Hizballah’s Schools Teach Thousands of Lebanese Children to Hate Jews, Israel, and America

June 25 2020

In Lebanon, Hizballah runs multiple networks of private religious schools, and likely exerts influence over other educational institutions, both public and private. In an in-depth report, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) delves into the anti-Semitic propaganda that permeates the curricula of two of the Iran-backed terrorist group’s most prominent school systems. Herewith, a few examples:

[One sixth-grade] ancient-history textbook . . . is divided into chapters surveying various ancient civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean with a rather notable exception: the Jewish people. Instead, the Jews are only discussed in chapters of this book about other civilizations. . . . It claims that Judaism teaches its adherents they are “the masters of the world and the emperors of the universe, which nobody is entitled to belong to, no matter his station” and that “this is what made them hated and outcast, and perhaps what intensified people’s aversion to them: their unjustness, their arrogance, their greed, and their monopolizing.”

The sixth-grade religion textbook called Islam Is Our Message [includes] a lesson about the Jews and Muslims of Medina that opens with [a] Quranic verse about the “animosity” of “the Jews.” [It] then jumps to the present day, telling of a family watching the news on television about “the crimes of the Zionists in Palestine.”

Notably, these textbooks use the term “Zionists” interchangeably with “Jews,” even using the former when discussing the Jews of the ancient world. A group of fifth-graders, meanwhile, concluded a lesson about the Balfour Declaration by chanting “Death to Israel, Death to America!” And then there are the Mahdi Scouts, a Hizballah youth organization, which teaches members that “the root of [Israel’s] existence is evil, and there is no cure for it except its eradication.” But, the ADL argues, Washington has some power to combat this incitement.

[S]everal of Hizballah’s educational institutions could be ripe targets for international sanctions because of their clear role in Hizballah’s system of terrorist recruitment, as a sort of conveyor belt for generating future members, combatants, and leaders. Such sanctions could be surprisingly effective in this case, in part because of a new  law passed by Congress in 2018 with the ADL’s encouragement that provides the U.S. government with added authorities to deter foreign transactions that benefit Hizballah. . . . [Moreover], sanctions could deter certain third-party actors in Lebanon from conducting business as usual with educational entities that benefit Hizballah.

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Read more at ADL

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hizballah, Lebanon, Muslim-Jewish relations

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