Calling Israel an “Apartheid State” Has Its Roots in Soviet-Style Disinformation Techniques

In the 1980s and 90s, it was a common refrain in some circles of the hard left that the U.S. government had created AIDS or deliberately spread it to kill gays, African Americans, or both. Later on, Soviet defectors explained how the KGB had concocted this theory, planted it in an English-language newspaper in New Delhi, and simply allowed it circulate. A similar process explains the widespread belief, detached from reality, that Israel is an “apartheid state.” And the similarities are not coincidental, write Dan Diker and Yechiel Leiter:

Beginning in the late 1960s, PLO officials regularly underwent military and political-warfare training in Moscow and other Soviet satellite countries such as North Vietnam and Cuba. . . . “Active measures,” [as information warfare was known in Soviet parlance], have been used by the PLO, Hamas, and the Iranian regime. Ironically, the signing of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel intensified the phenomenon of disinformation and incitement rather than eliminating it.

Disinformation on American university campuses has metastasized in recent years via both student and faculty groups. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), with over 200 branches on American college campuses, has become a main advocate for Hamas. SJP has also invited former convicted Palestinian terrorists . . . as keynote campus speakers. SJP sponsors the annual “Israel Apartheid Week” on hundreds of campuses across the U.S. and Europe, [which] has led to anti-Semitic assaults and harassment against Jewish students.

In the same spirit, scores of Jewish and Israeli academics signed a public letter of condemnation in 2016 excoriating the German Bundestag’s resolution that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic. Anti-Zionist groups, including If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace, have actively advocated the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. . . . In this way, Jewish groups have normalized a propaganda narrative against Israel rooted in Soviet ideology and in such terminology as “settler colonialist,” “imperialist,” and “racist.”

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, KGB, PLO, Students for Justice in Palestine, USSR

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy