Weekend long read

1) At the INSS, Orna Mizrahi discusses ‘The Governmental Vacuum in Lebanon’.

“Michel Aoun ended his term as Lebanon’s President before any replacement was selected. Once again, this led to a governmental vacuum, which is more serious now than in the past because the present government is a transitional government. The current composition of Parliament, which is responsible for choosing the president, and the internal disputes among its members make it difficult to agree on and select a candidate. Hezbollah is trying to promote Suleiman Frangieh as a candidate on its behalf and at the same time obstruct the selection of others. This situation, if it continues, will worsen the crisis in the failed state of Lebanon.”

2) NGO Monitor reports on ‘The Global Samidoun Network’.

“Founded in 2012, and designated by Israel as a terror entity in 2021, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network promotes the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization through an international network of activists.  Samidoun branches, including in Western countries, publicly support and celebrate the PFLP, its actions and its leaders; campaign for the release of jailed PFLP members; and promote anti-Israel campaigns.”

3) The ITIC analyses ‘The Pro-Iranian militias in Iraq – the current situation’.

“Following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the PMF and commander of the pro-Iranian militia Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions), on January 3, 2020, in a targeted killing by the US, there have been changes in the activity of the Iraqi pro-Iranian militias. These changes included personal changes in the leadership, the establishment of new militias as façades of the existing ones in order to maintain a low profile while carrying out attacks, and the expansion of the militias’ involvement in internal Iraqi as well as regional and global issues, such as the struggle against Israel and the United States as part of the Axis of Resistance and the Shiite Crescent.”

4) MEMRI documents Qatar’s reactions to criticism of its human rights record ahead of the World Cup.

“…the Qatari regime complained that the country was facing an unobjective smear campaign, and that many of the allegations against it were false and stemmed from racism and hostility. The Qatari Emir himself addressed the issue, stating that the country was being subjected to an unprecedented and unobjective campaign full of lies and reflecting a double standard.

The Qatari press published many angry responses to the Western criticism, as did Qatari journalists on social media. These responses hit back at the Western countries, saying that they themselves violate human rights and are therefore in no moral position to criticize Qatar. They argued further that the criticism of Qatar stemmed from racism, Islamophobia and arrogance on the part of the West, which finds it difficult to accept that the world’s largest football event is being held in an Arab and Muslim country.”

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