Weekend long read

1) At the INSS, Raz Zimmt provides insight into the upcoming presidential election in Iran.

“The decision by Iran’s Guardian Council to disqualify the vast majority of the candidates in the coming presidential elections, including former speaker of the Majlis Ali Larijani, and Eshaq Jahangiri, First Vice-President under President Rouhani, in effect leaves the hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi as the only candidate with real chances of winning the elections. This decision is another reflection of the regime’s efforts to strengthen the conservative hegemony in the political elite, especially in advance of the struggle over the succession of Iran’s leadership. The regime’s blatant intervention in the election process indicates that it is determined to maintain conservative control of power centers even at the cost of further undermining public confidence, and that it estimates that it is capable of suppressing any possible protest.”

2) The Jerusalem Post reveals the contents of an unpublished EU commissioned report on Palestinian Authority textbooks.

“Palestinian Authority textbooks encourage violence against Israelis and include antisemitic messages, according to an unpublished report commissioned by the European Union in 2019 and obtained by The Jerusalem Post.

The European Commission kept the report under wraps after receiving it from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research earlier this year. Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the publishers of textbooks, which, the report indicates, encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.”

3) At the BESA Center Yaakov Lappin discusses why ‘Preventing Hamas from Re-Arming Takes Center Stage’.

“In the past, Hamas routinely tore sewer pipes out of the ground to create rocket engine bodies. It even used fiberglass that had been sent to Gaza to repair and improve fishing boats in its rocket industry.

This is why Israel asked international aid organizations last year to send plastic rather than metal pipes to Gaza.

Hamas also imported chemicals to make rocket propellant, including castor oil, and used additives such as aluminum dust for that purpose. Its weapons engineers even took regular salt and, using Iranian techniques, converted it into a substance called AP, which is another rocket propellant.

As the Israel-Hamas ceasefire enters its third week, the key question of how it might be possible to prevent Hamas from once again rebuilding its terrorist army arises. As recent developments have shown, the truce’s staying power largely depends on how effectively Hamas can be prevented from quickly rearming.”

4) Dr Jonathan Spyer analyses ‘The growing threat facing Israel from Iraq’ at the JISS.

“The Iranian strategy for Iraq is clear, and resembles in its essentials the project already close to completion in Lebanon. It is exemplified by the targeting of the three enemies noted above – namely Israel, the US/West, and the domestic opponents of Iran’s local proxies.

The intention, along the lines of what has already been achieved in Lebanon, is that the formal structures of representative government should remain, but should be emptied of any meaningful content. Political military structures in the service of Iran will enjoy freedom of action and will possess military capacities superior to those of the nominal forces of the state.”

5) At the FDD David May and Michael Levinson discuss the UNHRC’s recently announced Commission of Inquiry on Israel.

“The commission is “ongoing,” meaning it is to exist in perpetuity. The commission has a broad mandate, including to investigate “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.” Yet the mandate does not mention Hamas’ terrorism or oppressive rule in Gaza as a cause. Furthermore, the mandate’s reference to “systematic discrimination” appears to reflect a trend whereby activists harness the false charge of apartheid against Israel, suggesting that could be a key purpose of the COI.”


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