Weekend long read

1) At the American Interest, Shany Mor discusses ‘UNSC Resolution 242 at Fifty’.

“A great deal of ink and anguish have been expended on the disagreements in interpreting the text of 242, particularly on the barren discussion of the missing definite article in the clause dealing with the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” More broadly, there has never been a consensus on the balance of the two primary principles. Israel has always preferred to think of it as partial territory and full peace; the Arabs, full territory and partial peace; and the international community eventually, but by no means immediately, coalesced around a reading of full withdrawal and full peace. In retrospect, the model that might have been most fruitful was the one that has generally reigned in other postwar settlements involving territorial conquests: partial territory and partial peace.”

2) Jonathan Spyer looks at ‘Iran’s Terror Campaign in Europe’.

“A trial due to begin next week in the Belgian city of Antwerp  is set to cast further light on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s use of official diplomatic missions in its ongoing campaign of violence and harassment of its opponents across the globe.  While the threat of activities by non-state Sunni jihadi organizations remains high on the agenda of many western countries, the flouting by Iran of global norms in pursuit of the regime’s perceived enemies has received little focus.  The Antwerp trial may serve to change this. […]

Four people are accused of involvement in the planned bombing of the NCRI rally.  Three of them have been named. They are: Assadollah Assadi, 48, an Iranian diplomat and third secretary at Iran’s embassy in Vienna, Amir Saadouni, 40, and his wife Nasimeh Naami, 36.  The identity of the fourth person has not yet been announced. […]

Assadi’s case is the first time that a serving diplomat in Europe will face trial for direct involvement in terrorism.”

3) The ITIC provides an update on a topic frequently misrepresented in British media: the designation of Hizballah.

“The list of countries that have declared all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization now includes 18 countries: Israel; two countries in North America (the United States and Canada); Australia and New Zealand; eight countries in Europe (Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Kosovo, Lithuania and Estonia) and five countries in South America (Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay and Guatemala). These countries may be joined by Sudan (which has reportedly pledged to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization but has not yet done so publicly). In addition, the Arab League, at an emergency conference initiated by Saudi Arabia, also declared Hezbollah “the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah” which operates on behalf of Iran (November 19, 2017).” 

4) At the Fathom Journal Matthew Bolton explains ‘What Corbyn’s favourite sociologists Greg Philo and Mike Berry get wrong about contemporary antisemitism’.

“The conclusion typically drawn by Corbyn supporters is that the home of true antisemites is on the right – but that, given the size of Labour’s membership, it is sadly inevitability that a small number will end up within the party. This latter group might ‘think of themselves’ as being on the left, but are in fact interlopers. Corbyn’s sole ‘regret’ when it comes to antisemitism relates to the failure to unmask and remove these intruders from the party speedily enough. But the notion that the left or Labour might have a particular problem with antisemitism, beyond that of society in general – or that there might be a particular form of antisemitism within leftist circles that cannot be immediately reduced to that of the right – is seen as a distortion of the evidence.

This raises the question of who might be distorting that evidence, and to what end. Corbyn’s answer here draws on Bad News for Labour, a 2019 book on the antisemitism crisis edited by two veteran media analysts, Greg Philo and Mike Berry.”



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