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

Israel Has Survived Eight Years of Barack Obama’s False Friendship

Jan. 20 2017

In his speech justifying America’s decision to allow passage of the UN Security Council resolution declaring it a violation of international law for Jews to live in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.” John Podhoretz comments:

The decision in December by President Obama to abstain on the UN Security Council vote . . . marked the moment he crossed the finish line in the course he had charted from 2008 onward. The turn against Israel was complete. And, as he had when he began it, in farewell interview after farewell interview he characterized his assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land as an act of tough love. . . .

Which raises the key question: why [only] abstain [from the resolution]? If “hard truths” define friendship, then by all means they should have made the truths as hard as possible. If Barack Obama and John Kerry truly believe the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem is illicit, then they should have voted for the resolution. Instead, they took the coward’s way out. They opened the vault to the criminals and placed the jewels in their hands while wearing white gloves so there would be no residual trace of their fingerprints. The abstention was in some weird sense the mark of their bad conscience. They wanted something to happen while maintaining some historical deniability about their involvement in it.

In the eight years of the Obama presidency, war broke out twice between the Palestinians and the Israelis and nearly broke out a third time. In each case, the issue was not the West Bank, or east Jerusalem, or anything near. . . . The idea that the settlements and the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem are the main barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was proved to be a lie right before Obama’s eyes in 2009, and 2012, and 2014. And he didn’t care to see it, because he is blinded by an antipathy he wishes to ascribe to Israeli action when honesty would compel him to find it in his own misguided leftist ideology—or within his own soul.

Israel has survived the horrendous blessing of Barack Obama’s false friendship.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Israel & Zionism, John Kerry, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations