What President Trump Can Accomplish on His Trip to the Middle East

As President Trump prepares to visit both Saudi Arabia and Israel, and thereafter to attend a NATO meeting in Brussels, Robert Satloff has some suggestions for what he can bring to America’s traditional allies:

First, the president should take advantage of his meeting with Muslim leaders in Riyadh to propose a new partnership to roll back the twin forms of Islamist extremism that threaten global peace and security: the Sunni jihadism of Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda, and like-minded sub-state actors, movements, and groups, and the Iranian-led consortium of radical states, militias, and proxies. . . . Such a partnership—less than a full-fledged treaty but more than just a vague communiqué—would have many component parts, from military, political, and diplomatic to economic, educational, and cultural. . . .

Second, the president should link his Riyadh and Brussels meetings to secure promises from his Arab hosts and his NATO partners for a coordinated, all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure stability, security, and reasonably effective governance in the lands soon to be liberated from IS domination in eastern Syria and western Iraq. . . .

[In addition], the president should use his considerable political leverage to advance a secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. . . . With Palestinians, he should pick up a theme George W. Bush championed fifteen years ago as a requirement of U.S. partnership and then dropped in the tumult of the Iraq war: an insistence on internal reform, on everything from fighting corruption to stamping out incitement to ending the odious practice of paying terrorists and their families.

Read more at New York Daily News

More about: Middle East, NATO, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy

The EU Must Stop Tolerating Hizballah

July 21 2017

Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the bombing in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, which left five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian dead. After the bombing, the EU designated the “military wing” of Hizballah, which carried out the attack, a terrorist organization. But unlike the U.S., Egypt, and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the EU doesn’t apply this designation to the Hizballah’s “political wing.” Toby Dershowitz and Benjamin Weinthal write:

[T]he EU needs to . . . recognize, as Hizballah [itself] does, that the organization isn’t bifurcated into political and military “wings.” . . . Hizballah’s terror-financing activities and its critical role in the Syrian war should be enough for the EU to deport Hizballah members from its 28 member countries. Anything short of full designation would enable Hizballah to continue fundraising and operating its front companies. Last year, for instance, . . . German authorities uncovered a money-laundering operation in Europe that amassed nearly €1 million ($1.1 million) a week for more than two years, money that Europol and the U.S. Treasury Department says went to fund Hizballah.

Membership recruitment in Europe is also a significant tool for Hizballah. According to a recent German intelligence report, there are 950 active Hizballah members in Germany. This calls into question the effectiveness of the EU’s 2013 sanctions, which were imposed only on Hizballah’s “military wing.” . . .

Should Europe maintain the status quo . . . it does so at its own peril. European security will continue to be put at risk. And Hizballah will be given the signal that Europe is far from serious about countering terrorism.

Read more at FDD

More about: Bulgaria, European Union, Hizballah, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism