While Egyptian Television Tries to Imagine a World without Israel, It Can’t Answer the Tough Questions

Set a century in the future, the Egyptian miniseries The End imagines a future where Israel has been destroyed, its Jews “have returned to their countries of origin,” and the U.S. has fractured into several smaller states. A characteristic response to the show’s critics, writes Nervana Mahmoud, is “Don’t we have the right to dream?” Indulging them, Mahmoud tries to imagine the realities this dream would entail:

None of [The End’s fans and defenders] will ever address the tough questions about their future beloved Palestine. How will they reconcile their conflicting views on the future Palestinian state? How will post-Israel Palestine avoid the fate of post-Saddam Iraq or post-Arab Spring Syria? Will the allies of the various Palestinian factions leave the Palestinian people to decide their fate, or will they try to impose their vision in exchange for financial and political support?

Will Hamas, Fatah, and the other Palestinian factions that failed to unite under occupation reconcile their differences after “liberation”? Will prominent [figures] of the Palestinian diaspora, including Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and the activist Linda Sarsour, leave their prestigious careers in the U.S. and “return” to campaign relentlessly for the “right to return to Palestine” and to serve their beloved new state?

I once asked a hardcore pro-Palestinian Islamist those questions. He was angrily dismissive. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “What matters is that we destroy the Zionist state first, then think of the day after.”

[A]lthough all the factions within the pro-Palestinian camp are united in their contempt for Israelthe demise of the Zionist state is the last thing they want. Without Israel, . . . Hizballah will have no excuse for maintaining its military empire in Lebanon. . . . And without Israel, the identity-politics chorus in America will run out of slogans and excuses for their emotional outbursts, . . . and [Middle Eastern] drama producers will run out of fancy populist ideas for their fancy movies and soap operas. It may come as a shock to many, but Israel is a golden asset for every faction within the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian camp.

Read more at Nervana

More about: Egypt, Israel-Arab relations, Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, Television

The Assassination of a Nuclear Scientist Is a Reminder That Iran Has Been Breaking the Rules for Years

Nov. 30 2020

On Friday, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the chief scientist behind the Islamic Republic’s nuclear-weapons program, was killed in what appears to have been a carefully planned and executed operation—widely thought to have been Israel’s doing. In 2011, Fakhrizadeh was given a new position as head of the Organization for Defensive Innovation and Research (known by its Persian acronym SPND), which was a front for Tehran’s illegal nuclear activities. Richard Goldberg explains:

Last year, the State Department revealed that SPND has employed as many as 1,500 individuals, including nuclear-weapons scientists [who] “continue to carry out dual-use research and development activities, of which aspects are potentially useful for nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons-delivery systems.”

How could Fakhrizadeh and SPND continue to operate during the 2015 Iran nuclear deal when the deal was premised on Iran’s commitment to an exclusively peaceful nuclear program? Indeed, the existence of SPND and the discovery of Iran’s nuclear archive [by the Mossad in 2018] paints a picture of regime that never truly halted its nuclear-weapons program—but instead separated its pieces, keeping its personnel fresh and ready for a time of Iran’s choosing.

That reality was deliberately obfuscated to sell the Iran nuclear deal. Iran-deal supporters wanted the world to believe that the ayatollahs had left their nuclear ambitions in the past. . . . We now know Iran lied to the International Atomic Energy Agency, [which is charged with policing Tehran’s compliance], and to the participants of the nuclear deal. Today, the IAEA is again investigating Iran’s concealment of undeclared nuclear material, activities, and sites.

President-elect Joe Biden can no longer pretend that the Iran deal prevented the Islamic Republic’s nuclear advancement. It did not. Nor can Biden’s incoming secretary of state or national security adviser—both of whom were instrumental players in putting the deal together—pretend that Iran can return to compliance with that flawed deal without addressing all outstanding questions about the archive, SPND, and its undeclared activities.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy