Why Is the State Department Criticizing Israel’s Anti-Terror Crackdown?

Aug. 30 2022

Recently Israeli security personnel raided the offices of several non-governmental organizations because of their close ties to Palestinian terrorist groups—receiving widespread condemnation, and not just from the usual corners. The State Department spokesman Ned Price said that American senior officials were “concerned” about the raids and stated pointedly that “independent civil-society organizations in the West Bank and Israel must be able to continue their important work.” Price added that the U.S. would examine any information about these groups passed on by Israeli authorities, but it had so far not seen any evidence it considered damning. Melanie Phillips notes, however, that ample evidence that the NGOs in question serve as fronts for terrorists is readily available in the public domain:

Since 2007, [the Israel-based group] NGO Monitor has published numerous reports based on open sources that have documented the close connections between a number of NGOs and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Last year, NGO Monitor identified a network of thirteen such groups, including the seven identified by Israel, linked to the PFLP and funded by European or other governments.

Moreover, some countries whose governments have expressed outrage at Israel’s action have themselves identified such links. [An] investigation commissioned by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) described [one such Palestinian group], the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, as being the PFLP’s agricultural arm.

In 2020, the Netherlands government admitted that part of a Dutch aid package was used to pay the salaries of two of this agricultural union’s employees charged with murdering Rina Shnerb, a seventeen-year-old Israeli who was killed in 2019 by a roadside bomb in the disputed territories, and it temporarily halted those aid payments.

But how can these governments maintain that they have seen no evidence to support Israel’s claim? What they actually mean is that they reject Israel’s evidence. This may be because the political and diplomatic parts of government often don’t know what the counterterrorism and security parts are discovering. . . . What’s more likely, however, is that such governments simply refuse to engage with any evidence that would undermine their own strategy against Israel.

Read more at JNS

More about: Europe and Israel, NGO, Palestinian terror, PFLP, US-Israel relations

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada