Will Palestinians Be Held Accountable?
Forgoing efforts to make peace, the Palestinian Authority appealed to the United Nations Security Council to grant the Palestinians a state. The effort failed, but the PA is determined to use other UN agencies or the International Criminal Court to wage its vendetta against the Jewish state. Doing so places it in contravention of strictures written into U.S. law that ought to mandate a cutoff of American aid to the PA. Although Congress appears eager to hold the Palestinians accountable, the Obama administration, which bitterly criticized the PA’s UN gambit, will go only so far. As long as the United States and the West are not prepared to enforce consequences on the Palestinians for their rejection of peace and peace talks, this destructive trend will continue.
Obama’s Iran Naiveté
As U.S. negotiators continued their struggle to entice Iran to accept a deal that would allow it to become a threshold nuclear state, President Obama once again took up the cudgel for détente with the Islamist Republic. In an interview in late December, the president defended the attempts to appease Iran in the negotiations as an effort to help Iran “get right with the world.” If that was Iran’s goal, a policy of engagement might make sense. But as its leaders have often told the world, its goal is regional hegemony. That is why America’s allies in the region are so upset by a U.S. policy that will leave them isolated and vulnerable while giving a rogue regime legitimacy. Integrating Iran into the global economy again will only help fund its intervention in Syria and allow it to further strengthen Palestinian extremists.
Iran and Hamas Embrace
One of the most troubling developments in the Middle East has received barely any coverage in the mainstream media: the rekindling of the alliance between Iran and Hamas. The Shia–run Islamist state and the Palestinian Sunni terror group had close relations during the second intifada and its aftermath, but they eventually broke up when they picked different sides in the Syrian civil war. Now that Iran’s ally, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, appears to be in no danger, Hamas understands that it needs to come to terms with his patron, Hamas. The fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt has isolated Hamas, and the alliance with Iran provides it with much-needed support. It also allows Iran to regain an important terror auxiliary to complement its Hezbollah friends on Israel’s northern border. A deal between the two may mean more funding for Hamas terror and further inducement for the Palestinian Authority to reject peace.
Hamas Rebuilds Tunnels with Aid
Throughout last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, the international community paid lip service to the notion that the terror group ought not to be raining down thousands of missiles on Israel or building tunnels to send killers and kidnappers into the Jewish state. But now that the war is over, the world is indifferent to Hamas’s steady effort to rebuild its terror infrastructure. Even worse, Hamas is using aid money and material to rebuild tunnels and other military facilities. Onlookers continue to slander the Israel Defense Forces for the deaths of civilians who were used as human shields by Hamas. But those who refuse to speak out about the rebuilding of the tunnels or who refuse to prevent aid from being used for this purpose should be held morally responsible for the blood that will be shed in the next round of fighting caused by Hamas.
Wiping Israel off the Map
Mainstream Western institutions are increasingly catering to the rising tide of global anti-Semitism. A prime example is the publishing company HarperCollins, which recently produced an atlas intended for sale in the Arab world—without the state of Israel. The company explained this outrage by saying that it had been done to satisfy “local preferences” in the region. HarperCollins then rescinded its plans after a public uproar. Taken back or not, the willingness of Westerners to cater to the dictates of anti-Semites serves as a dangerous endorsement of Jew-hatred that cannot stand.
More Questions About Syrian WMDs
As the U.S. continues negotiating a weak nuclear deal with Iran, a new report suggests that Tehran’s ally Syria has reconstituted its own nuclear program. That program had been set back by Israeli airstrikes on Syria’s al-Kibar nuclear facility in 2007. The new report suggests that Iran and North Korea have helped Damascus get back on track. This is embarrassing for the Obama administration, whose lackluster efforts against ISIS have made the U.S. a tacit ally of both the Assad regime and Iran. The revival of this threat (to Israel and to others) provokes new questions about the administration’s conduct of the war on terror and its push for détente with Iran.
Uncomfortable in Britain
The recent statements by BBC head Danny Cohen and Labor Party leader Ed Miliband about the growth of anti-Semitism in Britain was a belated acknowledgement of a bad situation. But the irony here is that their statements seemed disconnected from the fact that both of the institutions these men lead have to one degree or another helped foment exactly the sentiments they deplore. The BBC’s bias against Israel is legendary and has played a crucial role in supporting the demonization of the Jewish state that is now conventional wisdom among British intellectuals. At the same time, Britain’s political left has become a mainstay of anti-Israel sentiment. With Labor demanding that its MPs vote for a resolution endorsing Palestinian statehood without first demanding that it make peace with Israel and with the party bitterly condemning Israeli self-defense in the Gaza war, it, too, has aided the mainstreaming of anti-Jewish agitation.