Soleimani and Israel
In parts of the Mideast where there are Shiite Muslims, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — the terrorist organizer of Shiite militias region-wide — was mourned. Some Sunni Muslims joined in. From Gaza, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh made a pilgrimage to Tehran to meet with Ayatollah Khamenei and Esmail Ghaani, newly-appointed commander of Iran’s Quds Force. He eulogized Soleimani as “the martyr of Jerusalem.”
Quds — “Jerusalem” with variant spellings in Arabic and Farsi — has been the focus of Iran’s annual Quds Day celebration since 1979. The Soleimani-led Quds Force, the elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, blew up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, killing 85. It also funded Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Soleimani claimed that he “controlled Iranian policy” from Afghanistan and Iraq to Lebanon and Gaza.
After the Sunni backlash against Iran’s pro-Assad intervention in Syria, Soleimani reassured Hamas: “Tell your brothers that our support for Palestine is continuing. In Iran, everybody loves Palestine, Palestine is also a key issue in our internal affairs.”
Soleimani became deeply involved with both Hamas and Hezbollah during Israel’s war with Hezbollah in 2006. He reportedly spent 33 days of the 34-day war in Lebanon, accompanied by Hezbollah senior military leader Imad Mughniyeh.
Soleimani helped plan Hezbollah’s kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers in 2006. Iran’s support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza reached $100 million a year in 2018.
At Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad’s nadir in 2012, Soleimani took over the reins to reorganize the regime’s military. He flew to Moscow in 2015 to coordinate Russia’s Syrian intervention.
Soleimani looked on when Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohamed Fathallah, announced Tehran would pay $7,000 “to every family of a martyr of the intifada in Jerusalem,” plus money to those whose homes were “demolished for the participation of one of its sons” in anti-Israel terror.
Prominent antisemites worldwide are leading the campaign, now gathering momentum, to blame Israel for Soleimani’s killing. London-based David Icke demoted President Trump to Netanyahu’s pawn in Israel’s conspiracy to destroy the Islamic Republic.
Soleimani was the operational linchpin of Tehran’s campaign to destroy the Jewish state. The mullahs today threaten to avenge Soleimani by reducing Tel Aviv to ashes. Their ultimate goal of eliminating Israel hasn’t changed. But now Iran’s terror machine is an army bereft of its diabolical general. Good news for civilized people everywhere.
Historian Harold Brackman is coauthor with Ephraim Isaac of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Jews, Africans, and African Americans (Africa World Press, 2015).