Posts Tagged ‘Jew-Hatred’

UK anti-Semitism breaks record high for 3rd year in a row, says watchdog

February 7, 2019

Community Security Trust, which monitors and protects British Jews, reports 16% increase in incidents in 2018, indicating upward trend for Jew-hatred

Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the  Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN)

Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN)

The number of recorded anti-Semitic events rose 16 percent in the last year, to 1,652 incidents around the UK, according to British Jewry’s watchdog and security group.

This represents the highest number of incidents against Jews since Community Security Trust (CST) began keeping track in 1984.

In a report released Thursday, CST said that 2018 marked the third consecutive record high year for reported anti-Semitic incidents. In 2017, there were 1,420 and in 2016, the organization recorded 1,375.

The numbers come after a year that saw Britain’s Labour Party grapple with accusations of anti-Semitism. Almost 150 incidents were linked to the party, according to CST.

According to the CST, the consistently high figures indicate that people who hold anti-Semitic opinions feel more comfortable expressing those views, causing the increased levels of anti-Semitism to now be the standard rather than the exception. In addition, the CST report said, victims or witnesses may be more motivated to report about anti-Semitism they encounter.

The figures reflect what Jewish leaders in the US and Europe have pointed to as an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, much of it linked to the rise of far-right populists. An EU report published in December found some 90 percent of Jews across the Continent felt that anti-Semitism had increased where they live.

The CST report noted a decrease in the overall number of violent assaults reported to the group in 2018, down to 123 violent assaults compared to 149 in 2017. However, this year saw the first case of “Extreme Violence” since 2015, characterized as “any attack potentially causing loss of life of grievous bodily harm.”

Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas, alleged neo-Nazis living in the UK who named their baby after Hitler. (West Midlands Police via BBC)

In that case, the CST report said, “the victim was attacked and cut with a knife, punched and kicked, while the offender stated ‘I’m going to kill you, you f***ing Jew.’”

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Shomrim (Stamford Hill)


alerted @metpoliceuk to a female running after kids with a knife shouting “I want to kill all you Jews” suspected arrested by @MPSHaringey on Gladesmore Road

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There are over 263,000 Jews in the United Kingdom as of the 2011 national census, making it the fifth-largest Jewish community in the world, and the second-largest in Europe. Nearly 75% of the incidents reported in 2018 took place in the Greater London or Greater Manchester areas, home to the two largest UK Jewish communities.

In an incident in May, the perpetrators shouted racist insults at a Jewish man walking to synagogue on Shabbat. They pelted him with food from McDonald’s.

More than 100 incidents — an unprecedented number — were reported in each calendar month of 2018. Prior to January 2016, the entire decade saw only six months in which monthly totals surpassed 100 incidents.

The report theorizes that spikes in incidents over 2018 correlated to events abroad, such as the weekly Palestinian March of Return protests along the Gaza border. Those protests saw a significant number of Palestinians – many of whom were members of the Hamas terror group – killed or injured by Israeli fire during the months of April and May.

The CST study also suggested that an increase in incidents likely paralleled moments when an ongoing debate over anti-Semitism in the Labour party received increased media attention.

According to the report, there were “148 antisemitic incidents in 2018 that were examples of, or took place in the immediate context of, arguments over alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Illustrative: A swastika and the word ‘kikes’ spray painted on the sign for the Etz Chaim Synagogue in Leeds. (UK Jewish News)

recent study by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Researchshowed that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes in the UK were closely linked. In addition, last month one of Britain’s top lawyers said that the country’s Jews faced a “perfect storm of pressure from left and right.”

The CST report stated that 45% of the incidents reported in 2018 involved the use of extremist language or imagery, up from 30% in 2017.

However, the report said, “Not all of these incidents revealed a clear, single ideological motivation: many involved the varied and confused use of different extremist motifs, drawn from a broad reservoir of antisemitic sources.”

According to the CST, 456 incidents involved far-right or Nazi language or imagery, 254 involved Israel and the Palestinians, and 285 contained “more than one type of extremist discourse.”

In 502 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. Among them, 64% were described as Europeans and 37% as Arab, South Asian, or black.

CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. The number of incidents since 2013 has more than tripled from the 535 recorded that year.

With contributions from JTA.


Anti-Semitic online harassment in Germany on the rise, study finds

July 19, 2018

When Yorai Feinberg first opened his restaurant in Berlin, he felt welcome. But lately the Israeli has increasingly been the recipient of hate mail. A new study has found that hate in Germany has become more radical.

Yorai Feinberg (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen)

Yorai Feinberg has gotten used to hearing from “Ludwig Fischer.” Every few days the Berlin restaurant owner receives emails from a man who writes under the pseudonym of one of Hitler’s most notorious SA henchmen. He calls Feinberg a “filthy rat,” says the Holocaust is just a “scam” and rants that all Jews will land in the gas chamber.

Feinberg has collected some 60 pages of hate mail from Ludwig Fischer alone. “I don’t take it so personally anymore. I don’t take it too seriously,” says Feinberg.

Threshold getting lower

The Israeli says that when he came to Berlin six years ago, he felt at home right away: “I was immediately welcomed in Berlin.” Feinberg lived in Vienna before moving to Berlin, where he says the mood toward Jews and Israelis was less relaxed than in Germany. But he adds: “Things have gotten a bit worse meanwhile.”

The last few months have seen several high-profile attacks on Jews in Germany. Just last week a Jewish-American professor was attacked by a young German of Palestinian descent in the city of Bonn. In April, an attack on a yarmulke-wearing man in Berlin made international headlines.

Read moreGerman Jewish groups say NGOs must fight anti-Semitism if they want public funds

But it is online where attacks and insults are most frequently directed toward Jews and Israelis. That is according to a new study conducted by the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), in which researchers studied 300,000 mostly anonymous texts. Most came from social media sites. The conclusion: Not only are more hateful comments directed at Jews, they are also becoming more radical.

“The threshold is sinking,” says Monika Schwarz-Friesel, who heads the TU Berlin institute for language and communication. “People use the anonymity of the internet to disseminate anti-Semitic comments.”

Anti-Semitism from the heart of society

Feinberg had his first encounter with anti-Semitism in Germany’s capital on the street. In December of 2017, a man berated him for several minutes in front of his restaurant. Feinberg recorded the incident and put it online. He says he received a lot of support from across the country. Nevertheless, he has also received an increasing amount of hate mail. “The problem is not a few evil individuals,” he says, “but all of those who agree with them.”

Read more‘Solidarity Hoodie’ challenges anti-Semitism

The TU Berlin study backs up that statement. “Anti-Semitism doesn’t only come from right-wing extremists or the populist scene,” says Schwarz-Friesel. She notes that left-leaning and liberal people as well as Muslims drew her attention with their anti-Semitic comments. “Everyday anti-Semitism rooted in the heart of society is the most dangerous,” in Schwarz-Friesel’s estimation. Radical statements are often brushed off as crazy, but when educated segments of society express anti-Semitic sentiment it is much more likely to gain acceptance, she says.

Old prejudices

“We were shocked to see that prejudices against Jews had changed so little over the last hundred years,” says Schwarz-Friesel, adding that Jews are still seen as the “scourge of the world,” a race that must be eradicated.

The arguments of today’s anti-Semites differ little from people with similar prejudices in the sixteenth century. One slight change, however, is that today’s anti-Semitism is often mixed with criticism of the state of Israel.

Read moreSeparating anti-Semitism from criticism of Israel

Most of the hate mail directed at Feinberg comes from the far-right. Pseudonyms like Ludwig Fischer point to a particular bent and the texts themselves tend to suggest a certain ideological template. Writers often deny the Holocaust, claiming that concentration camps never existed and that the Jews themselves that were responsible for the mass murder that took place during the Second World War, not the Nazis.

“The atmosphere in Germany has become more extreme overall, in every direction,” says Feinberg “Those on the right are getting more extreme and the left has also grown more extreme as a result.”

No perpetrator punished

Nevertheless, Feinberg is fighting the hate, but it isn’t always easy. When he shared the first hate mail he received from Ludwig Fischer on Facebook, it was immediately taken down and his account was blocked. The social media network’s censorship algorithms seemingly do not differentiate between the threatening and the threatened. Feinberg says he also feels abandoned by the justice system: “None of the attackers have been punished yet. I have experienced a number of extreme cases where I think the person issuing the attacks deserves to be punished for their actions.”

“If this trend continues, anti-Semitism will become more normal in real life, not just online,” says Schwarz-Friesel, explaining that today, the internet and reality are more intertwined than ever.

Still, Feinberg is hopeful that the situation will improve: “I am not going to leave Germany just because of a tiny and insignificant part of society.”


In Germany, online anti-Semitism is going mainstream

July 18, 2018

Jew-hatred on the web has risen 22% in a decade, with bigotry masquerading as anti-Israel criticism and relying on classic tropes, research reveals

Private security personel with 'Aryan Brotherhood' on his T-shirt opens the gate at the venue of the 'Schild und Schwert' (Shield and Sword) neo-Nazi festival, in the small eastern German town of Ostritz on April 20, 2018.( AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)

Private security personel with ‘Aryan Brotherhood’ on his T-shirt opens the gate at the venue of the ‘Schild und Schwert’ (Shield and Sword) neo-Nazi festival, in the small eastern German town of Ostritz on April 20, 2018.( AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)

A long-awaited study by internationally renowned anti-Semitism expert Monika Schwarz-Friesel has found that the amount of German anti-Semitic content on the internet has grown massively in the last 10 years, permeates mainstream society, and is increasingly extreme.

Released Wednesday, the research project studied 300,000 pieces of German internet content between 2014 and 2018, with a focus on social media. During the first year of the study, slightly less than 23 percent of the content was classified as anti-Semitic. In 2017, this number had jumped to over 30%.

A similar study conducted by Schwarz-Friesel in 2007 found only 7.5% of the internet content examined to be anti-Semitic, indicating an increase of more than 22% over the last decade.

The latest results show not only a massive increase in the amount of anti-Semitic content found online, but also a radicalization in terms of the content’s quality. For example, anti-Semitic comments in response to news and other articles have not only grown in number, but have become more rabid.

The study was funded by the German Research Association, and the results were published today at a press conference at the Techinical University of Berlin, where Schwarz-Friesel is a professor of cognitive science.

Monika Schwarz-Friesel. (Marc Neugröschel/Times of Israel)

“Anti-Semitism is ubiquitous in online communication,” says Schwarz-Friesel. “It has also increased and intensified in regard to Web 2.0, and hyperlinks to photos, texts, songs, and films.”

In fact, campaigns against anti-Semitism themselves on social media networks such as Facebook elicit massive amounts of anti-Jewish comments. Thirty-eight percent of comments posted in response to a 2014 German Facebook campaign entitled #Never Again Jew-Hatred were actually anti-Semitic.

The study also found that much online anti-Semitism appears as stereotypes projected at the State of Israel.

Schwarz-Friesel says that Israel-related anti-Semitism can be distinguished from legitimate criticism of Israel through several quantifiable metrics. She says there is little ground for oft-voiced concerns that any criticism of Israel can potentially be viewed as anti-Semitic.

Pepe the Frog, an internet meme, has become a symbol of the alt-right. (Twitter/Lior Zaltzman)

“It has been scientifically proven that Israel-related anti-Semitism is based on classic anti-Jewish stereotypes,” says a statement by Schwarz-Friesel and her team of researchers.

Remarkably, the study also found that anti-Semitic statements masquerading as criticism of Israel often appear in contexts unrelated to the Middle East conflict.

The Israel-related anti-Semitism, according to the researchers, is especially worrying as it is often considered to be socially acceptable and therefore meets little resistance among the mainstream and elites of society. This causes it to play an especially integral role in the spreading and consolidation of anti-Semitic worldviews.

However, anti-Semitism related to Israel is not the most widespread form of Jew hatred online. Fifty-four percent of the anti-Semitic material reviewed by researchers was based on classic anti-Semitic tropes, such as, “Jews are humanity’s greatest woe.”

Countering assertions that Muslim anti-Semitism is largely a response to Israeli politics, Muslim anti-Semitism was found to be based on such classic stereotypes more often than on Israel-related topics.

Worryingly, the study claimed that the overall increase in online anti-Semitism was not coming from extremist elements. This signifies that bigotry against Jews is not confined to radical splinter groups, but rather permeates mainstream society.

Finally, the study found a uniformity in anti-Semitic notions among users regardless of political affiliation or ideological background, bearing witness to anti-Semitism’s social entrenchment and cultural continuity.

Palestinian Media Darling Ahed Tamimi and Her Family Aren’t the Palestinian Saints You Want Them to Be

January 4, 2018


Promote the blood libel? Check. Glorify terrorism? Check. Celebrate Israeli deaths? Check. Ahed Tamimi and her family aren’t fighting for peace, and they’re not just fighting the occupation: They’re fighting to destroy Israel, and their fight is seasoned with Jew-hatred

By Petra Marquardt-Bigman Jan 04, 2018 8:37 PM
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Screenshot of Manal Tamimi's tweet from Nov 5 2015, now deleted

Screenshot of Manal Tamimi’s tweet from Nov 5 2015, now deleted Manal Tamimi tweet @screamingtamimi

At the end of September 2017, Ahed Tamimi was one of the speakers at a conference hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels. Among Ahed’s co-panelists was ‘pioneering’ airline hijacker Leila Khaled, who told the audience: “The Nazis were tried in Nuremberg for their crimes. Today, Israel is experiencing impunity. You must bring the war criminals to justice and tell your governments that they must cease all cooperation with the Zionist state.”

