Weekend long read

1) Matthew Levitt discusses ‘Hezbollah’s Regional Activities in Support of Iran’s Proxy Networks’ at the MEI.

“As a Lebanese actor ideologically tied to Iran, Hezbollah has multiple allegiances and objectives that do not always align symmetrically. Hezbollah’s regional activities are a reflection of the group’s increasingly close alignment with Iran, rather than the interests of the Lebanese state or citizenry. Today, Hezbollah’s regional adventurism is most pronounced in its expeditionary forces deployed in Syria and elsewhere in the region, but no less important are the group’s advanced training regimen for other Shi’a militias aligned with Iran, its expansive illicit financing activities across the region, and its procurement, intelligence, cyber, and disinformation activities. Together, these underscore the scale and scope of the group’s all-in approach to transforming from one of several Lebanese militias into a regional player acting at Iran’s behest.”

2) At the Times of Israel Haviv Rettig-Gur analyses recent debates on antisemitism.

“The antisemitism being debated in Israel over the past two weeks is something else, something apparently unique to Jews: It is the role Jews are forced to play in the political imaginations of non-Jews as the incarnation of and explanation for their deepest fears and most vexing social ills. It is not the idea that Israel is doing wrong, but the idea that Israel, in some deep order of global affairs, is what is wrong with the world. […]

No other people and no other country serves a similar role across so many cultural and political divides, from Malaysian politics to American activist groups, from Stalin’s USSR to present-day Algeria, as the go-to culprit for malaises they can’t possibly have caused.”

3) NGO Monitor provides a useful resource on misrepresentation by NGOs of some of the casualties in the Gaza Strip during the May conflict.

“NGO Monitor research has identified 50 incidents in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives killed in Gaza were falsely labeled by NGOs as civilian casualties, or in which civilians killed by Hamas were implicitly attributed to Israel. […]

In failing to report accurately, Palestinian NGOs amplify the demonization strategy, ignore the commission of war crimes by Palestinians, and distort the reality of Israeli efforts to limit civilian casualties during the fighting. These manipulated NGO accounts also serve as the basis of inflammatory media projects, such as the infamous New York Times front page story with pictures of children, and for international “investigations”, such as a forthcoming UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry.”

4) At the INSS Raz Zimmt analyses internal Iranian politics following the recent election.

“The victory of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential elections has reawakened the internal debate among Iranian reformists concerning the state and future of the reform movement. A number of leading reformists are blaming the movement’s failure on mistaken strategy, and are calling for change, return to the movement’s fundamental principles, and restoration of its base of public support. On the other hand, others are blaming the failure on circumstances beyond the reformists’ control, and continue to support a strategy based on participation in elections and willingness to work with pragmatic conservatives. It is very doubtful, however, whether the reformists will be able to take advantage of the renewed takeover by the hardliners and chart a way out of the impasse that they have reached, given the ongoing political repression and the loss of public confidence in the two main political camps. The lack of an attractive alternative to conservative hegemony, combined with the continued failure of the authorities to provide solutions popular grievances, is liable to further erode public confidence in the political system, strengthen the radical movements advocating revolutionary change, and jeopardize the regime’s long-term stability.”

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    It will be interesting to read if the BBC caves in to their Iranian puppet-master with a favourable report on the recent damage by Iranian drones of an oil-tanker owned by a UK company and the killing of a British citizen on board. There is such a crime as sedition.

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