,” he said. “It is up to them to make a decision as to whether they choose that path.”

What followed, as former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren noted in an essay last week in The Free Press, was “a relentless spate of Iranian aggressions,” including attacks on U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf, support for Al-Qaeda, and attempts to “assassinate the Saudi and Israeli ambassadors (including me)” in Washington, D.C.

Oren added: “Most egregiously, Iran constructed secret underground nuclear facilities and developed an intercontinental ballistic missile delivery system.”

President Obama’s response was the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which failed to “make sure” that the jihadist regime would never “possess a nuclear weapon” it could use to threaten “Death to Israel” and “Death to America!”

Instead, the JCPOA provided economic benefits to Iran’s leaders in exchange for their vague promise to make progress more slowly on their nuclear weapons program.

They were not asked to curb their development of missiles and support for terrorists.

Three years later, President Trump withdrew from that deal and imposed sanctions that debilitated Iran’s economy. But when Joe Biden moved into the White House in 2021, he attempted to revive Obama’s deal in an even weaker form.

He has since provided Khamenei with billions in funds that had been frozen, allowed some sanctions to expire and failed to enforce others. He has made no serious effort to block Iranian oil sales.

Nor has he held Khamenei responsible for deploying Shi’ite militias to attack American bases in the Middle East, or for providing weapons and other assistance to Tehran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen, who have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea.

Almost all of Khamenei’s nuclear advances—and there have been many—have occurred during the Biden administration.

Last Friday, the foreign ministers of the G-7 (the United States and six other Western nations) released a statement asserting their “determination that Iran must never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon.”

It’s doubtful that those words on paper prompted Khamenei to reassess his grand ambition to establish a nuclear-armed, anti-American empire in league with the nuclear-armed, anti-American regimes in Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang.

He continues to regard the Jewish state as a cancer to be extirpated.

That’s why what we’re witnessing is no rivalry or game of tit for tat. It’s a battle in a long war, one that will shape the world our children inherit.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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