Western Leaders’ Shameful Sycophancy toward Iran

Since the conclusion of the nuclear deal last year, a number of Western leaders have visited Tehran, often taking the opportunity to utter hypocritical praise of the Islamic Republic while displaying utter callousness toward its oppression of its subjects. Amir Taheri writes:

The Austrian president, Heinz Fischer, whose term has since ended, put flowers at Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum and praised the despot who had presided over the execution of more than 120,000 Iranians as “a man of peace and spirituality.”

Christine Defraigne, president of the Belgian senate . . . went around telling the mullahs and their minions that the West had “a lot to learn from Islam” to “improve the status of women.” She ignored the fact that, while she was flattering the mullahs, hundreds of Iranian women were arrested and insulted by Islamic vigilantes who claimed their hijabs were “inadequate.” . . .

[Only] two officials behaved with dignity. One was the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, who dressed normally and wore a white, thin, headpiece, and said not a word in praise of the mullahcracy. Another was Croatia’s president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. . . .

However, the main prize for dignified behavior must go to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. She simply refused to visit the Islamic Republic because she would not wear the hijab and dress up for what amounts to a farce endorsing tragedy.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Angela Merkel, Austria, Europe, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy