The UK’s Ban on Hamas Is a Belated Step in the Right Direction

Twenty years after Britain outlawed Hamas’s military wing, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has decided to proscribe the entire organization. Stephen Daisley applauds this decision, but observes that London does not yet seem to recognize the dangers of what Hamas represents:

It’s been a rough old week for Hamas. . . . One minute, you’re going about your business, trying to drive the Jews into the sea, and the next you’re being treated like you’re the bad guy.

Comprehensive proscription of Hamas is emblematic of Britain’s approach to Israel and the conflict. It took twenty years for ministers to realize how illogical it was to ban only the ones holding the guns. How long will it take before ministers grasp how illogical it is to pretend that Hamas’s Islamist extremism can be condemned without confronting the fact that, the last time they were given the chance to vote on the matter, the Palestinians chose Hamas?

Banning Hamas in its entirety will only render more ridiculous those ministerial statements about “urging the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire” the next time Israel responds to rocket attacks on its territory. How would Britain have reacted if, during the 2017 London Bridge attack, Israel had released a statement urging the parties to reach an immediate ceasefire? Something else rendered ridiculous is the rote insistence that, while Hamas is a gang of thugs, the Palestinian Authority is a legitimate authority. This is an outfit that has been accused of inciting against Israelis and which pays stipends to the families of those who are imprisoned, killed, or injured carrying out attacks on Israel.

Yet Labor and Tory governments alike scold Israel to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, even as every Israeli offer of peace and statehood is rebuffed and proposed peace talks are rejected out of hand.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, United Kingdom

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin