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Saturday 07. July 2012

Palestinians' Islamist Spring

Unfortunately, the young men and women who are leading the anti-Palestinian Authority campaign in the West Bank do not represent the majority. That is why a Palestinian Spring could quickly turn into an Islamist Spring, paving the way for Hamas to seize control over the West Bank. The only way this outcome might possibly be avoided is if International community immediately demands reforms from Abbas: the end to corruption, and the end to repression of free speech.

Category: Press
Monday 18. June 2012

And Now It Begins: Attack From Egypt Signals Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas Jihad Against Israel

Prof. Barry Rubin: We are now at the beginning of Egypt’s involvement, directly or indirectly, in a new wave of terrorist assault on Israel. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt, a likelihood made less probable perhaps by the military’s dissolution of parliament, this offensive will enjoy official support. Even if the army remains in control, the Brotherhood and Salafists will use their considerable assets to back this new insurgency war.

Category: Press
Friday 08. June 2012

Assad’s sectarian strategy

In fact, the killing was simply the most egregious installment in a pattern of deliberate sectarian killings (most recently in the town of al-Qubayr yesterday), the product of cold deliberation by Assad. The Syrian dictator is seeking to irredeemably tie the fate of the Alawites to his own, in a message aimed both at his sectarian community as well as at the international community.

Category: Press
Monday 04. June 2012

The real ‘spring’ is not Arab

Say what you will about the Arab Spring. But so far, the most remarkable and potentially disruptive developments of 18 months of uprisings is the return of ethnic, tribal and religious identities to the political stage as a challenge to the notion of a uniform Arab world. The truth is that the Arab world is an artificial concoction, the illegitimate child of the incestuous union between European colonialism and Arab nationalism. The demise of the Arab state is not assured; even when it comes, it could be every bit as bloody and messy as ethnic conflicts in the post-communist order of the Balkans and the Caucasus. But the Arab Spring offers a promise: freedom for the non-Arab ethnic groups and the non-Muslim religious minorities of the Middle East. It is a promise the West should embrace. For replacing an unjust order with one that continues to disregard minorities and their rights is never going to bring stability, peace and prosperity to those lands.

Category: Press
Monday 04. June 2012

Where did the PA’s money go?

There is nothing more distasteful than rulers of a people – especially a poor people – who complain about their subjects’ suffering at the same time that they profit from it. Of course, when some foreign observer sees Palestinians in poor conditions they blame Israel, thus furthering the cause of the same leaders who, by their intransigent policies, ensure that the situation continues. The personal wealth of PA “president” Mahmoud Abbas is estimated at $100 million. Add onto that millions of dollars for a large number of PA and Fatah senior officials and you get the idea.

Category: Press
Tuesday 08. May 2012

Arab Spring has washed the region's appalling racism out of the news

How many tracts, books, documentaries, speeches and doctoral theses have been written and produced about Islamophobia? How many denunciations have been made against the Sarkozys and the Le Pens and the Wilders for their anti-immigration (for which, read largely anti-Muslim) policies or – let us go down far darker paths – against the plague of Breivik-style racism? The problem with all this is that Muslim societies – or shall we whittle this down to Middle Eastern societies? – are allowed to appear squeaky-clean in the face of such trash, and innocent of any racism themselves.

Category: Press
Thursday 03. May 2012

The anarchy factor in Syria

The compelling moral case for a humanitarian intervention is increasingly being reinforced by sound raisons d’état. Furthermore, military or semi-military intervention is not the only option on the table. As the sanctions imposed on Iran outside the Security Council clearly show, effective action can be taken to tilt the balance and end the deadly stalemate in Syria. The current preference for inaction, while perhaps understandable, threatens to lead to precisely the outcomes that its advocates want to avoid.

Category: Press
Tuesday 10. April 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mendacious Charm Campaign

Yet the Brotherhood came to Washington with an agenda of its own: selling itself as a “moderate” organization to a highly skeptical American public. And it did so using one of the oldest sales tricks: It completely misrepresented itself.

Category: Press
Friday 23. March 2012

Time to Stop Incitement to Murder -- Again

This week, after a young rabbi and three children were shot to death at a Jewish school in France, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas cabled condolences to French president Nicolas Sarkozy. In that brief cable, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abbas claimed that he always absolutely opposed any killing of civilians. And yet, just a few weeks ago, Abbas held a meeting in Turkey to honor the Palestinian prisoner, released by Israel as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, who had used the internet to lure an Israeli high school boy to his terrorist murderers last year.

Category: Press
Wednesday 21. March 2012

Syria: Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses

Armed opposition elements have carried out serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to the Syrian National Council (SNC) and other leading Syrian opposition groups. Abuses include kidnapping, detention, and torture of security force members, government supporters, and people identified as members of pro-government militias, called shabeeha. Human Rights Watch has also received reports of executions by armed opposition groups of security force members and civilians.

Category: Press
Monday 12. March 2012

Beyond the Gaza headlines

So the numbers tell nothing like the full story. But the numbers – and the Gaza funeral scenes — are flashed around the world as the apparent barometer of proportionality, or rather disproportionality. And Israel finds itself on the defensive, accused of exaggerated use of force, even as it strives to keep its populace safe. As so often in the past, what’s required to fairly assess the reasons behind the current Israel-Gaza flare-up is a smidgen of intellectual honesty, a glance beyond the headlines and the numbers.

Category: Press
Wednesday 07. March 2012

Janus-faced Turkey's Syria Challenge

Niklas Anzinger: Turkey’s success story of combining moderate Islam and democracy is being challenged by the ruling AK Party’s power grab. In this game, the struggle for power trumps ideology, but the religious resurgence remains an element of unpredictability in foreign policy. Regarding Syria, reality mugged the ill-guided Middle Eastern adventures of Turkey.

Category: Press
Tuesday 28. February 2012

Josef Joffe: Why Nobody Will Help the Syrian People

Libya was no precedent for Syria. Remember the rule: We bomb only where the campaign promises to be short, cheap and decisive. And where the target—like Qaddafi—has no allies. Assad does: Russia, China, and Iran.

Category: Press