At the Quincy Institute, Liberals and Conservatives Come Together to Defend Dictators and Bash Israel

April 29 2021

Founded in 2019, the Quincy Institute is a Washington-based foreign-policy think tank that brings together scholars, activists, and former officials of both left and right, most of whom have little in common but a belief that the U.S. should be more accommodating of murderous dictators. Among the crimes its fellows and affiliates have attempted to deny or to whitewash are Bashar al-Assad’s gassing of his own subjects, China’s brutal campaign against the Uighurs, and even the Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic’s mass-murder of Muslims. The institute also has its share of committed Israel-haters, such as Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, the professors who believe a malicious “Israel lobby” pulls the strings of U.S. foreign policy; Lawrence Wilkerson, the former adviser to Colin Powell and Bernie Sanders who has exhibited a “dangerous obsession with American policymakers who happened to be Jewish”; and Trita Parsi, a professional apologist for the Islamic Republic of Iran, who frequently blames the Jewish state for the Middle East’s problems.

In an investigation into Quincy, Armin Rosen reveals that Parsi is at the center of things:

The institute’s titular director and president is Andrew Bacevich, [but its] IRS document identifies Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council until 2018, as another one of Quincy’s co-founders and as its executive vice-president. The tax-exemption application lists Parsi’s estimated compensation at $275,000 a year, compared with $50,000 for Bacevich—a fair indication of who is actually running Washington’s weirdest and most intriguing foreign-policy shop.

“The guy is basically an ideologue, and he is pushing a very focused agenda, but the agenda has to do with representing a perspective of a certain wing of the Iranian government,” Hussein Ibish, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, said . . . of Parsi. “Why anyone would make him the executive vice-president of a supposedly American foreign-policy association doesn’t make any sense. It is to announce that you are compromised from the outset, that you are basically nonserious, and that you don’t understand the implications of what you are doing.”

In . . . 1997, Parsi wrote a kind of open letter to Kenneth Timmerman, a former journalist and founder of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran: “Your organization is nothing else but a façade, a façade to make it seem as if Iranians support the U.S. and Israel’s stance towards the IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran]. By your name, I suspect that you are a Jew.”

And while Stephen Wertheim, the director of Quincy’s Grand Strategy Program, has become a frequent presence on the New York Times opinion page, it’s worth wondering how many well-placed essays it takes to bury something like Sarah Leah Whitson, then Quincy’s director for research and policy, tweeting that the Israeli experience of living under coronavirus lockdowns was “missing a tablespoon of blood.”

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, Isolationism, Israel Lobby, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror