Pompeo says U.S. is ‘working to get every nation to recognize Israel,’ hints Sudan could be next

By Jennie Taer

During Wednesday’s State Department press briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo teased that Sudan could be the next country to sign a deal to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. Pompeo also revealed that the U.S. is moving to lift the state sponsorship of terror designation still imposed against Sudan.

The Trump administration recently brokered similar deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel, dubbed “The Abraham Accords.” The two gulf countries signed deals with Israel at the White House last month, signaling a “new era of Middle East Peace.” A delegation from Sudan was reportedly in attendance at the signing ceremony.

Undecided voters pan Harris’ ‘condescending reactions’ as both sides claim win in VP debate

“I might get #cancelled for this, but my undecided focus group doesn’t like how Kamala Harris interacts with her opponent. We saw this in the Dem debates – she is applauded for her knowledge, but they just don’t like her ‘condescending reactions.’  #VPDebate” — Pollster Frank Luntz

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/undecided-voters-pan-harris-condescending-reactions-vp-debate-partisans

Middle East

Iran backs Azerbaijan, sends arms to Armenia

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Iran like Turkey consistently supports Azerbaijan, the fourth Shiite Islamic majority nation in the world, while refraining from roundly condemning Christian Armenia, at a time that the two Caucasian nations are locked in fierce combat over the Nagorno Karabakh enclave. The fighting this week escalated to reciprocal attacks on their major cities.

Iran, whose supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an ethnic Azeri, is home to four Azeri-speaking northwestern provinces, to which some separatist extremists refer as “South Azerbaijan.” Encouraging them could spark secessionist movements among Iran’s other minority groups.  So while Iranian officials have voiced support for Azerbaijan’s integrity – Nagorno Karabakh was internationally recognized as part of its territory although the majority of it population are Armenian Christians – they did not echo Azeri lawmakers in Tehran, who this week accused Armenia of forming “an evil Islamophobic trio in the region” with Israel and the United States.
Condemning Armenia as the aggressor would present Tehran with another problem: its clandestine supply of arms to Azerbaijan’s enemy. Video footage of Iranian arms trucks in Karabakh last April evoked strong denials in Tehran as being “utterly false,” after raising hackles in Baku. In the current outbreak, Iran was accused of allowing the transit of Russian arms to Armenia through its East Azerbaijan Province. This prompted another denial. Iran and Armenia are moreover long trade partners, and Tehran looks after important Armenian churches in the Azeri northwest.

Caught in the middle, Tehran has not surprisingly joined US, Russian and French calls for a ceasefire in the hostilities which erupted last month.

Those hostilities intensified this week, Nagorno-Karabakh claimed to have destroyed Azerbaijan’s military airport in Ganja, a city of 300,000 after its own town of Stepanakert was hit by enemy missiles. Both reported heavy casualties including many civilians.

Turkey had no qualms about accusing Armenia of “targeting civilians” in Ganja, after reportedly sending fighters from its Syrian proxy rebel groups to fight for Azerbaijan. Over and above Erdogan’s Islamic leadership pretentions, his stake in the former Soviet republic is substantial, two pipelines run from Baku’s oilfields into Turkey for re-export to Europe. It is also Ankara’s only supplier of gas.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-3622156405313063&output=html&h=280&slotname=52a34ab.929a8b4&adk=1044004821&adf=3578372130&w=336&lmt=1601905234&psa=1&guci=2.2.0.0.2.2.0.0&format=336×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.debka.com%2Firan-backs-azerbaijan-sends-arms-to-armenia%2F&flash=0&wgl=1&adsid=ChEI8Ijr-wUQ-tbZpKGypfbzARJMAJDJqXpbieMDWIzjvPzC-uRiHrhLWYA4x3duk91ZRrsnjn2UvO1Loz0jbt5tDj4qtMDvxrw4o_PmPVDr9JRgdNg2eKiqCKSjjMO5eQ&tt_state=W3siaXNzdWVyT3JpZ2luIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly9hZHNlcnZpY2UuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbSIsInN0YXRlIjowfV0.&dt=1601905234468&bpp=7&bdt=69954&idt=9&shv=r20201001&cbv=r20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D65f42ee5ff9fdf30%3AT%3D1594140752%3AS%3DALNI_MaO8c5YlgPjOBmiKHDz2L3vLVkJMg&prev_fmts=310×250%2C1140x280%2C0x0&nras=1&correlator=7906383629948&frm=20&pv=2&ga_vid=1252520059.1594140753&ga_sid=1601905165&ga_hid=1271778326&ga_fc=0&iag=0&icsg=2252352258047998&dssz=108&mdo=0&mso=0&u_tz=-240&u_his=6&u_java=0&u_h=768&u_w=1360&u_ah=728&u_aw=1360&u_cd=24&u_nplug=3&u_nmime=4&adx=457&ady=1660&biw=1343&bih=625&scr_x=0&scr_y=1547&eid=20207460%2C21067466%2C21067603&oid=3&pvsid=1296942216651832&pem=151&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.debka.com%2F&rx=0&eae=0&fc=896&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1360%2C0%2C1360%2C728%2C1360%2C625&vis=1&rsz=%7Co%7CoeE%7C&abl=NS&pfx=0&fu=8192&bc=31&jar=2020-10-04-18&ifi=10&uci=a!a&fsb=1&xpc=Dykj2OFygb&p=https%3A//www.debka.com&dtd=30

Russia is a traditional ally of Armenia and maintains a large military base in that country.

Azerbaijan acknowledged using Israel-made drones in the fighting, with “devastating effect.” According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel sold Azerbaijan some $825 million worth of weapons between 2006 and 2019. Those exports included drones, loitering munitions, anti-tank missiles, and a surface-to-air missile system.

Azerbaijan’s ties with Israel are another factor in Tehran’s preference for a truce in the conflict. Iran certainly does not want to see Israel’s influence taking root near its borders.

Turkey

Turkish president Erdogan implied today in his speech that Jerusalem belongs to Turkey, referring to the Ottoman Empire’s control over the city for much of the modern era. @BeholdIsrael

Middl East

Syrian report: The Iranian Revolutionary Guard transferred today major forces from Iraq to the Imam Ali base in Al-Bukamal, Syria: 12 trucks with heavy and light weapons, 5 military vehicles with machine guns, as well as three buses with fighters, arrived at the main base. @BeholdIsrael.com

Iraqi Prime Minister

The new Iraqi prime minister just landed in Washington DC and wa a received with the highest honors. Prior to his landing he made it clear that he is interested in strong US Iraq relations. His words sent Iran to order it’s militia forces to attack several times US bases in Iraq. @BeholdIsrael

Navarro: Chinese Citizens Recruited By CCP To Operate As Pro-Biden Online ‘Troll Army’ To Influence 2020 Election

By Pamela Geller – on August 18, 2020

Democrat party of treason. Any enemy of America is a friend of theirs.

Navarro: Chinese Citizens Recruited By CCP To Operate As Pro-Biden Online ‘Troll Army’ To Influence 2020 Election

By: Sara Carter, Aug 17, 2020

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC Squawk Box hosts that China is recruiting and paying over a million citizens to monitor and influence the U.S. 2020 presidential election process Monday. He described the Wu Mao army, as an online “troll army” aimed at getting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden elected in November.

He also discussed President Donald Trump’s push against the Chinese owned and popular app TikTok, citing the extensive ability of communist China to collect communications data on American citizens.

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC Squawk Box hosts that China is recruiting and paying over a million citizens to monitor and influence the U.S. 2020 presidential election process Monday. He described the Wu Mao army, as an online “troll army” aimed at getting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden elected in November.

He also discussed President Donald Trump’s push against the Chinese owned and popular app TikTok, citing the extensive ability of communist China to collect communications data on American citizens.

Navarro’s warnings are buttressed off of recent U.S. intelligence reports suggesting not only is Russia targeting the elections but so is China, along with other nefarious state actors, such as Iran. One former U.S. military intelligence official told me “China is a very serious concern because they have a vested interest now to work against Trump – his trade deal and actions regarding Hong Kong are several reasons.”

Navarro said the Chinese government is “clearly buying their time waiting for the election hoping Joe Biden will get elected. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Wu Mao army?” http://www.geller report.com

Islamist Group Arrests Syrian Christian Teacher for Refusing to Give Up His School

An Islamist rebel group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and backed by Turkey has arrested a Christian Syrian teacher for refusing to surrender his school building for Islamic training.

Radwan Muhammad, 40, is the headmaster of a school in a northwestern Syrian village near the Afrin province.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that the arrest to place on July 30 after Muhammad told the Failaq al-Sham rebels, “I will hand you the building in one case only: if Jesus Christ comes down to earth again.”

Muhammad had another recent incident with the Islamist group after his wife, who had converted to Christianity, passed away. The group would not let her body be buried according to the local Christian traditions. 

Nihad Hassan, pastor of a Kurdish church in Beirut, Lebanon said, “We are extremely worried about Radwan’s life and well-being. He is being held at Failaq Al-Sham’s headquarters in Afrin and they may execute him. Those Islamist groups and their Turkish masters are walking in the footsteps of IS. In fact, many of their fighters are former IS and al Qaeda members.”

CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas called for an end to this persecution against Christians and also asked for Muhammad’s release.

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Turkey must stop the rebels and “immediately bring to an end all forms of violence and human rights abuses in the areas they control,” Thomas said. “We are deeply concerned for Mr. Muhammad’s welfare and we urge his abductors to release him immediately and without condition. We also urge the Turkish authorities to intervene.”

Israel-UAE Peace: Arabs Drop Yoke of the Palestinian Cause

And Israel starts to play the game on Mideast terms, leveraging its position for favorable outcomes Ryan Jones article from Israel Today

For decades the Palestinian nationalist cause has held the interests of the rest of the Arab world hostage. Everything was seen through the lens of “justice” for “Palestine,” but on such impossible terms that mutually beneficial partnerships had to be abandoned for the sake of toeing the party line.

To be sure, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are still employing the same rhetoric, stating that their decision to normalize relations with Israel is first and foremost a move to save the two-state solution and future Palestinian independence.

But as suggested yesterday by Dr. Anat Berko, a former Member of Knesset and counter-terrorism expert, the reality is that a growing number of Arabs states are tired of having their national interests play second fiddle to the Palestinian cause. (See: Saudi Arabia Turns Against the Palestinians and Arab States Quietly Back Israeli Annexation)

“The Emirates did not slink into an agreement with Israel, but released themselves from the Palestinian ‘occupation’ of their national interests,” said Dr. Berko in a Facebook response to the bellyaching of Arab Member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka over the UAE announcement. “The Arab states,” added Berko, “are simply tired of waiting on the Palestinians to agree to some arrangement that doesn’t include the destruction” of Israel. She also noted that the Palestinians had made a major strategic error in aligning with Iran and Iran-backed proxies, which are the mortal enemies of the UAE and other Sunni Muslim states.

A convenient excuse?

As for the UAE, what does an independent Palestinian state do for them? Sure, they might genuinely want to see that eventual outcome, but there’s no point allowing the lack of a Palestinian state at this time to prevent them moving forward with a partnership that will greatly benefit both them and Israel.

That’s why, despite the UAE’s official statements, I agree with Dr. Berko that this decision was much more about regional stability, mutual economic benefit and allying against the Iranian threat than an act of service to the Palestinian cause.

Remember that in making this decision, the UAE abandoned all previous preconditions for peace set by the Arab world.

  • Israeli settlements remain in place in the “West Bank”;
  • The entirety of Jerusalem is firmly under Israeli control; and
  • No political party in Israel (except perhaps the Joint Arab List) is even entertaining the notion of a Palestinian “right of return.”

In effect, the UAE got nothing in return for agreeing to peace besides the vague (and perhaps temporary) promise that Israel won’t carry out an annexation that most believe wasn’t going to happen anyway. Oh, and it also got the aforementioned benefits of partnership with Israel.

Perhaps “stopping the annexation” was just a convenient excuse to finally make a diplomatic move the UAE has wanted to make for some time?