Iran’s Plans for a Takeover of Gaza

Oct. 11 2018

After Hamas, the most important political (and terrorist) organization in the Gaza Strip is Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—which, like Hizballah in Lebanon and various militias in Iraq, is an Iranian proxy. Khaled Abu Toameh explains the threat the group poses:

PIJ . . . is responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings. In recent years, the group has also been launching rockets and mortars at Israel. Although it considers itself an independent group, PIJ often operates in coordination with Hamas. The two groups even have a joint-operations command to coordinate their attacks on Israel. Sometimes, they carry out joint attacks. . . .

Hamas does not tolerate competition from other armed groups in the Gaza Strip, but when it comes to PIJ and its military wing, the story is altogether different. When PIJ displays its power and weapons on the streets of Gaza, Hamas shuts up about it, [since] Hamas is aware that meddling with PIJ means getting into trouble with PIJ’s paymasters in Iran. Like PIJ, Hamas is dependent on Iran’s political, financial, and military backing. [Yet] Iran considers PIJ its main ally and puppet in the Gaza Strip. Through PIJ, Iran inserts its tentacles into the internal affairs of the Palestinians. . . .

Despite the apparent rapprochement [with Hamas after a rift over the Syrian civil war], Iran has strong reservations about trusting the organization. Its skepticism appears based on Iran’s fear that Hamas is ready to reach a reconciliation agreement with Fatah and a truce accord with Israel. Such an alliance, in the eyes of Iran, would constitute a betrayal on the part of Hamas. Any agreement with Fatah would mean that Hamas is prepared to join forces with Abbas and, even worse, engage in future peace talks with Israel. . . .

Even if Hamas were to be removed from power, the Palestinians would continue to suffer under other radical groups such as the PIJ. Second, even if Hamas were to wake up tomorrow morning and have an about-face, striking a genuine truce with Israel, there will always be other terrorist groups that are prepared to breach the agreement any time they wish. . . . These are crucial factors that need to be taken into account by any international party that seeks a solution to the catastrophe called Gaza.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel & Zionism

 

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror