If Syrian Refugees Are the New Jews, Who Are the New Nazis?

Last summer, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof declared that “Anne Frank today is like a Syrian girl.” Such comparisons have become quite commonplace over the past week. But, wonders Lee Smith, if, according to this analogy, Syrians civilians are like Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and Donald Trump is like Franklin D. Roosevelt (whose government turned away many Jews fleeing Europe), then who are the Nazis?

Sunni Muslims have been the target of a campaign of sectarian cleansing and slaughter since the earliest days of the nearly six-year-long Syrian conflict. [They] make up the preponderance of those seeking refuge the world over, from Turkey and Lebanon to Europe and North America. At first the Sunnis were fleeing the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but Assad has become a relatively insignificant factor in the war. In this scenario, Assad is rather like Mussolini, a dictator in charge of incompetent and dwindling forces incapable of holding ground. . . . Hence, Assad needed to mobilize his allies, especially his regime’s chief protector, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran sent in its crack troops, the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ expeditionary unit led by Qassem Soleimani. Also at Iran’s disposal was a large number of regional organizations, ranging from the elite Lebanese militia Hizballah to less prestigious fighting outfits. . . . It was these groups, later joined by Russia, that hunted Sunni Arabs like animals and slaughtered them, or sent them running for their lives. These are the Nazis [in the present analogy].

It is terrible that Syrian refugees are suffering. It is wrong that the Trump administration has cruelly shut America’s doors on children who have known nothing during their short lives except running from the jaws of a machine of death. But America’s shame is much, much worse than that. For in securing his chief foreign-policy initiative, Barack Obama made billions of dollars and American diplomatic and military cover available to Iran, which has used both to wage a [ruthless] war against Syria’s Sunni Arab population.

Not only have we failed so far to protect “today’s Jews” by stopping today’s Nazis, the 44th president of the United States assisted the latter in their campaign of mass murder. That’s why, when people liken Syrian refugees to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, no one dares to complete the analogy and identify Iran as today’s Nazis. America’s shame is worse than anything that the protesters at airports imagine.

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More about: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Holocaust, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Refugees, Syrian civil war

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary]. approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat