When Jews and Arabs Fought Together against the Nazis

While the story of the cooperation of the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, with the Third Reich has been told many times, an Israeli historian has recently published an article, based on extensive research, showing that many Palestinian Arabs instead chose to cast their lot with the Allies during World War II. Mustafa Abbasi, who came to the topic via research into his own family history, has found that the British created many Palestine-based units, made up of Jews and Arabs, to fight against Germany. Nadav Shragai explains:

All in all, some 12,000 Arabs from Mandate Palestine volunteered for the British army during World War II, approximately half the number of Jewish volunteers. Hundreds of Palestinian fighters were captured. Approximately 300 died in battle. . . . At the time, the Arab population in pre-state Israel was split between the Husseinis, [led by the grand mufti], and the Nashashibi clan who openly supported the British and usually maintained good ties with the Jewish population.

Abbasi has also discovered that several dozen Jews and Arabs fought together alongside thousands of British and Egyptian troops at the First Battle of El Alamein in July 1942. . . . A few of the volunteers also took part in the Allied invasion at Normandy in the summer of 1944.

There were a total of 4,041 Arab volunteers and 10,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine in the British infantry. . . . Jews and Arabs also served together in the Middle East Commando unit, which included 240 Jews and 120 Arabs under a team of British commanders. The volunteers with the unit underwent exhausting physical training and long marches in difficult conditions. At the end of 1940, some members of the unit took part in the first British attack in [Egypt’s] Western Desert and burst through Italian lines at Bardia on the Egyptian-Libyan border. In the winter of 1941, the unit fought fierce battles against the Italians.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Israeli Arabs, Mandate Palestine, World War II

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin