The Return of Al Sharpton

In a cynical ploy to boost his standing among African-American voters, the South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg very publicly shared a meal with the notorious race-baiter and anti-Semitic agitator Al Sharpton. Most of the other candidates for the Democratic nomination joined Buttigieg in attending Sharpton’s annual conference. To Seth Mandel, the current rush to pledge fealty to Sharpton—who instigated the 1991 Crown Heights riots as well as the 1995 firebombing of Freddie’s Fashion Mart—is “particularly ghastly.”

Sharpton’s elevation comes amid an uptick in reported incidents of anti-Semitism. Just days before Buttigieg’s public celebration of Sharpton, a man fired shots at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, killing one person. In chilling echoes of the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which Sharpton played a leading role, there’s been a rash of anti-Semitic assaults in Brooklyn. In New York on the whole, . . . the embrace of Sharpton isn’t coming in a vacuum. It accelerates a trend of enabling anti-Semitism in the service of an all-consuming [anti-Trump] “resistance.”

Sharpton’s comeback was helped along massively by President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The latter is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year. Sharpton was marginalized by their predecessors and by his actions, but Obama and de Blasio arguably made him more powerful politically than he’s ever been. Sharpton’s return to respectability surprised fans and critics alike.

Sharpton was and remains unrepentant [for the acts of violence and murder he instigated]. “You only repent when you mean it, and I have done nothing wrong,” he insisted in 2001. In 2011, on the twentieth anniversary of the Crown Heights pogrom, he blamed “extremists in the Jewish community” for setting a dishonest racial narrative.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Al Sharpton, Anti-Semitism, Barack Obama, Bill de Blasio, Democrats, U.S. Politics

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security