Hamas and Hizballah Won’t Give Up Their Radical Goals for Economic Benefits

June 18 2021

In his first interview after leaving office, the former head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, admitted that he had erred in believing that Israel could come to some sort of accord with Hamas. In his own words:

I thought we had an arrangement. I wanted to believe that because of all the effort we put into bringing about times of peace that we desperately need here [in Israel] and there, [in Gaza], . . . I admit I believed—wholeheartedly believed—that if the residents of the Gaza Strip saw their wellbeing improve, . . . their motivation for crises and wars would decrease. It seems I was wrong. I was wrong.

Dan Schueftan observes:

Jews have been making this mistake for over a century. In the early years of statehood, Moshe Sharett, who would become the second prime minister of Israel, explained that Zionism was built entirely on national consciousness, not on getting Jews to feel that they are better off. Yet, when it came to Arabs that lived in Israel, it expected them to voice their opinions on the economy and progress, entirely ignoring the national problem.

The damage of such an outlook becomes greater when combined with an analytic and perceptual error that is prevalent among intellectuals who believe that pragmatic behavior indicates that the leaders are transitioning away from radicalism. . . . Such an assumption is based on a faulty understanding of radicalism and a lack of knowledge of world history.

Hizballah, Hamas, and the Iranian regime are radicals, even when they act pragmatically. Israel must deter them instead of “believing wholeheartedly” that their aggressive and violent nature can be changed if their standard of living improved.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Mossad

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