Amnesty International Once Defended Soviet Dissidents. Now It’s Reviving Soviet Talking Points about Israel

When it was founded in 1961, notes Elliott Abrams, Amnesty International sought to call attention to the plight of people living under tyrannical regimes—like the Soviet Union—lying “in foul prison cells for the ‘crime’ of peacefully protesting oppression.” But its most recent report, accusing the Jewish state of “apartheid” and a “crime against humanity,” reads much like the anti-Zionists screeds that used to appear in the Soviet mouthpiece Pravda. In an interview, the two Amnesty officials responsible for the report show their inability to define the terms of their claims about Israel, outside their belief that there are certain territories in which Jews ought not to be allowed to live. Abrams comments:

Amnesty, as I wrote in National Review, truly has joined the jackals. Its complaints relate repeatedly to 1948, not 1967 when Israel conquered eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. Amnesty’s argument is that the state of Israel is from its founding illegitimate, not that settlements are a bad thing. For those who thought Amnesty was an organization conscientiously working to free political prisoners, this report shows the falsehood of that view. Amnesty now leads fundamental attacks on the very existence of the state of Israel; . . . the term apartheid has never been applied by Amnesty to the condition of Kurds in Turkey or Uighurs in China; only Israel gets this treatment.

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Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Amnesty International, Anti-Zionism

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