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Friday 14. September 2012

Michael Young: America just cannot be the loved one

In light of this, perhaps we must seriously consider that the Arab world has so internalized its disapproval of the United States over time, integrating it perfectly into a prevailing sense of Arab misfortune and frustration, that anti-Americanism has become a constant of Arab political discourse, a crutch of sorts. That is not to say that America is blameless or the Arabs always wrong; it’s to say that the positivist belief among Americans that they can be loved simply by altering their actions and manners is naively overstated.

Category: Press
Thursday 06. September 2012

How China is boosting Egypt’s role in the Mideast, amid fading U.S. influence

The risk for the USA and other western powers is that the democratization movement in the Middle East, which they strongly support, may actually enable Arab states to adopt foreign policies that are more independent of their influence. China’s financial strength makes it the ideal partner for emerging democracies and economies. Europe and the United States are not helped by the fact that their economies are continuing to stagnate. The obvious beneficiaries then would not only be China but also Russia.

Category: Press
Saturday 04. August 2012

Bruce Riedel: Al Qaeda’s Arab Comeback

Al Qaeda’s success in capitalizing on revolutionary change in the Arab world comes despite a lack of broad popular support. It remains a extreme movement that appeals only to a small minority, but terrorism is not a popularity contest. Al Qaeda today is stronger at the operational level in the Arab world than it has been in years, and its prospects for getting even stronger are rich.

Category: Press
Tuesday 24. July 2012

Behind the International Terrorism Campaign of Hizbollah and Iran

The challenge facing the Israeli intelligence community is identifying whether the combined terrorist campaign abroad is meant to signal Israel that Iran will not tolerate Israeli aggression towards it, and that harming Israeli targets abroad will end only when Israel also ends its activities against Iran and Hizbollah, or whether Iran’s considerations are broader. It may be that Iran is determined to draw Israel into a harsh reaction against Hizbollah in Lebanon in response to terrorist attacks abroad. This could drag Israel into an all-out war in Lebanon, which would take a heavy toll on Hizbollah but also on Israel and divert it from preparations for what is seen in Tehran as Israel’s immediate intention to attack Iran, and perhaps even intended to divert attention away from what is happening the backyard of its ally, Syria.

Category: Press
Wednesday 18. July 2012

Moment of Truth Approaching in Damascus

Syria today is actually under the Assad regime’s military occupation, and it is being gradually removed by the Free Syrian Army. Assad will have to decide very soon whether to keep his dwindling forces broadly deployed or concentrate them in the main battle centers and the Alawite areas so as to protect the Alawites against vengeance and massacres. In light of the developments, especially the rebels’ gains in recent months, it appears that the battle for Syria has entered its final phase and Assad’s regime will not be around much longer.

Category: Press
Friday 13. July 2012

Egypt and Iran: Will the Two Walk Together?

It is also doubtful whether Egypt is prepared to pay the price of thawing relations with Iran, not only vis-à-vis the Gulf states but also the United States and the West in general, all of which would view such a move negatively. Iran and Egypt might renew diplomatic relations, if only to distinguish the current Egyptian regime from that of Mubarak, and as part of a new Egyptian, post-revolutionary foreign policy to maintain correct relations with all its neighbors. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that Egypt will pursue warm relations with Iran. Such a move is liable to isolate Egypt in the Arab world and globally, damage its primary status in the region and its interests in the Gulf, and deny it critical financial assistance. It is more reasonable to assume that Egypt will understand, as Turkey did after the Arab Spring began, that it must take a side, and that the side that is more natural to it is the side of those who oppose and compete with Iran.

Category: Press
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