How Hamas Gets Away with Lying about Israel

In a recent interview, the secretary-general of the Red Crescent spoke frankly about Hamas’s policy of deliberately launching rockets from hospitals during the 2014 Gaza War and noted that jihadists working with Hamas in the Sinai even opened fired on him and other Muslims aid workers. While such brazen behavior is hardly news, Western journalists, readers, and State Department officials have time and again shown themselves gullible enough to believe Hamas’s version of events. Liel Leibovits comments:

Israel, for all of its flaws and its faults, is an open and democratic society. Its armed forces obey rules of engagement that are more restrictive than those under which American or European forces operate. Israel also grants the local and the international media largely unfettered access to its cities and to battlefields. Israel, therefore, has virtually no incentive to lie about easily verifiable matters of fact that occur in public while operating under a global microscope. . . .

Which leaves us with Hamas. Why is the group blatantly falsifying facts? The answer here is simple, too: because they can get away with it. . . . What the terrorist organization offered the world in Gaza in 2014 was a version of the story contained in its founding charter, which is only the latest chapter in a very old story: the Jews are sucking our blood. Deliver some version of this libelous tale, and no one rushes to examine the evidence. After all, anti-Semitic atrocity stories don’t need evidence to back them up; they’re part of a larger conspiracy theory, in which “the Jews” are responsible for the world’s misfortunes.

Why do Western governments and news organizations endorse this insane medieval garbage? Well, that’s also easy to explain: if the people you are trying to strike deals with believe that a malignant sea-serpent is their main foe in life, who are you to disabuse them of that idea, however idiotic? Western governments and news organizations are happy to pay at least lip service to vile and nonsensical anti-Semitic canards to ease their commercial relationships with unfree societies whose leaders repeatedly blame the Jews for their perpetual failures. The price of not doing so might be high. The price of doing so is guaranteed to be low, especially when you dress up the old anti-Semitism in fancier garb and call it anti-Zionism.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Media, Protective Edge

 

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

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