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Iran’s Western Partners Have Blood on Their Hands

Dec. 30 2016

With the relaxation of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, European governments and corporations, ignoring the ethical and national-security consequences, have rushed to arrange for all kinds of trade and investment. Giulio Maria Terzi writes:

Italy has led the way. Following the former prime minister Matteo Renzi’s example, government ministers have announced dozens of initiatives and programs with their Iranian counterparts. These initiatives involve not only trade but also defense. The Italian navy, for example, has carried out joint anti-piracy exercises with Iran. . . .

Major sectors of the Iranian economy are dominated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, an internationally recognized terrorist organization. . . . It is difficult to do business in the country without enriching the armed group and its front companies and helping to support its activities, which include kidnapping, politically motivated arrests, terrorism, cyber espionage, and cyber terrorism. Iran’s Western partners risk having blood on their hands. . . .

Iranian officials who should be indicted for crimes against humanity are instead attending meetings with European governments. The Continent’s leaders seem to be ignoring Tehran’s repeated, explicit threats against the state of Israel, its support of international terrorism and Islamic extremism, and its involvement in crimes against humanity in Syria.

In Iran, Europe’s silence is taken as encouragement; it has emboldened the mullahs to persist with abuses, even in the face of rising dissent and anger among the Iranian people, particularly the youth. Challenges to the regime’s aggression abroad and violence against its own citizens cannot be expected to come from anywhere within the regime itself. They will only come if brave Iranian activists and the international community work together to put pressure toward progress.

Read more at Politico

More about: European Union, Iran, Italy, Politics & Current Affairs

 

Putting Aside the Pious Lies about the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Jan. 23 2018

In light of recent developments, including Mahmoud Abbas’s unusually frank speech to the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s leadership, Moshe Arens advocates jettisoning some frequently mouthed but clearly false assumptions about Israel’s situation, beginning with the idea that the U.S. should act as a neutral party in negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah. (Free registration may be required.)

The United States cannot be, and has never been, neutral in mediating the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It is the leader of the world’s democratic community of nations and cannot assume a neutral position between democratic Israel and the Palestinians, whether represented by an autocratic leadership that glorifies acts of terror or by Islamic fundamentalists who carry out acts of terror. . . .

In recent years the tectonic shifts in the Arab world, the lower price of oil, and the decreased importance attached to the Palestinian issue in much of the region, have essentially removed the main incentive the United States had in past years to stay involved in the conflict. . . .

Despite the conventional wisdom that the core issues—such as Jerusalem or the fate of Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines—are the major stumbling blocks to an agreement, the issue for which there seems to be no solution in sight at the moment is making sure that any Israeli military withdrawal will not result in rockets being launched against Israel’s population centers from areas that are turned over to the Palestinians. . . .

Does that mean that Israel is left with a choice between a state with a Palestinian majority or an apartheid state, as claimed by Israel’s left? This imaginary dilemma is based on a deterministic theory of history, which disregards all other possible alternatives in the years to come, and on questionable demographic predictions. What the left is really saying is this: better rockets on Tel Aviv than a continuation of Israeli military control over Judea and Samaria. There is little support in Israel for that view.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Mahmoud Abbas, Peace Process, US-Israel relations