Abbas Accuses Israel of Destroying Two-State Solution
ABBAS ACCUSES ISRAEL OF DESTROYING TWO-STATE SOLUTION, URGES RETURN TO PEACE NEGOTIATIONS: Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday, September 22, claimed that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “the right thing” for Israel, but he cautioned that a future Palestinian state must not be “another terror base”. This statement was well received by the Israeli left, praising Lapid for his diplomatic solution, however, others such as former prime minister Naftali Bennett disagreed with this approach.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, September 23, welcomed the renewed talk about the two-state solution by world leaders, including Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and called on Israel to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians. “Yesterday I listened to US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and other world leaders who voiced support for the two-state solution,” Abbas said, referring to Lapid’s speech, as well as a statement issued later by Biden backing the Israeli premier’s stance. “We yearn for peace, so let us make this peace in order to live in security, stability and prosperity.” However, he accused Israel of destroying the two-state solution, saying that it has decided not to be a partner for peace with the Palestinians. Abbas announced that the Palestinians have decided to renew their bid to gain full membership in the United Nations and warned against attempts to obstruct the move. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, he again used the podium to launch a scathing attack on Israel, accusing it, among other things, of committing “massacres” against the Palestinians and “assaults” on Islamic and Christian holy sites. The Palestinians, Abbas said, will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into the “crimes and massacres committed by Israel.” (JPost / VFI News)
IRANIAN PROTESTS TAKING OFF IN 100 CITIES, 30 PROVINCES, WITH DOZENS KILLED AND WIDESPREAD ARRESTS: Protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody have spread even further across the country as the Iranian regime has ramped up efforts to crack down on the demonstrations. Protests have spread to 100 Iranian cities and 30 provinces, leaving dozens dead and resulting in widespread arrests.
Protesters have set fire to police and government buildings, while a government enforcer was killed in a stabbing by protesters during attempts to impose order. The increasingly violent protests broke out over the death of Amini, who was arrested by Iranian morality police for not wearing a head covering in public. The demonstrations have become especially violent in Iran’s Kurdish minority region in the northeast, where police fired on protesters, killing five. Amini was a Kurd. Video provided to American media from Iran shows protesters engaging in violent clashes with authorities, marching the streets, and setting buildings on fire. Police attempting to disperse the crowd with tear gas are shown being overwhelmed and fleeing from protesters down city streets. The demonstrations, which have produced scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring that spread across the Middle East just over a decade ago, come at a critical time for the Biden administration, which has been working to resurrect the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran and made at least some strides toward an agreement in recent months. (FN / VFI News)
AT LEAST 50 KILLED IN IRAN UNREST: At least 50 people have been killed since the start of the protests in Iran approximately a week ago.
Some of the footage published on social media shows police officers using live fire on protesters. According to testimonies, over 3,000 people have been arrested. In the central protest in Tehran, demonstrators shouted, “Death to America, death to Israel,” while waving Iranian flags. Many Iranians have claimed that the protesters are “Israel’s soldiers,” and called for those who “harm” the Quran to be killed. On Friday, September 23, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Iranian authorities to refrain from “unnecessary or disproportionate force” against the protesters, and urged “a prompt, impartial and effective investigation by an independent competent authority” into the death of Mahsa Amini, 22. (INN / VFI News)
IRAN’S PRESIDENT CASTIGATES ISRAEL, HAILS SOLEIMANI AT UN; ISRAELI ENVOY WALKS OUT: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Israel a “savage power” and insisted his country’s nuclear program is peaceful in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, September 21. Raisi further said the US had trampled the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. He also vowed to obtain justice for the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general killed by a drone strike in 2020.
“The region has not seen an occupying savage power such as the Zionist regime in its midst in the past,” Raisi said. “The killing of children and women are present in the dark report card of the Zionist regime. It has managed to form the biggest prison in the world in Gaza and the expansion of settlements and housing illegally on Palestinian territories.” “The killing of Palestinian women and children shows everyone that seven decades of Israeli occupation and savagery is still with us and not ending,” the Iranian president added. “The occupying Zionist power that has occupied Jerusalem and other lands in the region cannot be a partner for security and stability.” He proposed a vote by all Palestinians — “Muslim, Christians and Jews” — to establish a single state. The suggestion comes in contrast to the two-state solution favored by Western nations and their allied Middle Eastern countries led by Saudi Arabia. Israel’s envoy to the UN Gilad Erdan walked out of the assembly hall as Raisi spoke, but left in his place a photograph of his own grandmothers, who survived the Holocaust, the Israeli mission said in a statement. Raisi earlier the previous week cast doubt on the Holocaust. (TOI / VFI News)
‘DON’T SHAKE HANDS WITH KILLERS’: IRANIAN DISSIDENTS GATHER TO PROTEST RAISI AT UN: Several thousand Iranian anti-regime activists gathered outside the United Nations on Wednesday, September 21, to protest Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s speech to the General Assembly, call for regime change, and show support for widespread demonstrations that have rocked Iran in recent days.
The protesters gathered at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, directly across from UN headquarters, as Raisi delivered a speech to world leaders. Organizers put the number of participants at 3,000. Signs lining the plaza called for “Regime change by Iranians,” and hundreds of photos of executed political prisoners were on display. Standing amid the photos, two protesters wearing grotesque, oversize masks depicting Raisi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held chains and a noose to symbolize the imprisonment and hanging of Iranian dissidents. The protesters said Raisi is guilty of crimes against the Iranian people and an illegitimate leader, since Iran does not hold free and fair elections. “Raisi does not deserve a seat at the UN and he’s not the president of the people of Iran. Raisi is a mass murderer,” said activist Raha Heshmatikhah. “It’s horrible and unethical that an institution like the UN is welcoming and allowing Raisi to take a seat and be there.” (TOI / VFI News)
LAPID TO US JEWISH LEADERS: ISRAEL ACCEPTS ALL STREAMS OF JUDAISM: Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday, September 21, during his diplomatic visit to New York met with the heads of Jewish organizations representing different streams of Judaism. The event took place at the offices of United Jewish Appeal and was co-hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America in cooperation with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Also participating were Israeli Ambassador to the United States Mike Herzog, Israeli Ambassador to Canada Ronen Hoffman, and Israeli Consul-General in New York Asaf Zamir. “We are one family. You are my brothers and sisters. The Government of Israel accepts all streams of Judaism. The special bond between Israel and Jews around the world is one of our top priorities, and we will show this. Israel must be, and will be, an open home for all Jews,” Lapid said. Approximately 50 organizations from the different streams of American Judaism participated in the meeting. The Prime Minister thanked them for their work and their support for Israel. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of continuing to maintain the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community, in all its diversity. A participant in the meeting told Israeli media that Lapid was asked a lot of questions relating to the US relationship with Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, which he answered, although not always with specifics. “He was asked a lot of questions. He was very nice. I think people walked out feeling good,” he added. “He was very warm and effusive and praised the role of American Jewry and the partnership [with Israel], but when it came to specifics, we talked about the expanded Mediterranean initiative, we talked about the Balkan states, we talked about Lebanon – he said he doesn’t think they’ll risk the destruction that [would occur if they] go to war, but it’s a very serious situation. In Syria, it’s also destabilized. We talked about the displaced people.” (INN / VFI News)
SUDAN’S MILITARY RULER: IF I’M INVITED, I’LL GO TO ISRAEL: Sudan’s ruling military general, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, said in an interview on Friday, September 23, that he would visit Israel if he were to receive an invitation. Asked if as Sudan’s leader, he would visit Israel, Burhan replied, “The basis of relations is reconciliation. Therefore, if an invitation was presented and there is the means for this, I will go.”
Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump Administration in October of 2020, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The agreement between Israel and Sudan was announced days after then-US President Donald Trump officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism. However, despite the agreement, no steps for full normalization between Israel and Sudan have taken place as of yet, and the only known contacts between the sides have been in the form of reports of Israeli delegations secretly visiting Sudan. Burhan mounted a military coup nearly a year ago, which triggered widespread international condemnation and punitive measures, including crucial aid cuts by Western governments pending the resumption of the transition to civilian rule. (INN / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff