Helped by Christians after Escaping the Nazis, a British Peer Now Works to Save Christians from Islamic State

In 1938, at the age of nineteen, George Weidenfeld fled Nazi-occupied Austria for Britain, where the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian organization, helped him settle. Now Lord Weidenfeld, who is the founder of a major British publishing house, is partnering with the UK Jewish National Fund [JNF] to help rescue Middle Eastern Christians. Jenni Frazer writes:

The honorable repayment of a debt from the Holocaust was a prime motivator for Weidenfeld. “In the 1930s thousands of Jews, mainly women and children, were helped by Christians who took enormous personal risks to save them from certain death. We owe a debt of gratitude,” [he] said. . . .

[T]here had been internal discussion as to whether humanitarian rescue was the right sort of project for the UK Jewish National Fund, an organization that is known for its work in . . . developing the land of Israel, as well as for Zionist education and advocacy.

“[W]e felt that . . . once we had been approached, we could not say no,” said Michael Sinclair, the vice-chairman of the British JNF. “We thought about how we would have felt if we had learned that a Christian group had had the opportunity to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust and turned that opportunity down.” . . .

Under conditions of great secrecy, the 42 families—149 people in all—were flown from Beirut to Warsaw, where many of them have asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation against [their] relatives still in Syria. The Polish government offered entry visas, and temporary accommodation in Poland has been provided by a Warsaw-based charity.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Holocaust, ISIS, Jewish-Christian relations, Middle East Christianity, Philanthropy, United Kingdom

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin