Algeria Has Aligned Itself with Iran and China against the West

Nov. 17 2021

On October 31, Algeria—the world’s fifth-largest producer of natural gas—ceased exporting gas to Spain and Portugal via a pipeline that runs through Morocco. To Dore Gold, this is a sign of growing tensions between Algiers and Rabat which in turn hark back to the cold war, when Algeria placed itself firmly in the Soviet bloc, while Morocco threw in its lot with the America:

The Algerians took this step just as Russia reduced its natural-gas exports to Europe, leading to soaring gas prices at the beginning of winter. . . . It is instructive to note that Algeria was cutting gas supplies at a time when it intended to increase its share of Europe’s gas market to over 30 percent, according to the Algerian energy minister Mohamed Arkab. In essence, the Algerian government was not reducing the share of its gas sector in its overall energy production; it was singling out Morocco and escalating tensions in North Africa as a result.

Algeria has been assisting the guerrilla forces of the Polisario Front in the Western Sahara region, fighting the Moroccan army and allowing the Islamic Republic of Iran to use its embassy in Algiers as a conduit for arms, funding, and training for the Polisario forces. Iran employed Hizballah for this training mission because its operatives spoke Arabic, while its own special forces were more fluent in Farsi, which the Polisario did not understand. At the time, after Morocco warned Iran that it knew what it was doing in Algeria, Rabat cut off diplomatic relations with the Iranian government.

Now Algeria is engaging in a new military buildup as it purchases both Russian state-of-the-art aircraft and Chinese naval platforms, including frigates and corvettes, presently under construction. It should be recalled that China seeks to become a more dominant power in Africa in the years ahead.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Algeria, China, Iran, Morocco, Natural Gas

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy