Britain, and the EU, Must End the Appeasement of Hizballah

Jan. 25 2018

Today the British parliament debates a motion to do away with the fictitious distinction, also embraced by the EU, between Hizballah’s “military wing” and its “political wing” and a concomitant law that, while sanctioning the former, allows the latter to operate freely. Although he is not hopeful, Richard Kemp urges both London and Brussels to change course and outlaw Hizballah outright:

Hizballah, a creation of Iran, emerged onto the world stage in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers in the most devastating terrorist attack before 9/11. Since then it has attacked in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and planned strikes from Cyprus to Singapore. Last summer, U.S. authorities charged two Hizballah terrorists with planning attacks in New York and Panama. Hizballah is fighting to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria and maintains an arsenal of 100,000 rockets in Lebanon, pointed at Israel.

During the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hizballah was involved in Iranian-directed bombings that killed well over 1,000 British and U.S. servicemen. Despite this, in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, Hizballah can freely raise funds for terrorism. Its supporters flaunt their assault-rifle emblazoned flags on [British] streets. They maintain sleeper cells in [the UK]: planning, preparing, and lying in wait for orders to attack.

When I worked for [Britain’s] Joint Intelligence Committee I monitored Hizballah’s activities. I knew there was no division into peaceful and warlike elements. . . . In 2009, its deputy secretary-general confirmed that it was one unified organization. British intelligence knows this, and so do the prime minister and home secretary. So why maintain this dangerous fiction? The Foreign Office deludes itself that by appeasing Hizballah it can influence the organization and that it will do its killing elsewhere. Instead this gives legitimacy to Hizballah. . . .

What would EU-wide proscription do to Hizballah? We know the answer from the words of its secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah: “The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political, and material support will be destroyed.”

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Colonel Richard Kemp

More about: European Union, Hizballah, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Commentary

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times