A New Foreign-Policy Think Tank Lines Up a Roster of Israel-Haters

George Soros—a billionaire who supports numerous left-liberal causes, including several anti-Israel organizations—and Charles Koch—a billionaire who supports numerous conservative and libertarian causes—don’t agree on much. But they have joined forces to create the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. The new think tank bills itself as in favor of peace and diplomacy, and against overseas interventions. As Eliana Johnson notes, it has thus far hired several people with a habit of promoting anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic, conspiracy theories:

Lawrence Wilkerson, a nonresident fellow at the institute [and formerly Colin Powell’s chief of staff], said in a 2007 documentary that “the Jewish lobby in America” and “AIPAC in particular” played an outsize influence in the run-up to the [2003 Iraq] war—and, in fact, had more of an impact than the administration’s belief that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction or the president’s belief in spreading democracy. . . . [Wilkerson] came under fire again in 2013 for arguing that Syrian chemical-weapons use “could’ve been an Israeli false-flag operation.” There is no evidence to support such a claim.

The Quincy Institute is also home to several experts who have accused American Jews of being loyal primarily to Israel, a charge that has often been used to slur Jews. . . . The Quincy expert Eli Clifton [has suggested] that the think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies was originally a mouthpiece for the Israeli government and has insinuated itself into the American bureaucracy.

The retired diplomat Chas Freeman, who authored the Quincy Institute’s first policy brief in December, . . . in a speech in Moscow, accused American Jews of constituting an Israeli “fifth column” inside the United States.

These experts are less vocal, however, about other ethnic foreign-policy lobbies in the United States. In fact, the Quincy Institute’s cofounder and executive vice-president, Trita Parsi, is also the founder of the National Iranian American Council, which has battled accusations that it serves as a mouthpiece for the Iranian government.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

More about: Anti-Semitism, f, Foreign Policy, Israel Lobby


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security