Ahed Tamimi reportedly “also emphasized the importance of the boycott,” and declared: “The world must recognize the Palestinian cause. The occupation is not only the theft of land. We oppose racism, Zionism, the entire system of occupation and not only the settlements.”

The 16-year-old Ahed was faithfully echoing the views her father has expressed repeatedly. In a lengthy interview with Haaretz in February 2013, Bassem Tamimi claimed that “Israel has killed the two-state solution.”

Tamimi family in Nabi Saleh
Detail from a video showing the Tamimi family fighting to release their son Mohammed from a soldier’s grip at the weekly demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, August 28 2015. AP

He explained further: “My consciousness has changed and it has taken me to the one-state solution, which means the acceptance not the removal of the Other. In the past I wanted all of this land without any Israelis. Today, I also accept the Israelis. If we can all change our consciousness, we can create a just country.”

The sincerity of Bassem Tamimi’s claim that he now also accepts the Israelis is obviously doubtful – after all, he accepts only those Israelis who would be willing to give up the Zionist vision of Israel as a Jewish state. Moreover, if Bassem Tamimi just wanted peaceful co-existence, a two-state solution would arguably be more promising than the one-state solution he advocates.

There is no doubt that Bassem Tamimi and his activist relatives accept devoted anti-Zionist Israelis like Miko Peled, who can always be counted on to defend Hamas almost as ardently as he denounces Israel.

But as I have documented in considerable detail over the past two years, the social media activity of the Tamimis reveals ardent Jew-hatred and enthusiastic support for terrorism – notably including terror attacks targeting civilians and children.

In October 2015, Bassem Tamimi faced a backlash when he shared a Facebook post promoting “a viral anti-Semitic meme alleging Israelis detain Palestinian children to steal their organs, and that Zionists control the media to suppress this information.”

This post was all the more remarkable given the fact that Bassem Tamimi regularly encourages his own children to confront Israeli soldiers, and has frequently advocated the participation of children in protests and demonstrations.

The Free Ahed Tamimi poster on a bus shelter in London, December 2017.
The Free Ahed Tamimi poster on a bus shelter in London, December 2017.Screengrab from @proteststencil

Bassem Tamimi has also made clear that he appreciates the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah for fighting against Israel, and he has rewarded a post glorifying the Hamas Al Qassam brigades on his daughter’s Facebook page with a “Like.”

Since Bassem Tamimi has often emphasized how important women are for the “resistance” he advocates, it is instructive to see that two of the most prominent female activists in his family are utterly uncompromising in their support for terrorism.

Nariman Tamimi – Bassem’s wife and Ahed’s mother – hardly ever fails to take to Facebook after a terrorist attack to praise the perpetrator as a hero. The frightening depth of Nariman Tamimi’s hatred is reflected in a Facebook post she shared from a Tamimi family member in June 2016.

That post honored the teenage Palestinian terrorist who had just killed 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel in her sleep, after breaking into her home. As far as the Tamimis are concerned, the murder of the Jewish teen by a Palestinian just a few years older than her helped “to return to the homeland its awe/reverence.”

While Nariman Tamimi usually posts in Arabic on Facebook, Manal Tamimi has represented the Tamimis on social media in English for several years. Her output on Twitter, particularly, reflects intense Jew-hatred and unwavering support for terrorism.

manal tamimi
Vampire zionist celebrating their Kebore day by drinking Palestinian bloods, yes our blood is pure & delicious but it will kill u at the end

5:32 PM – Sep 22, 2015
7 7 Replies 3 3 Retweets 2 2 likes
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Manal Tamimi vampire tweet

For Manal Tamimi, Yom Kippur is the day when “Vampire zionist” [sic] are “celebrating by drinking Palestinian bloods” – a practice that she hopes will eventually prove deadly. When an Arab-Israeli gunman killed two and wounded seven at a pub in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016, Manal Tamimi was jubilant: “#TelAviv under fire – There are no safe place these zionist can hide in”, she wrote in a tweet adorned with victory emojis.

But the Tamimis’ support for terrorism was already addressed – and arguably whitewashed – when the American writer Ben Ehrenreich first profiled the family in a decidedly sympathetic New York Times Magazine cover feature published in March 2013.

The family’s ambition to start a “third intifada” was prominently highlighted, and Ehrenreich tried – apparently rather successfully – to convince his readers that their refusal “to forswear bloodshed” and their “great affection” for their murderous relatives was entirely understandable. Indeed, Ehrenreich referred to “Nabi Saleh’s accomplishments” and then mentioned “one of the first military actions after Oslo, [and] the first woman to participate in a suicide attack.”

What Ehrenreich describes so tactfully as “one of the first military actions after Oslo” refers to the 1993 murder and subsequent burning of Haim Mizrahi, in which at least two close relatives of Bassem Tamimi took part. A report in The Independent published shortly after the murder concluded it was “an attack by extremists determined to disrupt the peace process by provoking Jewish anger.”

Ahlam Tamimi, deported prisoner shalit swap - 18.10.11
Jordanian Ahlam Tamimi, just released from an Israeli prison, being hugged by a relative upon her arrival at Queen Alia international airport in Amman late Oct. 18, 2011.Reuters

The ‘pioneering’ Tamimi family member who was “the first woman to participate in a suicide attack” is Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind and facilitator of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including seven children and a pregnant woman, and injured some 130, with one young mother left in a permanent vegetative state.

In the summer of 2012, less than 20 years after the Tamimis had first tried to disrupt the peace process in 1993, Bassem Tamimi’s nephew Nizar Tamimi – who was involved in the murder of Haim Mizrahi –  married Ahlam Tamimi in Jordan. Both had been released in the deal to the free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Bassem Tamimi, his wife and his children attended the wedding. A video of the event shows Ahed on the stage with the terrorist couple, happily clapping to the music.


Ahed Tamimi Facebook live, Dec 15 2017 Nariman Tamimi Facebook page

It is thus no surprise that Ahed would now casually list “stabbings” and “martyrdom-seeking operations”, i.e. suicide bombings, as actions that further the Palestinian cause. And it is no surprise that her mother, who has always been particularly outspoken in her approval of Ahlam Tamimi – would proudly post this “message to the world” on her Facebook page.

Ahed Tamimi can obviously not be blamed for how she was brought up, but this is no reason for responsible adults to overlook the seething Jew-hatred and the enthusiastic support for terrorism espoused by Ahed’s parents and her extended family.

Even if the Tamimis were only fighting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, their fanaticism wouldn’t bode well for any peace agreement. But the Tamimis never wanted a peace agreement. They have always wanted the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state.

Petra Marquardt-Bigman is a German-Israeli researcher and writer with a Ph.D. in contemporary history. Twitter: @WarpedMirrorPMB

Petra Marquardt-Bigman
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Iranian Imperialism, Jew-Hatred Could Spark a New Israeli-Hezbollah War

November 29, 2017

By Eric Rozenman  

Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah chant slogans and gesture during a rally marking Al-Quds day in Beirut’s southern suburbs in Lebanon on June 23, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s November 4 resignation was reported as the latest development in a Middle East power struggle between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia. That conflict already featured coalition and proxy wars in Syria and Yemen and growing Iranian influence in Iraq.

Hezbollah claimed the Saudis hoped Israel would help them by striking it, the Lebanese  “Party of God,” on its home territory. Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006, sparked by the latter’s deadly raid into Israel to kidnap soldiers and accompanying launch of hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian and military targets.

But not just Iranian strategic maneuvers—including efforts to complete a “land bridge” from Tehran through Iraq and Syria to Beirut—would underlie a second Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Ideology, specifically Jew-hatred, also would play a role.

Both Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, use Nazi-like language and imagery in describing Jews and their state. To the Third Reich, Jews were “bacilli” and “vermin” that had to be “exterminated.” Khamenei and Nasrallah describe Israel as “a cancer” that must be “cut out” of the Middle East.

For example, this February Khamenei, blaming Israel founding nearly 70 years ago for current Middle East upheavals and hallucinating that no people ever suffered more than Palestinian Arabs under Israeli control, termed the Jewish state a “cancerous tumor.” He called for a “holy intifada” to destroy it.

Khamenei is both consistent and insistent. In 2015, speaking at Friday prayers, he vowed that “if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help.” Israel is a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut.”

Hezbollah and its apologists claim the movement is anti-Zionist, not anti-Jewish. As if it were possible to deny statehood for the Jewish people while insisting on it for many others—and especially the Palestinian Arabs, a people unknown even to themselves until the 20th century—without somehow being antisemitic.

‘Notice I say Jews’

But Nasrallah at times has discarded that pose, for example saying, “If the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” He’s also opined that “if we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.”

Sa’ad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, was seen as Riyadh’s man in Beirut. His father Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister also considered close to the Saudis, opposed Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The elder Hariri was murdered in a 2005 car-bomb attack that killed 22 people. Massive protests led to withdrawal of Syrian troops, though not Damascus’ covert agents.

In 2010, a U.N. inquiry reportedly fingered Hezbollah and Syria for the crime. It indicted four men, two identified as Hezbollah members, the next year.

If Israel were to fight a second war in Lebanon against Hezbollah, it probably would be devastating to both countries. Israeli Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel has said improvements mean his forces could undertake in the first two or three days of conflict the same number of strikes made in the entire 34-day 2006 war. He warned that in any new fighting, residents of southern Lebanon should leave their homes since Hezbollah uses them as “launching bases for missiles and rockets.”

Ironically, defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria by a combination of forces allied variously with the United States, Russia, Iran, and the governments of Syria and Iraq could make a second Israeli-Hezbollah war more likely. Israel has said its “red lines” for Syria include no Iranian or Iranian-allied forces (including Hezbollah) near the Israeli-Syrian border, no arms shipments from Iran through Syria to Lebanon and no raids into Israel.

Of all parties involved or interested in post-ISIS Syria, only Israel may be both able and willing to enforce those lines. Hezbollah has gained valuable experience fighting in Syria on Iran’s behalf to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah threats of or actual attacks against Israel, from Syria or Lebanon, would make holding those red lines more complicated for Jerusalem.

“The Party of God” has been consistently violent. A Hezbollah precursor calling itself the “Islamic Jihad Organization” blew up the U.S. embassy in Beirut in April, 1983, murdering 63 people. In October of that year IJO bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in the Lebanese capital, killing 241 service members and civilians. The U.S. State Department designated Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. More than one year after al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001 destruction of New York City’s World Trade Center and attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. killed nearly 3,000 people, Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage still called Hezbollah “the A-team” of international terrorism.

Strategic-Ideological Double-Helix

The long-range goals of the “Party of God” complement those of its Iranian founders, funders and trainers. These are safeguarding the Islamic Revolutionary regime in Tehran, expanding Persian-Shi’ite influence and if possible dominance over the Arab-Sunni Muslim majority in the Middle East, protecting Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons, ousting the United States from the region and eventually defeating the “Little Satan” and “Great Satan” of the ayatollahs’ ideology—Israel and the United States, respectively. It is not by accident that the slogan of Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels is “God is great! Death to America! Death to Israel! A curse upon the Jews! Victory for Islam!”

The Iranian-Hezbollah supremacist, imperialist ideology is one reason—Iran’s drive toward regional dominance is another—that Israeli leaders like the Air Force’s Eshel warn that in a new conflict Lebanon itself and not just Hezbollah would suffer widespread destruction. That’s because Hezbollah now dominates Lebanese politics and government, its militia is superior to the Lebanese military and it bases itself extensively among Lebanon’s civil population.

Before the 2006 war, Israel estimated the “Party of God” possessed 10,000 to 15,000 short-range missiles and rockets. Today the figure is put at 100,000 or more short- and medium range missiles, some with greater accuracy and larger warheads than available 11 years ago.

In 2006, approximately 500,000 Israelis temporarily evacuated homes in the northern part of the country. Israeli fatalities totaled 160, most of them combatants. Now it is assumed Hezbollah’s weaponry can reach virtually all of Israel and to much more destructive effect.

Lebanese deaths 11 years ago were put at approximately 1,200. Though many news outlets then, and some now claim most were civilians, Israeli military figures and other sources estimate at least half were Hezbollah members or other combatants.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted as part of the diplomacy that ended the 2006 war, requires, among other things, Hezbollah to disarm. In this it reiterated a provision of Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004).

Iranian and Hezbollah threats against the Jews and their state would seem to violate also the U.N.’s 1951 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (General Assembly Resolution 260).

The “international community” has yet to see to these resolutions’ enforcement.

A key political-strategic lesson of the past century has been that when anti-democratic leaders and movements both threaten violence and possess the means to employ it, they should be taken seriously. The possibility of a second Israeli-Hezbollah war should be seen in that context.