A Palestinian Terrorist Organization Is Participating in German Parliamentary Elections

Sept. 5 2017

When reports emerged that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—a leftist organization with a bloodstained history—had teamed up with the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany to field candidates in upcoming elections, some Israeli and German parliamentarians petitioned the interior minister to ban the group. But the official, Thomas de Maizière, has declined to do so. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

[I]f the PFLP and those who support it do not qualify as terrorists deserving of restrictions on their political activity, we don’t know who does. First led by George Habash, the PFLP has gone from airplane hijackings and attacks on air terminals and buses in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to shootings and suicide bombings in the 2000s. Its most recent large attack took place in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, on November 8, 2014. Four worshipers and a policeman were killed with axes, knives, and a gun, and seven were wounded.

Anyone actively affiliated with the PFLP should be outed for going beyond the pale of legitimate political activism and not allowed to run for a seat in the German legislature.

We don’t know what explains the very different reactions on the part of the German government to True Religion [an organization that served as a front for fundraising for jihadist groups], which was banned, and the PFLP, which was not. Could it be that de Maizière and others in the German government view violence directed against Israelis through a different lens from similar threats directed at Germans? We hope not.

Even if de Maizière and others in the German government do not have much sympathy for Israelis and contextualize terrorism directed against them within the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they should know that terrorists tend not to sweat such distinctions. PFLP terrorists have no qualms murdering Germans, or anyone else for that matter, to further their goals. Is this the sort of ideology that should be given legitimacy in the Bundestag?

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Germany, Israeli-German relations, Palestinian terror, PFLP, Politics & Current Affairs

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship