How Western Governments Tried to Nip Israel in the Bud

In Israel’s Moment, Jeffrey Herf investigates the reactions of various governments to the creation of a Jewish state in the years between 1945 and 1949, and particularly the unwillingness in the West to punish the Palestinian leader and mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, for his collaboration with the Nazis. Sol Stern writes in his review:

Among its many benefits, Herf’s book exposes the big lie . . . that Israel was created as a Western imperialist or colonialist outpost. . . . Herf also shows that the most passionate political support for Jewish statehood “came overwhelmingly from American liberals and left liberals, French socialists, and between 1947 and 1949 from Communists in France and the Soviet bloc, especially in Czechoslovakia.”

American progressives and leftists who later pushed for Israel’s independence first came together to launch a public campaign to bring the mufti to justice for his collaboration with the Nazis and for possible war crimes. But Husseini was shielded from prosecution by high-level government officials in the U.S. and France who were determined to protect Western influence in the Arab world. In Washington, the sudden concern for the mufti’s safety came from the same anti-Zionist faction within the Truman administration that later tried to block the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

In June 1946, French security forces guarding the house where Husseini was detained conveniently left the door open and he “escaped” to Egypt. The mufti was granted asylum by King Farouk [of Egypt] and received a rapturous reception upon his return. In Cairo, he was greeted as a conquering hero by the founder of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna. The mufti, al-Banna declared, was a great leader who “challenged an empire and fought Zionism with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin al-Husseini will continue the struggle.”

Read more at Quillette

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Israeli history, Muslim Brotherhood, Nazi Germany, US-Israel relations

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy