Can the Democrats Be Stopped from Abandoning Israel?

Since the presidency of Jimmy Carter, writes Ronald Radosh, the Democratic party’s relationship with the Jewish state has been a troubled one. Even if a general pro-Israel consensus continues to dominate the party mainstream, the influence of anti-Israel progressives appears to be growing steadily. This was in evidence last week, when Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to “commemorate” the creation of Israel as a “catastrophe.” It was also in evidence a few days later, when Tlaib’s fellow “Squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (a/k/a AOC) claimed that Israel had killed a journalist, and should therefore be denied American aid. But, as Radosh notes, there is also the contrary example of Ritchie Torres:

Torres, the young congressman from the Bronx, who seems to check every box in the progressive identity [roster]: gay, black, Hispanic, born to a single mother, raised in a housing project. Yet Torres has distinguished himself as an outspoken defender of Israel. (He likes to joke that the reason he’s pro-Israel is that he dropped out of college.) In a series of recent tweets, Torres wrote that the Abraham Accords “created a path to peace that fundamentally altered the Middle East, while the BDS movement offers no positive change for Israelis or Palestinians.”

The case of Torres, who is firmly a member of the party’s progressive wing, leads Radosh to address a crucial question:

What then, can be done to turn this around—to encourage more of the politics of Ritchie Torres, and less of AOC’s?

First, it’s essential to break the mental and rhetorical grip of “intersectionality” as it now applies to Israel—the idea that if one is against the oppression of black people in America, one must also be anti-Israel.

Second, pro-Israel Democrats must fight the accusation that they are using “dark money” from reactionary (or Republican) sources. In her concession speech, Nina Turner, [who recently lost a Democratic congressional primary in Ohio to the more moderate Shontel Brown], said, “We didn’t lose this race, evil money manipulated and maligned the election.” The charge is itself reminiscent of the infamous statement made by Representative Ilhan Omar that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins”—that is, Jewish money.

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Read more at Sapir

More about: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats, Rashida Tlaib, 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