Why Pakistan Won’t Be Next to Make Peace with Israel

Sept. 2 2020

Since the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced their normalization of relations, there has been much speculation that other Arab states—and even some non-Arab Muslim countries—will follow suit. But Pakistan, although it has no strategic conflicts with the Jewish state, won’t be one of them. Hussain Nadim explains why:

Pakistan’s policy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict is a product of the late 1940s and early 1950s when the country was trying to establish itself as an eastern fortress of the Islamic world to mobilize Muslim support against India. This required solidarity with the Arab states that were foremost parties to a conflict with Israel.

The hope in Pakistan was that the Islamic world would reciprocate Pakistan’s support over the Palestine issue by supporting Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir against India. This, however, never happened because, for the Arab world, Palestine was an Arab-Israeli conflict not a Muslim-Jewish one, and Kashmir was a Pakistan-India conflict not a Hindu-Muslim one. . . . Some 72 years on, Pakistan’s policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict is dictated neither by principles nor by interests. It is dictated by inertia.

A key reason for this inertia is the way Pakistan sold the entire Palestine issue domestically through [using] religious sentiment and backing it up with out-of-context Quran verses. . . . Not only did this end up creating an unknown enemy out of the Jewish people, it also gave rise to conspiracy theories of all sorts inside the country that helped the ruling elite sway public opinion in whichever direction benefited their politics. For instance, when the current Prime Minister Imran Khan launched his political career in 1995, he was targeted for being a “Jewish agent” by the ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s right-wing political party.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel diplomacy, Pakistan

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism