For Palestinian Leaders, Israel Has No Place in Any Part of the Land

At a recent summit of the Arab League in Mauritania, the Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that the Palestinians intend to bring a lawsuit against Britain for issuing the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. Although the move has been much derided, Alex Ryvchin argues that it needs to be taken seriously:

Writing in the Guardian, Ian Black called the latest stunt by the Palestinians “a stretch” that has “attracted more ridicule than serious analysis.” But the tenacity of the Palestinians in pursuing their objectives in international forums must not be underestimated, no matter how inconsequential or misguided these attempts ultimately prove to be.

In foreshadowing the lawsuit, the Palestinian foreign minister railed that the British “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs.” In fact, the Balfour Declaration gave nothing to anyone. It simply expressed British support for the idea that the Jews, a people indigenous to the land, should be able to return there to reconstitute their national home if they so desired following the collapse of Ottoman colonial rule.

It was the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, and not [Arthur Balfour,] a solitary British minister, that recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” It further encouraged “close settlement by Jews on the land.”

These binding international pronouncements . . . demonstrate that Jewish national rights were recognized long before the Holocaust made the justice of a Jewish homeland not only self-evident but urgent. They also make nonsense of the proposition, often put by Palestinian advocates, that Israel was allowed to be created by the European powers to make others pay for their sins in relation to the destruction of European Jewry.

Boorish and unconscionable as Maliki’s statement was, it had an unintended virtue. It laid bare the true, but often disguised, Palestinian position that Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people has no place in any part of the land. . . . The Palestinian leaders have also demonstrated the extraordinary lengths to which they will go to mire their people in a sense of grievance and entitlement instead of preparing them for the compromises necessary finally to achieve their own state.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab League, Balfour Declaration, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority

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