Refuting Ilhan Omar’s Latest Libel of Israel

Last week, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accused the Jewish state of “a grave crime” and a “violation of international law,” and implied that the U.S. by supporting it was “bankrolling ethnic cleansing.” She cited as evidence a report that a recent IDF operation had “demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins.” But both the original report and Omar’s framing of it misrepresent the facts. Adam Levick¸ analyzing a similar story that appeared in the Guardian, sets the record straight:

[The Bedouin] encampment is actually within Area C, the part of the West Bank (in the Jordan Valley) under full Israeli civil and military control per the Oslo Accords. . . . Additionally, the claim that the Bedouin in question are now “homeless” is most likely not accurate. Indeed, the BBC’s Yolande Knell acknowledged, in a recent report on Radio 4, that at least some of the Bedouin families in question are now living in donated tents north of the Jordan Valley.

Further, . . .  Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that its residents have no property rights in the location (i.e. the land does not belong to them). Moreover, previous Israeli court cases on the same issue were heard in 2011 and 2014, and the petitioners lost in all cases.

The Guardian reporter clearly made no effort to research the legal history of the Bedouin claims—information that helps put the story in proper context.  Nor did he bother to note that at least some of the structures in the illegal encampment were built via foreign funding—including from the EU and UK.

What actually happened? The Bedouin set up camp in an area the IDF has used as a firing range since 1972, and which according to international law is under Israeli control. Since the Bedouin don’t have permanent residency there, they have no legal rights to the land. After allowing them to make their case in court, the IDF removed all of seven tents and eight animal pens.

Read more at CAMERA-UK

More about: Bedouin, Guardian, Ilhan Omar, West Bank


An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy