Contrary to Kremlin Propaganda, It’s Russia, Not Ukraine, That Shelters and Supports the Anti-Semitic Far Right

For many years, the Russian regime and its various mouthpieces have tried to paint Ukraine as a country dominated by neo-Nazis and fascists; Moscow has even dubbed the present war a “denazification” campaign. The claim, explains Oved Lobel, is doubly disingenuous:

Vladimir Putin reportedly dispatched over 400 operatives of [Russia’s] paramilitary proxy the Wagner group—which is replete with neo-Nazi members and traditions—to murder Ukraine’s Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Often referred to as a “Private Military Company” in media reports, all circumstantial and direct evidence has long since established that Wagner is merely a barely deniable arm of Russia’s Ministry of Defense. . . . Buildings in Libya occupied by Wagner were vandalized with Nazi slogans and symbols, while a tablet [computer] belonging to a Wagner operative revealed only two books related to politics: Mein Kampf and The International Jew. Investigations into the identity of Wagner fighters continuously turn up various strains of white supremacy, Nazism, and anti-Semitism.

And Wagner is far from Russia’s only neo-Nazi asset. Almost every major nationalist and racist violent extremist group in the world today, including those in Australia, got its start from the neo-Nazi Iron March forum, started by Alisher Mukhitdinov in Russia in 2011. . . . Russia provides training and safe haven for as many extremist groups as it can. On top of safe haven and training, the Kremlin funds and allies with far-right and neo-Nazi political parties across Europe and the world, which grants the Kremlin not only destabilizing political influence, but also the potential for state-backed neo-Nazi terrorism as a weapon against the West.

Read more at Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)

More about: Anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin

Would an American-Backed UN Resolution Calling for a Temporary Ceasefire Undermine Israel?

Yesterday morning, the U.S. vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution, sponsored by Algeria, that demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. As an alternative, the American delegation has been circulating a draft resolution calling for a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released.” Benny Avni comments:

While the Israel Defense Force may be able to maintain its Gaza operations under that provision, the U.S.-proposed resolution also warns the military against proceeding with its plan to enter the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Israel says that a critical number of Hamas fighters are hiding inside tunnels and in civilian buildings at Rafah, surrounded by a number of the remaining 134 hostages.

In one paragraph, the text of the new American resolution says that the council “determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries, which would have serious implications for regional peace and security, and therefore underscores that such a major ground offensive should not proceed under current circumstances.”

In addition to the paragraph about Rafah, the American-proposed resolution is admonishing Israel not to create a buffer zone inside Gaza. Such a narrow zone, as wide as two miles, is seen by many Israelis as a future protection against infiltration from Gaza.

Perhaps, as Robert Satloff argues, the resolution isn’t intended to forestall an IDF operation in Rafah, but only—consistent with prior statements from the Biden administration—to demand that Israel come up with a plan to move civilians out of harms way before advancing on the city.

If that is so, the resolution wouldn’t change much if passed. But why is the U.S. proposing an alternative ceasefire resolution at all? Strategically, Washington has nothing to gain from stopping Israel, its ally, from achieving a complete victory over Hamas. Why not instead pass a resolution condemning Hamas (something the Security Council has not done), calling for the release of hostages, and demanding that Qatar and Iran stop providing the group with arms and funds? Better yet, demand that these two countries—along with Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon—arrest Hamas leaders on their territory.

Surely Russia would veto such a resolution, but still, why not go on the offensive, rather than trying to come up with another UN resolution aimed at restraining Israel?

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship, United Nations