Russia Is Helping Iran Extend Its Influence in Yemen

March 14 2019

Tehran continues to deny its involvement in Yemen’s civil war, but there is no doubt it has become the main force behind the Houthi rebels, supplying them with materiel, military advisers, and perhaps manpower as well. And Moscow, much as it does in Syria, is aiding the Islamic Republic in these efforts. Micky Aharonson and Yossi Mansharof write:

Iranian activity [in Yemen] depends on cooperation with Russia, which protects [Iran] against unfavorable UN Security Council resolutions and enables [it] to continue exporting terrorism there [and] to extend its hold and influence in that country. Among other things, Russia makes it possible for Iran to foster the deadly terrorist attacks committed by the Houthis and their missile barrages aimed at Saudi Arabia, [which supports the government that the Houthis seek to overthrow].

After having been in contact with Russia a number of times since 2015, a Houthi delegation met with the Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov. The Houthis then declared that Russia should be involved in any settlement in Yemen. In 2018, the Houthis sent President Putin a letter calling on Russia to intervene in the war. Russia’s widely reported willingness to conduct a dialogue with the Houthis provides them with an international platform for voicing their demands. It also establishes Russia as an international patron of relevance to events in Yemen. . . .

To summarize, Yemen is another focus of instability in the Middle East. This instability, ostensibly a result of internal tensions, is exacerbated by external countries: both those in the region, like Iran, and more remote ones, like Russia. . . . One result of the cooperation [between the two] is the arming of groups that are inflicting horrendous damage on the people of Yemen. The result may be that the capabilities and interests of external players, such as Iran and Russia, in continuing their military and economic support for the parties in the conflict may be of more importance in determining its outcome than are the parties themselves.

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Iran, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, Russia, Yemen

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media