The Jerusalem Light Rail: Good for Israelis, Good for Palestinians—and Therefore a Provocation to Enemies

Since its construction was completed in 2012, Jerusalem’s light rail has provided inexpensive transportation from the city’s outskirts to its center. Its single line goes through both Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, making it easier for residents of both to get to jobs in other parts of the city, and actually facilitating integration. It is precisely for these reasons, argues Jared Samilow, that it has been the target of both terrorists and European boycott efforts:

[T]he absence of grassroots Palestinian opposition to the light rail didn’t stop their advocates in the West from complaining on their behalf.

Adri Nieuwhof, a Dutch anti-Israel journalist and activist, wrote that the light rail was a ploy to tighten Israel’s grip on eastern Jerusalem and urged a boycott of French multinational giants Veolia and Alstom—companies that held partial shares in the project and were involved in operating the train cars. The official website of the BDS movement bleated out boycott instructions to its troops.

Unfortunately, enough people listened, causing Veolia and Alstom to lose contracts in Europe. . . . In August 2015, the boycotters won, and Veolia sold its last shares. . . .

In driving French multinationals out of Israel, European activists discourage foreign investors from operating in Israel in the first place. Often, the possibility of negative publicity can be enough to deter a commercial endeavor. More disturbing is how these activists succeeded in persuading the foreign media to adopt the narrative of a “controversial” light rail violating international law. It diminishes Israel’s status as a legitimate nation if it can’t so much as build public infrastructure without international interference. . . .

By attacking enterprises that benefit both Israelis and Palestinians, BDS evangelists show that they’ll always opt to cause Israel pain even at the cost of Palestinian suffering that doesn’t bring [Palestinians] any closer to a state.

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Read more at Tower

More about: BDS, East Jerusalem, Israel & Zionism, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror, Palestinians

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy