Suddenly, Human Rights Watch Discovers Anti-Semitism

Decades ago, Human Rights Watch (HRW)—and its predecessor, Helsinki Watch—concerned itself with the fate of Jewish dissidents being terrorized by the Soviet government. But those days are long gone, and the organization now fixates on finding imaginary sins for which to condemn Israel, while ignoring anti-Semitism—unless, of course, it can be traced to the far right. Ben Cohen writes:

When it has come to such matters as boycotting Israel or left-wing agitation against Jews in the guise of “Zionists,” or the persistence of crudely anti-Semitic beliefs among Europe’s Muslim communities, [HRW] has invariably dismissed Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism by holding up the banner of “free speech” or by suggesting—as its director Ken Roth did in 2014—that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories is the reason why Jews on the continent keep getting insulted, spat at, beaten up, and even kidnapped and murdered.

But when members of the German extreme right gathered to protest coronavirus-related restrictions, wearing yellow stars and carrying banners with anti-Semitic slogans, an HRW representative jumped at the chance to lament this “sad reminder” of the persistent hatred of the Jews. As Cohen notes,

there have been plenty of “sad reminders” of the stubbornness of anti-Semitism before the coronavirus came along. The problem for HRW, perhaps, is that those earlier episodes did not emanate from the right. Take France, where eleven Jews have been murdered by anti-Semitic terror or brutal violence since 2006—not a single one of them at the hands of far-right thugs. Because the killers in all these instances came from immigrant backgrounds, HRW has always felt uneasy addressing this particular form of anti-Semitic violence, and simultaneously reassured in the mistaken belief that once the Israeli “occupation” ends, then Muslim anti-Semitism will disappear as well.

[W]hile HRW understands that anti-Semitism is a core element of the extreme right’s worldview, it sees its appearance in other contexts as a marginal aberration.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, French Jewry, Germany, Human Rights Watch

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin