Biden Embraces Trump-Style Peace Agreements
LATEST US NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY PUSHES REGIONAL PEACE, 2-STATE SOLUTION: US President Joe Biden has released his second National Security Strategy, expressing the nation’s intention to further promote Abraham Accords-style peace agreements between Israel and its regional neighbors, as well as a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel’s Jewish democratic identity at its core.
The document does not specifically name countries that may be primed for a peace agreement with Israel. The National Security Strategy, which is required by law, provides an annual outline of the US administration’s national security concerns and its policies for addressing those issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Biden’s 2022 version of the document included more detail on the region than last year’s, which stated only that the US was aiming to “maintain our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.” This year, the administration referred to “meeting Palestinian aspirations for a secure and viable state of their own,” and included a quote from Biden during his West Bank visit in July, when he said, “Two states along the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measure of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for Palestinians, as well as Israelis.” (TOI / VFI News)
US STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS NO LONGER A FOCUS FOR WHITE HOUSE: State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday, October 12, that the Iran nuclear deal was “not our focus right now,” instead, vowing to “support” the “bravery and courage” of Iranian protesters.
Asked by a reporter whether the US was still interested in pursuing the nuclear talks, Price responded “That’s not our focus right now. I think it is very clear, the Iranians have made very clear that this is not a deal that they have been prepared to make.” “A deal certainly does not appear imminent. Iran’s demands are unrealistic; they go well beyond the scope of the JCPOA. Nothing we’ve heard in recent weeks suggests they have changed their position,” Price told the department briefing. Instead, Price said US focus “is on the remarkable bravery and courage that the Iranian people are exhibiting through their peaceful demonstrations, through their exercise of their universal right to freedom of assembly and to freedom of expression.” (TOI / VFI News)
PALESTINIAN LEADER DOES NOT TRUST AMERICA, BUT HAPPY WITH RUSSIA: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, October 13, restating his mistrust of Washington in resolving the conflict with Israel, and expressing appreciation for Russia’s role.
Abbas reiterated his support for the so-called Quartet of international mediators – Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union – but said the United States could not be left a free hand to act alone. “We don’t trust America and you know our position. We don’t trust it, we don’t rely on it, and under no circumstances can we accept that America is the sole party in resolving a problem,” Abbas told Putin at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan. The comments echo the 87-year-old Palestinian leader’s longstanding suspicion of the United States, Israel’s main ally, but come as President Joe Biden has stepped up efforts to isolate Russia over its attack on Ukraine.
Abbas said he was “completely satisfied” with Russia’s position towards the Palestinian people. “Russia stands by justice and international law and that is enough for us,” he said. (JPost / VFI News)
FATAH AND HAMAS SIGN RECONCILIATION AGREEMENT: The Palestinian Arab Fatah and Hamas factions have signed a reconciliation deal in Algiers, vowing to hold elections by next October, in their latest attempt to end a rift that has now lasted more than 15 years. The deal was signed on Thursday, October 14, by a leading figure from the Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and by the chief of Hamas, which rules Gaza. Abbas himself was not present. “We signed this agreement to get rid of the malignant cancer of division that has entered the Palestinian body,” said the head of the Fatah delegation, Azzam al-Ahmed, according to French media.
“We are optimistic that it will be implemented and will not remain ink on paper.” Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said it was “a day of joy in Palestine and Algeria and for those who love the Palestinian cause, but a day of sadness for the Zionist entity (Israel)”. Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza in a bloody coup, and all attempts to reconcile the sides have failed. A unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides. Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October of 2017, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1 of that year. That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and later reportedly hit “obstacles”. It has never been implemented. (INN / VFI News)
THE RUSSIA-IRAN DRONE AXIS IS NOW A GLOBAL THREAT – ANALYSIS: Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine is growing, and it is clear that the threat now must be taken seriously – not just in the Middle East or Ukraine, but on a global scale. This is because Iranian-style drones have also been exported, either in pieces or their blueprints, to the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah and Hamas. They now have much larger ranges than in the past, and new technology that enables more precise strikes.
The fact that Russia is openly using these types of “kamikaze” drones, or what are known as “loitering munitions,” shows that Iran’s drone program is now growing beyond something that is used by militant and terror groups. According to reports on Thursday, October 13, Moscow used a “kamikaze” drone in an attack on the Kyiv region. “Initial reports indicate a kamikaze drone attack. Rescuer teams have responded” Ukrainian authorities said. A report has noted that some 60% of the drones Russia has launched have been shot down or crashed. Israel has been providing Ukraine with “basic intelligence” on the Iranian drones used by Russia in its invasion, American media have stated. This illustrates two key points. First, countries are now concerned about the proliferation of Iran’s armed drones. Russia is trying to wreak havoc with them and this harms civilians. In addition, the US and others have been concerned about Iran’s drones for years, especially in the Yemen war, Iraq and the Gulf. The expansion of the Iran-Russia drone axis means that Iran’s drones may now be acquired by more countries, such as Ethiopia, Venezuela and the drones are apparently being made in Tajikistan. With Iran’s attendance at meetings of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) the previous week in Kazakhstan, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Uzbekistan recently, its drones may find customers in even more countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and other places. (JPost / VFI News)
PALESTINIAN DOCTOR, CLAIMED AS TERROR GROUP MEMBER, DIES IN JENIN GUN BATTLE: A Palestinian doctor died after being wounded in a fierce gun battle between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank on Friday morning, October 14, which left another gunman dead.
An Israeli security source said Abdullah Abu Tin, the doctor, was armed and directly involved in the battle and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group claimed Abu Tin as a member. In a poster announcing his death, the group said he died “in an armed clash” with Israeli forces “defending the homeland.” The poster showed him posing with five assault rifles. According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops operated in the area to arrest a wanted Palestinian, a member of the Hamas terror group, who was responsible for a series of recent shooting attacks in the West Bank and planned further attacks. Amid the raid, armed Palestinians hurled explosives and “fired massive volleys of gunfire at the forces,” the Israeli military said in a statement. (TOI / VFI News)
IN FIRST, NEW YORK SANCTIONS YESHIVA FOR FALLING SHORT ON SECULAR EDUCATION: New York State officials have for the first time ruled that a Jewish day school is violating the law by not providing sufficient secular education, amid an ongoing legal battle over the massive education system.
New York Education Commissioner Betty Rosa ruled that Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Mesivta Arugtah Habosem had failed to meet state standards for secular education two weeks ago. The yeshiva, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, will be required to formulate an improvement plan with city education officials. The state ruling came in response to a lawsuit from Beatrice Weber, who said her child was being deprived of a secular education by the school. Weber recently became the head of Young Advocates for Fair Education, or Yaffed, a group that has led the push for reforms in New York’s yeshiva system. State authorities have sought a balance between religious beliefs and values and secular education requirements in non-public schools. New York yeshivas have long been required to provide secular education that is “substantially equivalent” to lessons at nearby public schools. (TOI / 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