In a Changed World, Declining Democratic Support Might Be One of Israel’s Greatest Challenges

Surveying the geopolitical changes that have swept the world, and the Middle East, in the last several decades, Yaakov Amidror takes stock of what they mean for the Jewish state. Among the most important developments he points to are the rise of China, the return of Russia to the Levant, and the evolution of the Internet and cyberwarfare—the last of which poses an array of new threats to any advanced country’s wellbeing. And then there is the collapse of some Arab states, coupled with the retreat of the U.S. from the Middle East:

The two Muslim non-Arab countries—Iran and Turkey, central to the history of the region and to the present power struggle—are now trying to make use of the regional vacuum and to advance their national interests and the ideologies to which their leaders adhere. Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan promotes the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, with an added layer of revived Ottoman pretensions, which had vanished since the aftermath of World War I. . . . As for the Arabs, they detest the Ottoman dream—and the Turks—and while they admire the Persians and their ancient culture, they also fear their power.

In the face of Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region and obtain nuclear weapons, and Turkey’s attempts to extend its authority from the Caucasus to Libya, the Arabs have no good answers. There is no acceptable Sunni Arab leadership and no Arab state leads the pack. All this comes against the background of a gradual American retreat from the region. When the leaders of the Arab states look around, they see no steady anchor to latch onto.

Amidror identifies a single threat to Israel on par with that from the Islamic Republic, namely:

the erosion [in America] of traditional bipartisan support for Israel, which U.S. Jewry had been able to secure in the wake of World War II and up until the presidency of Barack Obama. This may well be the result of an inevitable historical trajectory. . . .

At the end of the day, only a militarily strong Israel, ready to preserve [its historic] national defense doctrine . . . of defending itself by itself against any coalition of enemies—can sustain its regional position and thus retain its attraction as a partner to other significant international players.

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Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Barack Obama, Democrats, Iran, Israeli grand strategy, Israeli Security, Turkey, US-Israel relations

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