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Israel and US Blamed for Crisis in Lebanon and Iraq

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31 Oct 2019 (All day)
Israel and US Blamed for Crisis in Lebanon and Iraq
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke at graduation ceremonies for military officer cadets Wednesday, saying among other things that America and Israel are responsible for the street protests which have rocked Lebanon and Iraq in recent days. Iranian IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani reportedly led an emergency meeting of security officials in Baghdad, where he described the crackdown by Iranian forces which quelled popular protests in 2009, saying “We in Iran know how to deal with protests. This happened in Iran, and we got it under control.”

Israeli officials have also reacted to the crisis in its northern border, asking international donors to make sure the money they give for humanitarian aid does not benefit the Iranian-backed Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah and that it even be conditioned on the authorities in Beirut acting to reign in Hezbollah, something many analysts agree is an unrealistic expectation.

Jordan-Israel Ties Strained by Crisis Over Prisoners
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi announced on Tuesday that the Hashemite Kingdom is recalling its ambassador to Israel to protest against the detention of two Jordanian citizens by Israeli security services. “The king is in a difficult position,” said a Jordanian professional with close ties to the palace in Amman. “On the one hand, he’s facing pressure and criticism for failing to release (the prisoners). On the other hand, he’s trying to avert a further deterioration in relations between Jordan and Israel.”

“It would have been easier for all had Israel banned them from entering the West Bank or deported them shortly after interrogating them,” said a government official in Amman. “Holding them under administrative detention was a bad idea. In addition, Labadi’s hunger strike and reports about her deteriorating health condition are adding fuel to the fire. The only people who benefit from this crisis are the enemies of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.”

US-Turkey Ties Under Severe Pressure
The decades-long strategic ties between the US and Turkey frayed considerably this week as the US House overwhelmingly passed two bills which, respectively, recognized the massacre of Armenians in 1915 by the Ottoman regime as a “genocide” and sanctioned senior Turkish military officers and defense officials. Turkey’s parliament angrily denounced the bills, which most analysts agree would have been unthinkable not long ago but which are largely the result of Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish regions in northeast Turkey and its increasingly cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Here is a video of a recent think tank panel focusing on US-Turkey relations



Gulf Arabs Join US-led Iran Sanctions Regime
The U.S. Treasury Department issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that six US allies in the Middle East region have added their names to the list of countries sanctioning Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and it’s Lebanese Shi’ite proxy Hezbollah. The sanctions were declared to be “a powerful demonstration of Gulf unity," by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who added "This action demonstrates the unified position of the Gulf nations and the United States that Iran will not be allowed to escalate its malign activity in the region."

Brazilian-Israel Soccer Veterans Play Friendly Match
In yet another defeat for the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel, a friendly football (soccer) match was played in Haifa on Tuesday between two squads of all-stars from Brazil and Israel. The game ended with the Brazilian veterans on top 4-2 but the real winners were the fans and players who got to enjoy the game and the Holy Land. “Bringing together such influential global figures of the past and present proves that Israel is part of the world map,” Brazilian-born Mauro Rozenszajn, CEO of the Israeli company organizing the event, MTR7, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
 
Here is a video about the visit to Jerusalem by the Brazilian players

 

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