The Secretary of State’s Perverse Equivalence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority

April 8 2022

In the past few weeks, Islamic State-inspired attacks—including multiple shootings last night—have left over a dozen dead in the Jewish state, and several others seriously injured. Yet after meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the wake of two deadly attacks, Antony Blinken, the American secretary of state, declared that the way to “foster” peace is to “prevent actions on all sides that could raise tensions, including settlement expansion, settler violence, incitement to violence, demolitions, payments to individuals convicted of terrorism, evictions of families from homes they’ve lived in for decades.” Lahav Harkov comments:

Note that amidst a wave of terror by Palestinians against Israelis, Blinken’s list of the actions to foster peace includes four that fall to Israel and just one that is clearly the responsibility of the Palestinians, with a sixth item—“incitement to violence”—vague enough to belong to either or both.

Someone seeking to interpret Blinken’s remarks charitably might have presumed that he sought to bring up Israel’s faults in Jerusalem and would later stress the Palestinians’ problems in Ramallah, to encourage each side to change. But such a person would have been proven wrong when Blinken presented the exact same litany, almost verbatim, hours later that [same] day after a meeting with the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

Moreover, none of the recent deadly attacks in Israel took place in settlements; they all took place in cities that have been part of Israel from its establishment. They were clearly not about “settlement expansion;” they were motivated by a belief that the state of Israel should not exist.

Meanwhile, there is incitement to violence across Palestinian state-controlled media and on the Facebook pages of Abbas’s Fatah party. Most tragically, Palestinian textbooks are used to promote a violent and delusional agenda. . . . But perhaps the biggest incitement to violence of all is the fact that the Palestinian Authority literally incentivizes it. In 2021, the Palestinian Authority paid over $270 million in salaries to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons and the families of those killed while committing acts of terror.

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Antony Blinken, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, US-Israel relations

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism