Hatred of Israel Sowed the Seeds of Lebanon’s Collapse

Aug. 17 2021

A year after a catastrophic explosion tore through Beirut, killing over 200 people and causing untold property damage, no one has been held accountable—although there is little doubt that Hizballah was responsible for the accident. But the Iran-backed terrorist group remains more powerful in Lebanon than ever, even as the country sinks into economic and political collapse. Sean Durns examines how outside forces, eager to use this small state as a platform from which to attack Israel, helped contribute to the current predicament:

To regain credibility [after losing the Six-Day War], the Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser began to boost Fatah, [a Palestinian guerrilla group], and its leader, Yasir Arafat. Soon, Arafat gained control of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella group that Nasser had created in 1964 to coopt Palestinian nationalism for his own ends.

[In 1969], Nasser pressured Lebanon’s government to allow PLO operatives the use of Southern Lebanon. Unofficially known as the Cairo Agreement, the accord placed more than a dozen Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon under the control of the PLO. [When in 1970] the PLO lost Jordan as a primary base of operations, Arafat’s influence in Lebanon only grew. . . . The influx of Palestinians and the growing power of the PLO, whose coffers were filled with money from the oil-rich Gulf States and the Soviet Union, were contributing factors to the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon. The internecine conflict began in 1975 and lasted fifteen years, devastating the country.

[Moreover], in the 1970s the PLO helped train the nucleus of what was to become Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force. This entity would soon birth Hizballah, [an] anti-Semitic terror group that, like the Quds Force and the PLO, sought the destruction of the Jewish state. Hizballah would gain in both power and popularity, launching attacks against the West and Israel. The terrorist organization would use its base in Lebanon to perpetuate and plan attacks, while simultaneously fighting with the Israel Defense Forces in Southern Lebanon.

In the four decades since its rise, Hizballah has taken a broken country and managed to make things even worse. Wars, state-sponsored crime, and misuse of copious amounts of international aid have followed. While the failure of Lebanon has many causes, it can fairly be said that anti-Semitism has played a key role in the country’s deterioration.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Hizballah, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy