How Hezbollah Exploits Europe
There is an astounding level of sympathy among the European left for the terrorist group Hezbollah. This Iranian proxy, responsible for the deaths of thousands—Americans, Europeans, Israelis, and others—is now fighting to prop up the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and also keeps some 100,000 advanced rockets aimed at Israeli population centers.
Europe, reluctant to ban Hezbollah in its entirety, has created an artificial distinction between “military” and “political” wings of the terror group—a distinction Hezbollah itself rejects—and sanctioned only the former. This has allowed Hezbollah supporters throughout Europe to continue raising funds for the so-called political arm of the terrorist organization with relative impunity.
Here are the three ways Hezbollah exploits Europe’s goodwill:
5 Things You Should Know About Iran’s Human Rights Abuses
1. Iran severely represses religious and ethnic minorities
In Iran, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, both in law and in practice, continues unabated. The Baha’i community has borne the brunt of government discrimination. Baha’is in Iran routinely encounter prohibitions on their right to assembly and worship, and as 2016 began, at least 80 of them were reportedly being detained for peacefully exercising their religion. Iranian authorities also continue to bar Baha’i citizens from certain occupations, close down and seize Baha’i-owned businesses and properties, pressure business owners to dismiss Baha’i employees, and publicly disparage the community as a fifth column seeking to destabilize the country.
Iranian Christians who come from Muslim backgrounds still face arbitrary arrest, harassment and detention. As of January 2016, dozens of Christians are reportedly being detained, many of them accused of praying in informal house churches, and deemed threats to national security.
2. There was an alarming increase in executions in Iran last year, and the government continues to practice systematic torture
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran reported that capital punishment “continues to surge at a staggering rate,” with nearly 1,000 individuals executed in 2015, the highest execution rate in Iran in over two decades. There are no fair trial standards, and many of the victims...
Sliding Doors in Brussels
By George van Bergen, Deputy Director, AJC's Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute
I woke up to the news of a terrible bomb attack at the Brussels airport. Today, of all days, AJC CEO David Harris was scheduled to visit the city for a busy program of high-level talks with Belgian and EU authorities. It seemed a good idea to walk to the office so I could keep up with the news and communicate with my boss Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute (TAI), who would accompany David on his meetings.
So skipping my usual subway ride on the number 1 line, I walked briskly past the EU Council building, listening to the Belgian radio’s news updates and texting Daniel to make sure he would be informed in real time about what was going on. I heard a lot of sirens and saw police, army personnel, and unmarked cars speeding by. Nervousness in the EU’s capital district was...