Mike Pompeo’s Historic Visit to Israel Recognizes Realities, and Jewish Rights

Nov. 25 2020

Last week, the American secretary of state arrived in Israel, visiting, among other places, the Golan Heights and the West Bank village of Psagot—where he toured a winery that has named a wine after him. Secretary Pompeo’s itinerary provoked outrage from the usual corners, with one commentator accusing him of “trolling the world.” But even the widely repeated claim that Pompeo was the first secretary of state to visit the Golan is false—Warren Christopher went there in official capacity in 1993. As for the criticisms, Dan Diker writes:

Pompeo’s visit to Psagot . . . reflected the agreed legal and diplomatic framework of the 1995 Oslo Interim Accords, which were internationally witnessed and guaranteed by the United States, Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Norway, and the European Union. The accords affirmed in no uncertain terms that Israeli and Palestinian Authority construction and building rights in areas under their respective jurisdictions would continue until the final status negotiated disposition of the territories.

Psagot is located in what Oslo designates as Area C, where Israel is given exclusive rights. Of course, writes Diker, these subtleties are lost on those who rush to proclaim it an “illegal settlement.”

It is regrettable that some uninformed or willfully blind journalists and commentators took the liberty of recasting Psagot and other Jewish communities east of the 1949 armistice lines as “illegal.” . . . Pompeo’s visit and his statements were correctives to [such] errors of judgment.

Likewise, Diker takes issue with the New York Times’s description of Pompeo’s visit, and his concomitant condemnation of anti-Israel boycotts, as “Trump’s gifts to Israel”:

Pompeo’s recognition of Jewish communities in Area C of Judea and Samaria and his condemnation of anti-Semitic product labeling and of the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS) were the U.S. administration’s affirmations of . . . Jewish rights. They were also expressions of much needed moral clarity. Regrettably, political propagandists and various [self-styled] authorities in Israel and abroad have for years politicized Israel’s fundamental legal and historical rights.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Golan Heights, Mike Pompeo, Oslo Accords, West Bank

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada