As Palestinians Continue to Suffer in Syria, “Pro-Palestinian” Activists Remain Indifferent

The London-based organization Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) recently released a report documenting the effect of the Syrian civil war on that country’s Palestinian population, noting that the number of dead has now reached 4,013. While Palestinians have fought alongside Bashar al-Assad’s forces and against them, most of the suffering was inflicted by the Assad regime and its allies, as Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

AGPS estimated the number of Palestinians who have died of torture in Syrian prisons at 614. Another 205 Palestinians died as a result of lack of proper medical treatment and medicine because of the Syrian army’s siege on the Yarmouk refugee camp, the group said.

Another 311 Palestinians were killed by sniper gunfire, 142 in various bombings, 92 in “extrajudicial killings” by the Syrian authorities and its proxy groups, and 315 who were executed or died of suffocation and arson incidents. At least 52 Palestinians are believed to have drowned while trying to reach Europe.

Alarmed by the world’s continuing indifference toward the plight of the Palestinians in Syria in general and that of journalists in particular, AGPS denounced the “apathy of the international community and Palestinian leadership.”

That apathy, notes Abu Toameh, is shared by the many groups and individuals who call themselves pro-Palestinian. To him, the explanation is straightforward: “these Palestinians’ problems cannot be blamed on Israel.” He adds:

They are being killed and tortured in an Arab country, by their own brothers, and as far as the world is concerned, as long as there is no way to hold Israel responsible, it is fine for Arabs to commit atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war

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