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Author: Vijeta Uniyal

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Vijeta Uniyal

Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist based in Germany. He is Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

The anti-EU parties are poised to win one-third of the seats in the EU Parliament election in May, according to a study titled "The 2019 European Election: How anti-Europeans plan to wreck Europe and what can be done to stop it," released by a pro-EU think-tank. By securing the controlling share of the seats, the anti-establishment rightist parties could "paralyze decision-making at the center of the EU" and end up "curbing the [bloc's] liberal orientation and returning power to member states," the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) said.

In what can only be described as another diplomatic victory for President Donald Trump's administration, European countries have stopped importing Iranian oil. The Iranian regime has admitted that European buyers have refused to touch Iranian oil despite temporary waivers extended to them by the United States. "No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said.

Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report titled Terrorists in Suits: The Ties Between NGOs promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations that shows operational and ideological ties between the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, and Palestinian terrorist organisations, including Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. According to the report, at least 30 active and "retired" terrorists were on the payrolls of BDS-linked NGOs. Some of these prominent terror figures cited in the report include Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled, former Hamas "military" operative Muhammad Sawalha and convicted terrorist Shawan Jabarin.

The Trump administration's decision to suspend the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russian triggered sharp responses from Germany and the European Union. "Europeans aghast as end to INF treaty looms," the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported, adding that the "EU leaders are concerned that the US withdrawal from the INF treaty could spark a new arms race."

The top EU court has prohibited bus companies from checking passenger passports on cross-border buses, making it difficult for German police to identify illegal immigrants entering the country, say local media. The ruling by the European Court of Justice could prevent the German police from stopping thousands of illegal border crossings and embolden the migrant traffickers. Last year, the police caught around 14,000 illegal immigrants trying to enter the country by bus and train.

Israel has called out the European Union for continuing to finance the boycott movement against the country. The EU funneled millions of euros to organizations and activists running the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign between 2017 and 2018, a detailed report issued by the country's Minister of Strategic Affairs revealed. "Contrary to statements by EU Foreign Minister Federico Mogherini opposing Israel boycotts, [the report] reveals that funds continued to be transferred to organizations which promote boycotts against the State of Israel in 2017-2018," Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in its press release Wednesday.

German authorities have banned the Iranian airline Mahan Air from operating in the country amid fears of espionage and terrorism.  Iran's second largest airline has been linked to regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a U.S.-designated terrorist group. The German Federal Aviation Office, equivalent of the U.S. FAA, has barred the airline from landing in the country with intimidate effect, German news outlets reported Monday.

In what can only be described as another foreign policy win for President Donald Trump, the European countries are 'tiptoeing' towards Washington's position on Iran, Reuters reported Friday. Describing the recent shift in European diplomacy, the news agency noted that the "new approach moves Europe closer to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy of isolating Iran with tough sanctions."

German army has caught an Iranian spy working in its ranks. A 50-year-old German-Afghan man has been arrested on charges of spying for Iran's Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). The man, named by the state prosecutor as Abdul Hamid S., has been passing on sensitive military intelligence to the Iranian spy agency for many years, the local newspaper reports said.

Following the British parliament's rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, the EU Council President, Donald Tusk, has told the country to stay in the bloc. "If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?" the top EU official wrote on Twitter.

Germany's biggest opposition party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), is pushing for the country to leave the European Union ahead of the EU parliament election. According to the manifesto drafted for the EU election scheduled for late May, the AfD called for Germany to leave the EU if party's demands for drastic reforms were not met. The reforms proposed by the party include abolishing the EU Parliament and giving control back to the national governments.

Trade between Iran and the European Union is in sharp decline, official Iranian figures show. The drop comes despite EU's ongoing efforts to bypass the U.S. sanctions. In November, President Donald Trump imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran's oil, shipping and banking sectors.

Germany is rolling out a 'counselling service' to combat the surge of Islamist indoctrination across the country. The taxpayer-funded service "will mainly target Turkish and Arabic-speaking families" where children may be "flirting with extremism," German newspapers report. The programs comes at a time when Chancellor Angela Merkel is allocating huge sums of public money in hopes of preventing the country's growing Muslim population from becoming more radicalized. According to the German state broadcaster MDR, the government spent nearly €100 million on Islamist 'de-radicalization' programs in 2018. "Nobody knows if the money is put to meaningful use," the broadcaster noted.

The leader of the Italian League party, Matteo Salvini, plans to form an electoral alliance with Poland's ruling conservatives in the run-up to the upcoming European Union elections. Salvini is spearheading a campaign to build an anti-establishment alliance ahead of the election. In October, he teamed up with Marine Le Pen's newly-formed French National Rally (NR) to launch the "Freedom Front" coalition. Salvini will meet the leader of Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jarosław Kaczyński, on Wednesday to "strike a deal" ahead of the EU parliament elections scheduled for this May, the public broadcaster Radio Poland disclosed.
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