Belgium Invests in Anti-Israel Incitement in the Name of Human Rights

Last week Israeli diplomats complained to their Belgian counterparts over Brussels’s funding of anti-Zionist nongovernmental organizations with such goals as “mitigating the influence of pro-Israel voices”—some of which have ties to terrorist groups. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

Belgium would not fund other similar groups, such as Catalan or Kurdish separatists, under the same logic. . . . We hope that Belgium’s decisions reflect not having enough information about where the funding goes and the way in which some Palestinian groups use the money they receive through legitimate charities in Europe to disseminate extreme anti-Israel content produced in Ramallah and spread around the world.

Unfortunately, many Palestinian groups, such as the PFLP, [an unrepentant terrorist group with a bloodstained history], have wrapped themselves in a false flag of human rights, and even children’s and women’s rights, so they can systematically hijack international forums to advance their extreme anti-Israel agenda.

[Channeling funds to such groups] is not countries show respect for one another’s sovereignty, [especially if] they claim, [as Belgium does], to want to have a future of fraternal relations. Belgium needs to understand that the goals of these groups are clear: when they use maps that do not show Israel or celebrate “martyrs” who murdered civilians, they are not partners to work with to advance human rights.

In the past, Israel tended to ignore this funding and not challenge it, not seeing the full forest of implications that it had on the education of future generations. We now know better.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Belgium, Israel diplomacy, NGO, PFLP


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy