How New York Can Play a Key Role in Stopping BDS

In January, the New York State Senate passed a bill—now being considered by the state Assembly—which would prohibit New York from doing business with corporations that support the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky explain the bill’s importance:

Nearly half of U.S. states have passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws. New York’s law will be crucial because scores of major European companies and banks are based in the Empire State. The mere threat of legislation penalizing European banks has prompted one major bank to shut down an Austrian BDS group’s account: the Vienna-based financial-services provider Erste Group closed the account held by BDS Austria.

After the Jerusalem Post exposed a BDS account held by the DAB Bank in Munich—a subsidiary of the French banking giant BNP Paribas—the account of BDS Campaign in Germany was [also] closed.

Both BNP Paribas and Erste Group have branch offices in New York City. German, Austrian, and French banks maintaining BDS accounts are now likely to face greater scrutiny by New York State legislators. . . .

European companies and financial institutions will need to make hard decisions. Do they want to continue to stoke anti-Semitism via BDS and hurt Israel’s economy while facing financial damage to their businesses in the United States? It should be a no-brainer.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Austria, BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, New York

 

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security