Human Rights Watch Does Its Hypocritical Thing—Again

Jan. 27 2015

Egypt has forced more than 1,000 people out of the town of Rafah, which sits astride the border between Sinai and Gaza, is planning to expel thousands more, and is blowing up homes, all to create a buffer zone against terrorist infiltration. How has a leading human-rights organization responded? Elliott Abrams writes:

Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has put out report after report criticizing Israel for its conduct along the same border and near Rafah, and which never misses a chance to smack Israel, appears to be dead silent about the same conduct when Egypt undertakes it. A search of the HRW web site produces no criticism, no report, on Egypt’s destruction of homes in an apparent effort to stop terrorism and defeat smuggling tunnels. . . .

HRW’s pattern of bias toward Israel is seen in what it says, and here in what it does not say. Destruction of homes by Israel for security reasons: a violation of international law that must be denounced at length and repeatedly. Destruction of homes by Egypt in essentially the same location for essentially the same reasons: silence. Maybe a new twenty-page HRW report on Egyptian Rafah is in the works. Maybe there are dozens of statements by HRW about “Razing Rafah” on the Egyptian side of the border and I just haven’t been able to find them. Maybe there really is no bias in HRW’s coverage of Israel. But it doesn’t look that way.

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Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch, Idiocy, Rafah crossing

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela