Today’s American Jews Have Much to Learn from Their British Coreligionists about Fighting Anti-Semitism

Dec. 18 2019

In just over a year, the U.S. has witnessed three mass-shootings of Jews, among many other signs of rising and more visible anti-Semitism. Yossi Klein Halevy holds up the success of Anglo-Jewry in presenting a united front against Jeremy Corbyn, and in joining forces with sympathetic non-Jews, as a useful model for American Jews. A similar approach, he notes, characterized American-Jewish efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry:

The Jewish pushback against Corbynism united British Jewry and isolated its far-left extremists, created alliances with prominent non-Jews, and helped to convince many non-Jewish voters that a Prime Minister Corbyn would be toxic for England precisely because he would be toxic for its Jews.

Prominent Labor leaders, along with cultural figures like J.K. Rowling and John Le Carré, broke with Corbyn and stood with the Jews. When the British chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis took the unprecedented step of warning about the danger of Corbyn-led Britain, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, publicly affirmed the legitimacy of his anxiety. This, too, was a result of decades of Jewish-Christian dialogue efforts.

Whether consciously or not, British Jewry adopted the playbook developed a generation ago by the international protest movement to free Soviet Jewry. . . . One of the challenges facing the Soviet Jewry movement in its early years was how to overcome the notion, widespread among many on the left around the world, that the Soviet Union, for all its “mistakes” under Stalin, still represented a humane alternative to the capitalist West. . . . British Jews today [similarly] understood that the great threat to their wellbeing now came from precisely the camp that had for generations largely defined British Jewish political identity.

In their campaign against Corbynism, Britain’s Jewish leaders kept the dividing line within the Jewish community to a bare minimum. The line didn’t run between left and right, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, but between the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community and Corbyn’s Jewish apologists. . . . Once Jews summon the courage to define threat and publicly resist it, non-Jewish allies appear.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Jeremy Corbyn, Soviet Jewry

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela