On Remembrance Day, a Tribute to the Indomitable Israeli Spirit

Today is Israel’s day of remembrance for those fallen in its wars, which, at sunset, gives way to Yom Ha-Atsma’ut—independence day. At the annual ceremony at Mount Herzl marking the transition from the day of mourning to the day of celebration, Rachel Frenkel, Bat-Galim Shaer, and Iris Yifrach will light a candle together. The respective sons of these three women were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas while hitchhiking home in the summer of 2014, in what became the opening sortie of the ensuing Gaza war. Ruthie Blum comments:

Rather than attempting to dissipate their devastation by wallowing in self-pity and casting blame in every direction, . . . Frenkel, Shaer, and Yifrach channeled it into an optimistic endeavor. Mere months after their personal tragedy, the three mothers partnered with Jerusalem’s then-mayor Nir Barkat to honor their son’s lives by launching a cash prize to recognize the “efforts of organizations and individuals in Israel and the diaspora who actively work to advance unity throughout Jewish communities and Israeli society.”

It is for this reason that Culture Minister Miri Regev made an exception to the current rule of having a maximum of two people light a single torch of the twelve that are ceremoniously lit on the eve of its independence day, the theme of which this year is “Saluting the Israeli Spirit.”

Regev explained her decision by calling the three “the heroes . . . who, in the face of heart-piercing grief, chose to open a gate of the love of Israel to honor their loved ones.” Regev was right, of course. But these women joining hands to wish their country a happy birthday straight from visiting their sons’ graves is a feat of internal strength that would better be described as otherworldly. For this, they should be granted a lot more than the opportunity to light a torch—a privilege that each would gladly forfeit in exchange for being able to hold her son in her arms one last time.

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Read more at Dallas Jewish Monthly

More about: Israeli Independence Day, Israeli society, Palestinian terror, Protective Edge, Yom Ha-Zikaron

 

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