To Bring the AMIA Bombers to Justice, Argentina Needs American Help

Jan. 20 2016

While Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, has encouraged investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, and the mysterious death of its lead investigator, Alberto Nisman, there are reasons to worry that nothing of substance will eventuate. Toby Dershowitz and Joseph Humire argue that American assistance can make a difference:

With a fresh investigation under new stewardship, Argentina should undertake—and the United States should support—an independent inquiry into whether Iran had any role in Nisman’s murder. Washington should share its intelligence on the role of Iranian networks in and around Argentina at the time of Nisman’s death. . . .

The lifting of trade, banking, and other sanctions as part of the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran will make it more difficult for the new Argentine government to counter Iran’s influence in its borders. The influx of Iranian cash may be used to curry political and intelligence favors with Argentine industries that could be tempted to accept even uncomfortable offers because of their desperate economic situation. Iran has been known to provide commercial cover for some of its more nefarious objectives in the region.

The Macri government should therefore exercise due diligence on Iranian commercial activity and work with the U.S. and others to identify illicit behavior. The U.S. should use a “whole-of-government” approach to intelligence collection, mindful that Iran has used both commercial and cultural covers for its nefarious activities.

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Read more at The Hill

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

Gaza’s Quiet Dissenters

Last year, the Dubai-based television channel Al-Arabiya, the Times of Israel, and several other media organizations worked together to conduct numerous interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip, taking great pains to protect their identities. The result is a video series titled Whispers in Gaza, which presents a picture of life under Hamas’s tyranny unlike anything that can be found in the press. Jeff Jacoby writes:

Through official intimidation or social pressure, Gazans may face intense pressure to show support for Hamas and its murderous policies. So when Hamas organizes gaudy street revels to celebrate a terrorist attack—like the fireworks and sweets it arranged after a gunman murdered seven Israelis outside a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night—it can be a challenge to remember that there are many Palestinians who don’t rejoice at the murder of innocent Jews.

In one [interview], “Fatima” describes the persecution endured by her brother, a humble vegetable seller, after he refused to pay protection money to Hamas. The police arrested him on a trumped-up drug charge and locked him in prison. “They beat him repeatedly to make him confess to things he had nothing to do with,” she says. Then they threatened to kill him. Eventually he fled the country, leaving behind a family devastated by his absence.

For those of us who detest Hamas no less than for those who defend it, it is powerful to hear the voices of Palestinians like “Layla,” who is sickened by the constant exaltation of war and “resistance” in the Palestinian media. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who opposes war and says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she tells her interviewer. “It’s forbidden to say you don’t want war.” So people keep quiet, she explains, for fear of being tarred as disloyal.

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Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinian dissidents, Palestinian public opinion