On February 26, 2019, the Citizens Commission on National Security (CCNS) held its first major event, a symposium titled “The U.S.-Israeli Alliance and Its National Security Implications,” featuring Alan Dershowitz and an all-star line-up of experts from the worlds of military, law, politics, intelligence, Congress, diplomacy and think tanks. It was held in a TV studio in downtown Washington DC, and aired live in its entirety on JBS-TV, the Jewish Broadcasting Service. The symposium consisted of three panels, and an interview with Dershowitz.
Today we continue with the release of the fourth and final segment of the symposium. This panel, moderated by Roger Aronoff, the Executive Director of the CCNS, is titled “The Growing Threat to Israel and the Region.” The panelists and their topics are as follows:
Moderated by Roger Aronoff
Morris Amitay: Iran: Israel’s Number One Enemy
Steve Frank: The BDS Movement and What it Represents
Clare Lopez: The Red-Green Axis Bares its Teeth
The Growing Threat to Israel and the Region
The third and final panel by the Citizens’ Commission on National Security emphasized how the state of Israel remains under constant threat from a variety of actors, not least the Islamic Republic of Iran—but also through a strategic alliance between Marxist and Muslim Brotherhood forces.
As CCNS Executive Director Roger Aronoff pointed out, Israel views Iran as an “existential threat.” It actively supports a host of terror groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas. The Syrian civil war also provides Iran with a geographical foothold through which to attack Israel. “Iran has used the chaos of the Syrian civil war to infiltrate Syrian territory with the use of varying forms of direct and indirect personnel: revolutionary guards, Iraq shia militias, and, of course, Hezbollah fighters,” commented Morris Amitay, former Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “I believe Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was a disaster,” he said. “I’m not alone in that conclusion. It was very important that the Trump administration withdrew from this deal.”
CCNS Member and former CIA officer, Clare Lopez, also with the Center for Security Policy, estimated that Hezbollah fighters have some 150,000 rockets in Lebanon which could be used to attack Israel, and that Iran has been sending advanced equipment upgrades to the terrorists there.
But while Iran and its terror affiliates may serve as the hard power—the guns—focused on Israel, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments find a home worldwide, including here in the United States. Lopez said that the United Nations “provides” an “international level platform for Israel-bashing.” And on the American college campuses there has grown a close alliance between the “red” (communist) and “green” (Muslim brotherhood) forces, such as the Muslim Student Association. The MSA is one of a number of Muslim-brotherhood front organizations in the United States, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim American Society (MAS). Lopez said that the Muslim Student Association has infiltrated American society down to the high school and middle school levels. And, she said, “communism has always been anti-Semitic.”
If Israeli Defense Force (IDF) action against Palestinians results in civilian casualties, the Israelis are condemned as murderous occupiers. Aronoff argued that our news media is another threat to Israel. “We see it all the time, because they are constantly making it [seem] that Israel is acting disproportionately, Israel is the occupiers…you know, it’s always portrayed that way.”
Steve Frank, a board member of The Lawfare Project, traced the origins of the boycott, sanctions, divestment (BDS) movement back to 1920s anti-Semitism: “The fact of the matter is that the BDS movement that we currently have now is really nothing but a continuation of the Arab League boycott of Jewish goods that arose in the 1920s.” In addition, there are ties between Palestinian terrorist organizations and the BDS movement, he said.
This BDS movement needs to be countered on college campuses. Lopez commented that these places have been “absolute incubators of anti-Semitism.”
“And we’ve said it over and over again: Israel is not some abstract idea, Israel is flesh and blood,” concluded Rabbi Mark Golub, founder of the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS), where these panels were broadcast live. To view all of the video from this symposium, please visit the symposium page, “The U.S.-Israeli Alliance and Its National Security Implications,” on the CCNS website.