Rashida Tlaib’s Anti-Semitic Defense of Boycotts of Israel

The first bill before the newly sworn-in Congress deals with sundry Middle East-related issues, including language to authorize state and local measures against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Taking to Twitter to attack the bill, the freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wrote that its supporters “forgot what country they represent.” The editors of the New York Post comment:

Rashida Tlaib may take great pains to deny she is anti-Semitic, but she’s just launched her congressional career by resorting to one of the oldest and most blatantly anti-Jewish canards. . . .

American Jews have long been slandered with charges of dual loyalty for their support of Israel. Activists such as [the Women’s March leader and Arab-American activist] Linda Sarsour hurl it more and more often these days. It was used against opponents of the Iran nuclear deal and supporters of the war in Iraq. Yet it’s particularly ironic for Tlaib to make the charge, since she has vowed to “be a voice” for her relatives in the West Bank and declared that her “passion for justice is rooted in [her] beautiful Palestine.” . . .

Her latest tirade . . . gives the lie to her claim that she merely opposes Israel. So far, other Democrats have remained silent on Tlaib’s disgraceful canard. The party’s depressing drift of recent years makes that no real surprise. But it still makes them abettors, enablers—and equally guilty.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib

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