Obtuseness about Israel Has Left Europe Defenseless

July 22 2016

Last week, EU officials made public a 2015 report, drafted and endorsed by most member states, on the ongoing terror attacks in Israel. To Evelyn Gordon, the document demonstrates why France was so unprepared for terrorism on its own soil:

[The report concluded that] the attacks were due to “the Israeli occupation . . . and a long-standing policy of political, economic, and social marginalization of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” to “deep frustration among Palestinians over the effects of the occupation, and a lack of hope that a negotiated solution can bring it to an end.” This, the report asserted, was “the heart of the matter”; factors like rampant Palestinian incitement and widespread Islamist sentiment, if they were mentioned at all, were evidently dismissed as unimportant.

The report’s first implication is obvious: if Palestinian attacks stem primarily from “the occupation,” there’s no reason to think anything similar could happen in Europe, which isn’t occupying anyone. Consequently, there’s also no need to learn from Israel’s methods of dealing with such attacks. . . .

[H]ad EU diplomats understood the major role played by Palestinian incitement—for instance, the endless Internet memes urging Palestinians to stab, run over, and otherwise kill Jews, complete with detailed instructions on how to do so—they might have realized that similar propaganda put out by Islamic State, urging people to use similar techniques against Westerners, could have a similar effect.

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, France, Islamic State, Israel & Zionism, Terrorism

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia