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How to Put BDS out of Business

Sept. 7 2017

Behind the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) are a number of organizations connected to terrorism. Existing counterterror laws, as well as recent anti-BDS laws that have been passed by several American states and European countries, can thus be used to shut down these groups’ bank accounts, or prevent them from using services like PayPal. Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky explain:

[M]any BDS organizations are entwined with states and other entities that advance hate groups and terrorism at large. The Dallas-based bank Comerica said in May that it closed the account of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) due to a “business decision.” [But most likely] Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott’s ratification of an anti-BDS law in early May set the stage for the shutdown of the anti-Israel organization’s account. . . . As the Harvard jurist Alan Dershowitz [noted], IADL “was founded as a Communist front and supported financially by the Soviet Union. It is anti-democratic to its core and supportive of terrorism and repression.” . . .

The IADL is part and parcel of a dangerous, growing BDS cottage industry in the West. . . . The interplay between terrorism finance and BDS is perhaps best illustrated by BDS South Africa—the so-called “mothership” of the anti-Israel campaign. In 2015, Farid Esack—an Islamic theologian and head of BDS South Africa—held a series of fund-raisers with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who participated in the 1969 hijacking of a TWA jet. The United States and the EU have classified the PFLP as a terrorist organization. . . .

The neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has [also] long been a supporter of BDS. And the German neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) raises funds for its BDS activities using PayPal. Members of the Der Dritte Weg can be seen on the website at the Hizballah propaganda museum in Mleeta, Lebanon.

Both legal tools and public pressure, write Weinthal and Ramirowsky, can and should be used to make it difficult for these groups to keep doing business.

Read more at National Interest

More about: American law, BDS, Israel & Zionism, neo-Nazis, PFLP, Terrorism

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy