1) Jonathan Spyer takes a look at “Hizballah’s Deep State: the creeping annexation of Lebanese State Institutions and political life”.
“In the political arena, Hizballah dominates a bloc which in turn controls both executive and legislature. Thus, it dominates both the decision making process and the process of implementing decisions. In the military arena, Hizballah posesses an armed force stronger than and of equal size to the official state military. It also clearly has a presence within and influence within the official armed forces. In the field of internal security, an ally of Hizballah commands the most powerful internal security body, and fellow travellers of the organization or appeasers of it command all the others. In economics Hizballah controls an economic empire of its own and can intimidate or implicate any bodies seeking to act against it.
The result is that it is impossible today in key areas of Lebanese life to determine exactly where the official state begins and Hizballah’s shadow state ends. The latter has penetrated and taken up residence in the former.”
2) At the Long War Journal, David Andrew Weinberg has documented how “Gulf governments sponsored anti-Semitic hate preachers during Ramadan 2019”.
“Ramadan is a holy month in the Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies. In addition to daylong fasting, one other aspect of the festival in this region is that governments sponsor a range of religious programming in order to burnish their religious credentials, particularly at state-run mosques and on state-owned television stations.
However, many Gulf governments fail to provide adequate oversight when sponsoring Ramadan programming, arranging events that feature religious leaders who have a longstanding record of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. Even if such preachers are more measured in their remarks at these particular government-sponsored events, their state hosts still run the risk of legitimating proponents of bigotry.”
3) Miriam Elman explains why “BDS ‘Anti-Normalization’ Is a Mockery of Progressive Values” at the Algemeiner.
“Anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) promoters have long tried to stake out the moral high ground — depicting themselves as the champions of the oppressed, and positioning their movement as being on the right side of history.
But the reality is that BDS rarely acknowledges, or works to prevent, harm to Palestinians that is meted out by their own governments and societal extremists.
What’s even worse is that BDS leaders often egg on and incite these depredations with an anti-normalization campaign characterized by coercion and strong-arm tactics against peace activists and co-existence groups — along with just about any Palestinian who dares to cross the BDS picket line to cooperate with or even just talk to Israelis.”
4) Mark Dubowitz and Saeed Ghasseminejad of the FDD take a look at new US sanctions on Iran.
“President Trump issued a new executive order last week that mandated sanctions on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader’s Office, and several categories of related entities and individuals. The president’s order points toward the imposition of sanctions on key components of Khamenei’s massive business empire that have so far escaped sanctions.
Khamenei controls at least $200 billion of assets through three foundations: the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), the Mostazafan Foundation, and the Razavi Economic Organization, the business arm of Astan Quds Razavi. These tax-exempt organizations have amassed wealth via corrupt practices such as the confiscation of dissidents’ properties. Their proceeds fund repression inside Iran and terrorism abroad.”