Turkey Has Become a Haven for Terrorist Groups

Four years ago this coming Tuesday, a group of Hamas operatives murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin while they were driving with their children. Earlier this week, the four children—who were injured but survived the attack—filed suit in a federal court against the Turkish bank Kuveyt Turk, which they accuse of providing financial assistance to Hamas. (Since Eitam Henkin had American citizenship, the case can be tried in the U.S.) Jonathan Schanzer and Aykan Erdemir write:

The lawsuit against this . . . bank, which counts the Turkish government as a shareholder, comes two weeks after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned eleven Turkey-linked entities and individuals for supporting Hamas and other jihadist outfits. . . . Between 2012 and 2015, Tehran [too] relied on Turkish banks and a gold trader with dual Iranian-Turkish citizenship to circumvent U.S. sanctions at the height of Washington’s efforts to thwart the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. It was the biggest sanctions-evasions scheme in recent history.

Turkey has also proved a forgiving host to terrorists. . . . Islamic State terrorists continued to operate from Turkish territory well into 2018. . . . Saleh Arouri, the Hamas military commander responsible for the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three teens in the West Bank, spearheaded that operation from Turkish soil. . . . Arouri is just one of many Hamas operatives who have operated in Turkey. In 2011, ten Hamas operatives released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange arrived in Turkey, and many remain active there.

It’s already clear that Erdogan’s Turkey has become a permissive jurisdiction for illicit and terror finance. But this new case on behalf of an American victim of terrorism and members of his family could finally begin to hold the regime in Turkey responsible.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Hamas, Iran sanctions, ISIS, Lawfare, Palestinian terror, Turkey


If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy