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

Aug. 17 2020

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

How Israel Can Break the Cycle of Wars in Gaza

Last month saw yet another round of fighting between the Jewish state and Gaza-based terrorist groups. This time, it was Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that began the conflict; in other cases, it was Hamas, which rules the territory. Such outbreaks have been numerous in the years since 2009, and although the details have varied somewhat, Israel has not yet found a way to stop them, or to save the residents of the southwestern part of the country from the constant threat of rocket fire. Yossi Kuperwasser argues that a combination of military, economic, and diplomatic pressure might present an alternative solution:

In Gaza, Jerusalem plays a key role in developing the rules that determine what the parties can and cannot do. Such rules are designed to give the Israelis the ability to deter attacks, defend territory, maintain intelligence dominance, and win decisively. These rules assure Hamas that its rule over Gaza will not be challenged and that, in between the rounds of escalation, it will be allowed to continue its military buildup, as the Israelis seldom strike first, and the government’s responses to Hamas’s limited attacks are always measured and proportionate.

The flaws in such an approach are clear: it grants Hamas the ability to develop its offensive capabilities, increase its political power, and condemn Israelis—especially those living within range of the Gaza Strip—to persistent threats from Hamas terrorists.

A far more effective [goal] would be to rid Israel of Hamas’s threat by disarming it, prohibiting its rearmament, and demonstrating conclusively that threatening Israel is indisputably against its interests. Achieving this goal will not be easy, but with proper preparation, it may be feasible at the appropriate time.

Revisiting the rule according to which Jerusalem remains tacitly committed to not ending Hamas rule in Gaza is key for changing the dynamics of this conflict. So long as Hamas knows that the Israelis will not attempt to uproot it from Gaza, it can continue arming itself and conducting periodic attacks knowing the price it will pay may be heavy—especially if Jerusalem changes the other rules mentioned—but not existential.

Read more at Middle East Quarterly

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israeli Security, Palestinian Islamic Jihad