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.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Belgium, Israel diplomacy, NGO, PFLP

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin