Weekend long read

1) At the INSS Carmit Valensi takes a look at ‘20 Years of the Assad Regime’.

‘“Someone who starves his people is a traitor”; “I can’t breathe…the revolution continues”; “Liars, the Syrian press are liars”; “We want to live”; “The people want to topple the regime”; “Syria, free Syria, Iran and Russia out”; “Syria belongs to us, not to the Assad family”; “From Idlib to Suwayda – we are with you.” These are just some of the slogans heard recently in Syria, particularly in the southern city of Suwayda, where there is a rising wave of protest against the regime and against the “Assad system.” Now that major hostilities in the Syrian civil war have ended, public expectations and demands are rising. Unlike the generic cries of protest heard regularly throughout the region, these chants in Syria are accurate reflections of the country’s plight, and they indicate the grim, unstable situation of President Bashar al-Assad as he faces these challenges.’

2) The ITIC reports on the Palestinian Authority’s steps to set up a government bank.

‘On June 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) approved the establishment of a government bank which will serve as a channel for transferring funds to prisoners (that is, terrorist operatives imprisoned in Israel) and families of shaheeds. The establishment of the new bank was intended to bypass the order issued by the Commander of the IDF Central Command prohibiting banks from providing banking services to prisoners and families of shaheeds in Judea and Samaria. In the wake of the order, several Palestinian and Arab banks announced a freeze on the bank accounts of prisoners and families of shaheeds. On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas and PA officials again pledged to transfer the funds to the prisoners and families of shaheeds, calling them a “red line” and “sacred salaries.”’

3) The JCPA has published a report by Asher Fredman called ‘The battle over BDS’.

‘In the last decade, following the accusatory Goldstone Report in 2009 and the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in 2010, Israel, Jewish, and non-Jewish organizations around the globe, have started to fight back against BDS. In recent years, they have increased their proactive measures, while the BDS movement intensified its activities as well. […]

Asher Fredman’s research looks at this battle and provides us with a deeper understanding of the efforts undertaken by both sides, and of the trends on the battlefield. While a clear-cut answer to the question regarding the direction of the needle cannot be provided at this point, the research demonstrates that the proactive measures of the pro-Israel network have had a significant impact on the BDS movement.’

4) NGO Monitor documents ‘The Role of Israeli NGOs in Supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC) “Investigation”’.

‘A number of Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), including those funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund (NIF), have been actively encouraging and facilitating an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into Israeli officials.

This advocacy in the ICC’s lawfare framework coincides with long-term funder NIF’s unexplained removal of language from its website declaring a policy of “firmly oppos[ing] attempts to prosecute Israeli officials in foreign courts or apply the generally-accepted principle of universal jurisdiction against Israel or Israeli officials.”’

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