Will the Tories Follow America’s Lead and Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?

Aug. 19 2022

Since Boris Johnson’s resignation, the British Conservative party has been embroiled in a fierce competition among those who would replace him. Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak—the more centrist of the two frontrunners—was asked if he would move the UK’s embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He replied that the latter is indeed “the undisputed capital” of the Jewish state, although he hedged a bit about the placement of the embassy. Stephen Daisley notes that this is one of the few areas where Sunak is in agreement with his more rightwing rival, Liz Truss:

A Prime Minister Sunak who tried to recognize Jerusalem or move our embassy there would face the same obstacles as a Prime Minister Truss. The parliamentary opposition and some malcontents on the Tory benches would be highly vocal. The media would be hysterical, forecasting violence and danger to British personnel and interests. Foreign Office civil servants and diplomats would do their utmost to scupper it.

This is only more reason to press on and make the policy change. A government that allows civil servants and BBC producers to determine its foreign policy is no government at all. As for the dire warnings that can be expected, the United States, Russia, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Taiwan, Kosovo, and Nauru all recognize Jerusalem, wholly or in part, as Israel’s capital and the sky has yet to fall in.

Whatever happens, Conservative thinking about the Middle East has shifted in a measurably pro-Israel direction. . . . Support for Israel in the Conservative party was widespread before this leadership contest. In its wake, being pro-Israel might become a new litmus test for those aspiring to lead the party in the future.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Jerusalem, United Kingdom

 

How the Death of Mahsa Amini Changed Iran—and Its Western Apologists

Sept. 28 2022

On September 16, a twenty-two-year-old named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death in custody three days later, evidently after being severely beaten, sparked waves of intense protests throughout the country. Since then, the Iranian authorities have killed dozens more in trying to quell the unrest. Nervana Mahmoud comments on how Amini’s death has been felt inside and outside of the Islamic Republic:

[I]n Western countries, the glamorizing of the hijab has been going on for decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning the hijab’s authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia.” . . . But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything.

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. [Last week], CNN’s Christiane Amanpour declined an interview with the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and for the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the winds of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijabs and challenge the regime policy.

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world—including the Muslim world—about the glaring difference between opting to wear the hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to defy, proudly, their Islamist oppressors.

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Read more at Nervana

More about: Arab World, Iran, Women in Islam