Latest Analysis and Commentary

Hamas: A New Pretext to Attack Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 8, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • These Hamas leaders, who have done virtually nothing to provide basic healthcare in the Gaza Strip, are now trying to hold Israel responsible for the shortage of the ventilators in Palestinian hospitals.

  • Since 2014, Hamas has invested about $120 million in the terror tunnels. According to various estimates, a terror tunnel costs anywhere from three to 10 million US dollars -- depending on its length and depth.

  • One might ask: What have Sinwar and other Hamas leaders done to help their hospitals and people in the past 12 years?... What about the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority government for the safety and health of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip?

On April 2, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar (right) threatened: "If ventilators are not brought to Gaza [by Israel], we will take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of six million settlers." (Photo by Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

The leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that has been controlling the Gaza Strip since 2007, say they are worried about the shortage of medical ventilators during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

These Hamas leaders, who have done virtually nothing to provide basic healthcare in the Gaza Strip, are now trying to hold Israel responsible for the shortage of ventilators in Palestinian hospitals.

Hamas leaders are, in fact, threatening to use terrorism to force Israel to provide the Gaza Strip with ventilators.

These are the same leaders who until recently were authorizing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israeli communities. These are the same leaders who never miss an opportunity to remind everyone of their wish to destroy Israel. These are also the same leaders who never accept responsibility for the well-being of their people and constantly search for ways to blame Israel for the miseries of Palestinians.

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Coronavirus in Turkey: Government Targets Doctors

by Sezen Şahin  •  April 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • "We see images coming from all over country. Mass graves are being excavated. They deny these images, but until when will they deny them? Why have all hospitals in Izmir been declared coronavirus hospitals?" — Dr. Barbaros Çetin, Professor, Department of Biology, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir; Gündeme Bakış, March 30, 2020.

  • "This has nothing to do with creating panic. The truth must be told. Let people be afraid; it is okay to be afraid. Look at what's happening; people get too relaxed. The same thing happened in Iran." — Dr. Barbaros Çetin, Professor, Department of Biology, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir; Gündeme Bakış, March 30, 2020.

  • "Physicians are afraid to make a diagnosis." — Dr. Osman Sağlam, co-chair of the Mardin Medical Chamber, Mardin; Tigris Haber, March 18. On March 28, he was called to the police station to testify.

As the number of coronavirus infections in Turkey continues to climb, many medical experts there who have called on people to take more precautions or who have criticized the government for mishandling the virus crisis have been silenced by authorities. (Image source: iStock)

Since the first coronavirus case in Turkey was officially confirmed on March 11, the number of cases has climbed to 30,217 and Turkey's death toll to 649, Turkey's health minister announced on April 6.

Many medical experts, however, who have called on people in Turkey to take more precautions or who have criticized the government for mishandling the virus crisis have been silenced by authorities.

Two physicians have been made to apologize after giving information to their colleagues or the public about the threat of coronavirus in the country, and two others have been summoned to appear at police headquarters for statements they made to the media. The doctors, now officially under investigation, are accused of allegedly "creating fear and panic among the people".

On March 28, Dr. Yusuf Savran, a Pandemic Service Specialist at Izmir's Dokuz Eylül University, shared a video on his YouTube account, in which he said:

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Coronavirus: The Looming Collapse of Europe's Single Currency

by Soeren Kern  •  April 7, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • In Spain, which recently overtook Italy as the epicenter of the coronavirus in Europe, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez committed €200 billion — 20% of the country's GDP — to alleviate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. When asked how he would pay for that amount of spending, Sánchez replied that he was counting on financial help from "Europe."

  • "The worst growth figure in France since 1945 was in 2009, after the great financial crisis of 2008: -2.2%. We will probably be far beyond -2.2% this year," Le Maire told the Senate Economic Affairs Committee. "This shows the extent of the economic shock we are facing." — French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, April 6, 2020.

  • "Today, not a single European country is doing well, which means there is limited willingness for European countries to come to each other's aid. They are busy dealing with their own crises. Just witness how Italy has been left alone with its crisis by Europe and now rather gets its medical support from China...." — Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative, March 23, 2020.

  • "An almighty economic earthquake is in the making. In a few weeks or months, several large European economies will require bailout and assistance packages. These will be several times larger than anything Europe has seen. Yet no country, central bank or institution will be eager or even able to provide them. Even the gargantuan sums on the table now will not be enough." — Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative, March 23, 2020

(Image source: iStock)

As the coronavirus unleashes economic shockwaves across Europe, the European single currency, the most visible symbol of European unification, is facing collapse.

The eurozone — a monetary union of 19 of the 27 Member States of the European Union that have adopted the euro as their common currency — is being buffeted not only by the prospect of a deep and long-lasting recession. Northern and Southern European countries are also feuding over possible financial support for Italy and Spain, the EU's third- and fourth-largest economies, which have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus.

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China's Fake News: Its 'Superior System' Defeats Coronavirus

by Gordon G. Chang  •  April 6, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The virus is hitting China in a second wave. The second wave is claiming victims, including the Party's propaganda narratives. The most dangerous of these narratives is that ruler Xi Jinping, with heaven's mandate, has an obligation to dominate the international system.

  • To push America aside and seize global leadership, China got Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, to say that China's response to the coronavirus showed the "superiority of the Chinese system and this experience is worthy of emulation by other countries." Then Beijing set about making a big show of "donating" medical equipment and diagnostic kits, most notably to stricken Europe.

  • Xi's initial policies turned a local outbreak into a pandemic, and now they are making even more people sick and forcing China into another pit of disease. China's inaccurate diagnostic kits and substandard protective gear donated around the world along with the new infections will show the truth: communism is incompetent if not downright malign.

  • China can lie with statistics, but the virus gets the last word. "Victory" over both COVID-19 and the United States is still far out of sight.

Despite the Chinese regime's claim that it has "defeated" coronavirus, the virus is hitting China in a second wave. President Xi's initial policies turned a local outbreak into a pandemic, and now are forcing China into another pit of disease. China can lie with statistics, but the virus gets the last word. Pictured: A vendor hands food to a customer over a barricade in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province on April 6, 2020. (Photo by Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

China has "defeated" the coronavirus and declared "victory," Communist Party media tells us.

A funny thing happened on the way to victory, however. The virus is hitting China in a second wave. The second wave is claiming victims, including the Party's propaganda narratives. The most dangerous of these narratives is that ruler Xi Jinping, with heaven's mandate, has an obligation to dominate the international system.

China, after reporting no new infections on March 19, said the virus had been contained. Since then, Beijing has been reporting dozens of new cases each day but has maintained that virtually all of them were "imported" -- in other words, the infected were individuals arriving from other countries.

Of the very few in-country transmissions, most, Beijing maintained, were transmissions from the imported cases.

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Iran: How the Regime Is Trying to Exploit the Coronavirus Crisis

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  April 6, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The international community needs to refrain from handing the Iranian regime any direct financial aid. The four-decade history of the ruling mullahs has shown that any extra revenues obtained by the leadership have not benefited the ordinary people in Iran.

  • If the mullahs are seeking financial assistance because they actually desire to help their own people, why did they refuse America's offer of medical assistance? Why did their regime revoke its approval for the emergency team sent by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans frontières), along with the materials needed to build a 50-bed inflatable treatment unit?

  • The international community therefore must not directly give the Iranian regime financial aid: it will most likely be funneled into supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its terror and militia groups across the region.

  • Instead of handing billions of dollars to the ruling mullahs, financial aid can alternatively be towards trustworthy international medical organizations to combat coronavirus directly on the ground, both in Iran and other countries afflicted.

If Iran's mullahs are seeking financial assistance because they actually desire to help their own people, why did they refuse America's offer of medical assistance? Why did they revoke approval for the emergency team sent by Doctors Without Borders? Pictured: Health authorities check motorists for coronavirus symptoms at a police roadblock on the Tehran to Alborz highway in Iran on March 26, 2020. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The Iranian leaders have been pushing the international community to provide it with financial assistance to "combat coronavirus" there. The EU has apparently decided to give the mullahs €20 million (approximately $21 million), all while many EU citizens are languishing in Iran's prisons, often on trumped-up charges. The EU taxpayers' money will more likely be misused by the Iranian regime to advance still further the mullahs' malign agendas.

Iran's leaders are also demanding that the US-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) give them financial assistance. They are asking for a $5 billion emergency loan after the IMF declared that it is making $50 billion available to assist countries with the coronavirus crisis.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, on Twitter, ordered the IMF to provide Iran with money:

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Coronavirus: China's Great Cover-up

by Giulio Meotti  •  April 5, 2020 at 5:30 am

  • Bats were not, it seems, sold at Wuhan's seafood market. The Lancet noted in a January study that the first Covid-19 case in Wuhan had no connection to the market.

  • One more person has just disappeared. Ai Fen, a Chinese physician, who... claimed her bosses silenced her early warnings about coronavirus, appears to have vanished.... The journalists who saw what happened inside Wuhan have also disappeared.

  • "No one has been able to study it. How can you say it's not a release from a lab if you can't go to the lab? Indeed, we have seen Beijing do its best to prevent virologists and epidemiologists from actually going to Wuhan." — Gordon Chang, in Die Weltwoche, March 31, 2020.

  • That is another major problem. The potential major investigator on Wuhan's origin, the World Health Organization, is now accused of being "China's coronavirus' accomplice".

  • Why is China trafficking in dangerous viruses in the first place?

  • "Debate may rage over which center it is, but at this point it seems undeniable that a center has been directly involved with research on viruses, although not necessarily on the creation of a virus." — Father Renzo Milanese, AsiaNews.it, March 13, 2020.

On January 11, China's government announced that Wuhan's wet market was the origin of the coronavirus epidemic. The same Chinese regime later claimed that the virus "may not have originated in China", and later still, Chinese officials began claiming that US soldiers brought the virus to Wuhan. What respected scientist or institution can now trust anything that comes out of China? (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

We have been paying dearly for China's lies.

"This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic," said Rep. Michael T. McCaul, the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, before the US intelligence community concluded, in a classified report to the White House, that China has concealed the origin and extent of the catastrophic global coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese Communist Party's "failure has unleashed a global contagion killing thousands", wrote Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, on April 1. "As we survey the damage done to lives around the world, we must ask who is responsible?"

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Coronavirus: God's Army and Pork Consumption in Indonesia

by Jacobus E. Lato  •  April 5, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • Instead of advising congregations in general, and Indonesians in particular, about the pandemic nature of coronavirus, many religious leaders were linking the virus to something supernatural that could be fought with prayers.

  • Somad was quoted as saying that as the Muslims observe a lifestyle that is in harmony with religious teachings and is different from the majority of the population, they have protection from the deadly virus.

  • These various claims no longer stand. Soon, sadly, the coronavirus swiftly moved beyond the prayer of millions of devout believers. On March 3, the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, officially announced the first two cases of coronavirus infection.... The government, the president mentioned, should be making all efforts to manage the crisis. What will Indonesian Islamist clerics, such as Somad and his supporters at MUI do: pray or find ways to take the president down?

The Indonesian government, according to President Joko Widodo (pictured), should be making all efforts to manage the coronavirus crisis. What will Indonesian Islamist clerics do, pray or find ways to take the president down? (Photo by Tracey Nearmy - Pool/Getty Images)

Coronavirus, now a global pandemic, received a different response in Indonesia than in most of the world. In February, when China was quarantining Hubei province, prominent Indonesian clerics were reducing the disease to a religious matter. As usual, the assertion was marked by religious claim of superiority and that God could easily be involved in daily life.

Instead of advising congregations in particular and Indonesians in general about the pandemic nature of coronavirus, many religious leaders were linking the virus to something supernatural that could be fought with prayers.

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Who Eats the Cake in Tehran?

by Amir Taheri  •  April 5, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The new message from Tehran is that Iran is in need of humanitarian aid to curb the coronavirus and prevent the death of large numbers of Iranians... The first sign that the message may be working came last Monday when Germany announced that it has arranged a $5 million cash line through the European Union for Iran to secure medical supplies needed to fight the pandemic. The German initiative, through a mechanism called Instex and designed to by-pass sanctions, is clearly meant to test the waters.

  • Nevertheless, the acceptance of the first Instex operation and the renewal of waivers might have two outcomes that may not please Washington.... The result could be a sham show of unity by the regime with a new message to Iranians, as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas believes that change within the regime may be better than regime change.

  • The trouble with all this is that we have already been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Europe and the United States have repeatedly tried to bring the Islamic Republic in from the cold by playing the accommodation, not to say appeasement, card, each time ending up as the cuckold in the story.

  • The tidbits offer an insight into the mindset of the weird clique dominating Iran since 1979 and why those who believe they are dealing with a normal government would need to have their heads examined. The Reagan administration, helped by Israel, smuggled over 1,000 anti-tanks missiles to Iran to help it stop the advance of the Iraqi invasion in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. The mullahs paid half the cost of the missiles as down payment but refused to pay the second half after they had received all consignments. There was no need to pay "The Crusaders" the price.

  • On a smaller scale, Kangarloo relates the fate of a huge "key-shaped" cake bought in Tel Aviv as a Ramadan present from Reagan to Khomeini, regime godfather at the time. By the time Kangarloo arrived at the airport, the Revolutionary Guards had eaten the cake for Ramadan breakfast... Even in those early days it was clear who eats the cake in the Islamic Republic.

Will coronavirus help the Islamic Republic's chief Ali Khamenei alleviate his ramshackle regime's cash flow problem? Pictured: A ballistic missile is paraded past a stand bearing the photo of Iran's "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on April 18, 2018, in Tehran. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Will coronavirus help the Islamic Republic's chief Ali Khamenei alleviate his ramshackle regime's cash flow problem? This is certainly what the so-called "moderate" faction in Tehran hopes would happen to enable it to maintain some relevance in an emerging power struggle that favors the more hardline Khomeinists.

According to President Hassan Rouhani's team, the Islamic Republic needs a minimum of $60 billion a year to cover "basic expenses". This is made up of cash needed to pay the salaries of key military, security and civil services, pension payments to an estimated 1.2 million veterans, stipends for families of martyrs and semi-martyrs, money needed to keep the Assad regime in Damascus afloat, and cash to keep client groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq and the Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza going.

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"F***ing Swede"

by Judith Bergman  •  April 4, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • In Gothenburg, a criminal gang of youths forced their victim to kiss the gang leader's feet, while they filmed him. After that, they stamped on his face until he passed out. — Expressen, October 1, 2019.

  • "It is a way to show your power. They want to dominate places. They do that by putting fear in other youths." — Thomas Petterson, analyst for the Gothenburg police, Expressen, August 31, 2019.

  • "Even little girls aren't safe... The gangs have gained respect, as it is called. This means that they have taken over certain neighborhoods..." — Ingrid Björkman, Jan Elfverson, Jonathan Friedman and Åke Wedin, in the book, Exit Folkhemssverige ("Exit the Swedish Welfare State"), 2007.

  • "Previously, gang rapes were virtually unknown in Sweden. But since the 1980s, they have steadily increased. Since 1995, they have quadrupled. In 1999, 35 gang rapes were recorded in Stockholm alone. Today, the media reports every week or every two weeks on such violent crimes." — Ingrid Björkman, Jan Elfverson, Jonathan Friedman and Åke Wedin, in the book, Exit Folkhemssverige.

A new kind of crime is making the headlines in Sweden, known as förnedringsrån ("humiliation robbery"). The victims of these "humiliation robberies" are almost always children or teenagers. (Photo by Ponus Stenberg/AFP via Getty Images)

A new kind of crime is making the headlines in Sweden, in Swedish known as förnedringsrån. Förnedring means "humiliation" and rån means "robbery." The victims of these "humiliation robberies" are almost always children or teenagers. As previously reported by Gatestone Institute:

"The number of children who rob other children has increased by 100% in only four years, according to a new study by Swedish police... In 2016, there were 1,178 robberies against children under 18 years of age. In 2019, the number had increased to 2,484. The number of violent crimes where the suspect is a child under 15 years of age has also gone up dramatically: In 2015, there were 6,359 reported violent crimes where the suspect was a child under 15. In 2019, that number had increased to 8,719 reported violent crimes".

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Coronavirus: China Floods Europe With Defective Medical Equipment

by Soeren Kern  •  April 3, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • In Spain, the Ministry of Health revealed that 640,000 coronavirus tests that it had purchased from a Chinese supplier were defective. In addition, a further million coronavirus tests delivered to Spain on March 30 by another Chinese manufacturer were also defective.

  • The Czech news site iRozhlas reported that 300,000 coronavirus test kits delivered by China had an error rate of 80%. The Czech Ministry of Interior had paid $2.1 million for the kits.

  • A spokesperson for a hospital in Dutch city of Eindhoven said that Chinese suppliers were selling "a lot of junk... at high prices."

  • "No. 10 [the residence of the British prime minister] believes China is seeking to build its economic power during the pandemic with 'predatory offers of help' to countries around the world." — The Daily Mail, March 28, 2020.

  • "The brutal truth is that China seems to flout the normal rules of behavior in every area of life — from healthcare to trade and from currency manipulation to internal repression. For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. But once we get clear of this terrible pandemic, it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship and put it on a much more balanced and honest basis." — Former UK Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith.

A growing number of European countries are reporting that millions of pieces of medical equipment donated by, or purchased from, China to defeat the coronavirus pandemic are defective and unusable. Pictures: Workers sort out personal protective equipment received from China at a warehouse in Valencia, Spain, on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Juan Carlos Cardenas/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

As the coronavirus rages across Europe, a growing number of countries are reporting that millions of pieces of medical equipment donated by, or purchased from, China to defeat the pandemic are defective and unusable.

The revelations are fueling distrust of a public relations effort by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party to portray China as the world's new humanitarian superpower.

On March 28, the Netherlands was forced to recall 1.3 million face masks produced in China because they did not meet the minimum safety standards for medical personnel. The so-called KN95 masks are a less expensive Chinese alternative to the American-standard N95 mask, which currently is in short supply around the world. The KN95 does not fit on the face as tightly as the N95, thus potentially exposing medical personnel to the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus Poses a Greater Threat to the Ayatollahs than US Sanctions Do

by Con Coughlin  •  April 2, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The Iranian regime's failure to grasp the significance of the outbreak in its own country has led 16 other countries in the region to claim that their own outbreaks originated in Iran. These include Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates.

  • The European aid package, which is said to be worth $548,000, is the first transaction conducted under a trade mechanism known as the Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges, or Instex, which has been set up by the Europeans to enable them to barter humanitarian goods and food with Tehran after the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • Tehran would be well-advised, though, not to regard the aid delivery as raising the prospect of the sanctions being eased. The new trading arrangements set up by Europe have been designed not to breach the Trump administration's policy of applying "maximum pressure" against Iran, so that Instex can only be used for the delivery of humanitarian aid and food.

  • This means that, while the aid delivery might help to fight the coronavirus pandemic, it will do little to alleviate the pressure on Iran's incompetent, and increasingly unpopular, leadership.

The Iranian regime's disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic could ultimately pose a greater threat to the survival of the ayatollahs than the impact of Washington's uncompromising sanctions regime. Pictured: Firefighters disinfect a street in Tehran, Iran on March 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

The Iranian regime's disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic could ultimately pose a greater threat to the survival of the ayatollahs than the impact of Washington's uncompromising sanctions regime.

Up until the coronavirus outbreak, the main challenge facing the clerical regime was the devastating impact the Trump administration's hard-hitting sanctions were having on the Iranian economy.

With the economy shrinking at the rate of 10 percent a year, and unemployment hovering around the 20 percent mark, the regime was under increasing pressure from anti-government protesters angry at the regime's mishandling of the economy.

Opposition groups claimed that more than 600 protesters were killed as regime hardliners tried to crush opposition to the regime.

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Austria: The Coronavirus Chronicles

by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff  •  April 2, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • Borders matter. For many years, Europeans have been told by their leaders that borders could not be closed to curb illegal migration due to the Schengen Agreement.... In the 14th century, Poland was less affected by the plague because King Casimir isolated his country, closed borders and quarantined the border regions.

  • Freedom of speech matters. The Austrian government has installed a "ministry of truth" in the office of the chancellor....

  • "[W]henever a government got its hands on truth control, it has massively abused it within a very short time to gag and ban critical and oppositional voices. Once they have the power to control opinion, it is a massive temptation for those in power to use it in the self-interest of a government." — Andreas Unterberger, blogger, March 22, 2020.

Pictured: Employees hand out protective face masks to customers arriving at a supermarket in Vienna, Austria on April 1, 2020, following new government regulations that require shoppers to wear masks. (Photo by Helmut Fohringer / APA / AFP)

Week 1 in a country in complete shutdown. Austria has been at the forefront of forcing its citizens to "shelter in place" by enacting measures so severe that even the country's elderly cannot remember anything similar.

To snuff out a virus that originated in China in November and has since made its way around the world, roughly a month ago, the Austrian government, led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, thankfully heeded a dire warning by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took hard a look at Austria's neighboring country, Italy, and immediately enacted a first set of measures, followed by the drastic rules mentioned above, that were first extended until April 13 and stepped up on March 30.

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Coronavirus: Why Palestinian Leaders Are Not Helping Gaza to Combat It

by Bassam Tawil  •  April 1, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership has done virtually nothing to help the Gaza Strip confront the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, the only country that has been helping the Gaza Strip in the past few weeks is Israel.

  • The question is, why is the PA ignoring calls to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip in their effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? One explanation -- that accords with history -- is that if a large number of Palestinians living in Gaza there are infected... the PA leadership wants the world to blame Israel.

  • It is important to emphasize that there is no Israeli "siege" on the Gaza Strip. First, the Gaza Strip shares borders not only with Israel, but also with Egypt. It is Egypt, not Israel... that is effectively blockading Gaza.

  • The United Nations, regardless, is also trying to pave the way for holding Israel responsible for the possible spread of the virus in the Gaza Strip.

  • Mahmoud Abbas is undoubtedly looking forward to a day when he can hold Israel fully responsible for the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip. He is also likely waiting for the UN and many in the international community to join him in blaming Israel and Jews for the spread of the pandemic among his people while ignoring his own responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus, the transit of goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip has continued to operate as seamlessly as before. The Israeli Defense Ministry is working to ensure a steady supply of goods reaches the markets and that a normal routine of living is maintained there. Pictured: Palestinian policemen supervise a line outside a post office in Gaza City, on March 31, 2020. (Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

After the discovery of the first coronavirus cases in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is ignoring appeals to lift a series of sanctions it imposed on the two million Palestinians living there. Actually, the PA leadership has done virtually nothing to help the Gaza Strip confront the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, the only country that has been helping the Gaza Strip in the past few weeks is Israel.

The question is, why is the PA ignoring calls to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip in their effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? One explanation -- that accords with history -- is that if a large number of Palestinians living in Gaza there are infected with the disease and there is a huge catastrophe there, the PA leadership wants the world to blame Israel.

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China Using Coronavirus for Further Deceit

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  April 1, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • Any hope that the West may have harbored in the past about China evolving into a member of the liberal-democratic international order, should by now be considered dead, expired, extinct.

  • Worse, the wet markets, which were to have been closed, have apparently been reopening.

  • China is a threat to all of us. That is why it is more important than ever for the U.S. and the rest of the West to be aware of the risks involved in developing further alliances -- technological or otherwise -- with a country that has served up nothing but duplicity to its own people as well as to the rest of the planet.

The West needs to beware of abetting China's communist regime in its building of what US Vice President Mike Pence referred to as "an unparalleled surveillance state." Pictured: Surveillance cameras against the backdrop of a portrait of communist China's founding leader, Mao Zedong, in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 6, 2019. (Photo by Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus may be strengthening the determination of China's government. So far, it has been trying to guarantee absolute loyalty from its populace through surveillance technology and turning China into a spookily Orwellian society. Any hope that the West may have harbored in the past about China evolving into a member of the liberal-democratic international order, should by now be considered dead, expired, extinct.

China has not only been stealing intellectual property from the West for years, as US President Donald J. Trump has long observed; it has also behaved abysmally during the coronavirus crisis in Wuhan -- and maybe also before. It is still not known if this coronavirus originated in one of China's "wet markets", which have probably caused other diseases, or in a bio-weapons laboratory -- and we may never know. What we do know is that when the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control offered to help, China ignored them.

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Palestinians: Despite Coronavirus, Jihad Against Israel Continues

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  March 31, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The rocket attacks against Israel appear aimed at distracting attention from the failure of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to provide their hospitals with medical equipment and medicines to curb the spread of the disease. In the past decade, the two groups have invested millions of dollars in amassing weapons and building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and kill or kidnap Jews.

  • These leaders [of Hamas and PIJ] would rather see Palestinians die of the disease than join forces with Israel -- which has doing its utmost to help the Palestinians by providing them with tests kits, protective gear and training sessions for medical professionals....

  • The good news is that a majority of Palestinians disagrees with PIJ. A public opinion poll published last week by a Palestinian center found that 68% of respondents support the medical cooperation with Israel.

  • A statement issued by Hamas on March 30 said that "the only way to liberate the land is through resistance." The only "resistance" Hamas knows is the one that includes launching rockets and missiles at Israel or carrying out suicide bombings against Israelis.

  • Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are again paying the price of failed leaders who care more about fighting Israel than saving the lives of patients and medical teams.

As the world is busy pursuing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Iranian-backed Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) groups in the Gaza Strip have found the time to remind everyone that they remain committed to pursuing the fight against Israel. Pictured: Masked PIJ gunmen spray disinfectant in the streets of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, on March 26, 2020. (Photo by Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

As the world is busy pursuing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Iranian-backed Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) groups in the Gaza Strip have found the time to remind everyone that they remain committed to pursuing the fight against Israel.

While many international media outlets and human rights organizations, including the United Nations, are warning of a "catastrophe" in the Gaza Strip after the discovery of nine coronavirus cases there, Hamas and PIJ -- the two dominant groups that have been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007 -- seem to care less about the safety and health of their people.

For these groups, the "struggle" against Israel is manifestly more important than the fight against the immediate threat of a pandemic.

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