Saudi Arabia Is Ridding Its Textbooks of Anti-Semitism, but the Rest of the Middle East Has a Long Way to Go

Sept. 1 2022

For many years, the Saudi kingdom was the major exporter of religious extremism, including hatred of Jews and Israel, to the Muslim world. That that has changed dramatically is evidenced by the textbooks used in the country’s schools, which no longer teach children, for instance, that Muslims will one day receive divine help in slaughtering Jews en masse. Marcus Sheff discusses these changes in conversation with Hussein Aboubakr, and puts them in the context of trends throughout the Muslim Middle East—ranging from the United Arab Emirates, where textbooks praise tolerance as a virtue, to Iran, where they extoll the martyrdom of children, and Houthi-ruled areas of Yemen, where {imagined) Jewish malfeasance is an obsession. (Moderated by Sarah N. Stern. Video, 54 minutes.)

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Read more at Endowment for Middle East Truth

More about: Abraham Accords, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Middle East, Saudi Arabia

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism