In this week’s edition of the Action Update, we wanted to bring you a few important stories that may have flown under the radar but nonetheless bear understanding. The common theme is that others seem to be realizing what we’ve been saying for years: don’t appease bad people.

The United Kingdom

Recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran executed Alireza Akbari, a dual British-Iranian citizen who once served as the Islamic Republic’s Deputy Minister of Defense. Akbari, who had been living in Britain until a few years ago when he was lured back to Iran, was accused of being a British spy, which he and his family denied. Importantly, according to at least one report, this man was tortured for 3,500 hours prior to his execution. Akbari is survived by his wife and two daughters who live in the UK.  

The murder of Akbari has set into motion two key events. First, the UK and the EU are now (finally) taking steps to brand Iran’s version of the Gestapo, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a terrorist organization. Second, the Brits are now also reconsidering their position on nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

According to one senior British official, “During the time we have been dealing with it, the landscape and proposition has completely changed – largely because of the behavior of the Iranian regime.”

That’s kind of true. But the Iranians have been using dual Iranian-Western citizens as pawns for years, and they’ve been brutalizing people for years. The landscape has only changed in that the Iranian people are trying, yet again, to overthrow this despotic regime. The truth is that these two measures – listing the IRGC as a terrorist group and reevaluating any negotiations with Tehran – are long overdue, but, as they say, better late than never.

The European Union

Last week, the European Parliament discussed their funding, which numbers in the hundreds of millions, to the Palestinian Authority (PA). During the session, they heard from family members of Abigail Horen (of blessed memory), a French-Israeli citizen murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

The crux of the topic at hand was that EU donations to the PA end up supporting that entity’s pay-to-slay program – with which regular readers of the Update are no doubt familiar.

Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Council, summed the issue up this way, “The Palestinian Authority transfers half a billion shekels annually to terrorists in Israeli prisons. The more they had killed, the higher the reward... The despicable terrorist Muhammad Mruh Kabha, who murdered Esther Horgan, receives from you, the European taxpayer, NIS 12,000 ($3,490) per month, six times the average salary in the PA. So, I ask you. Does it not pay to kill Jews? Look into the eyes of these orphans. And promise them that you will do everything to stop the madness.”

It’s good that the EU is finally examining their subsidization of Palestinian terror, but they should’ve thought about that before the death of Abigail Horen and numerous other innocents. Still, as they say, better late than never.

The Ivory Tower

Here’s an unexpected storyline; the elites at Harvard University did a good thing. Wait, don’t delete this email just yet. Hear us out.

Ken Roth is the anti-Israel brute who turned Human Rights Watch (HRW) from a once reputable entity to an extension of the BDS movement—and Harvard recently decided to deny this bigot a prestigious fellowship.

To understand just how horrid Roth has been over the years, one need only look to the words of HRW’s founder, Robert Bernstein (of blessed memory), who in 2009 authored an op-ed in the New York Times pillorying the organization he created for having “Lost its Way in the Middle East.”

Here’s the key section of the piece, “Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields. These groups are supported by the government of Iran, which has openly declared its intention not just to destroy Israel but to murder Jews everywhere.”

Roth is responsible for HRW’s moral decay. And it’s good that Harvard elected not to grant him the fellowship. Perhaps more of the intellectual elite will take an honest look at the once-great institutions that have been morally decimated by those obsessed with destroying Israel and try to reverse that trend. Such introspection is long overdue, but you know, as they say, better late than never.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be addressing a number of issues closer to home, including the makeup of the new Congress and some rising stars to keep an eye on. In the meantime, we’re glad that this week’s Update was able to feature a few glimmers of light in what traditionally are the black holes of morality and decency in foreign policy. So, until next week, we hope you enjoy these little tidbits of good news.


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