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Thursday 15. November 2012

Why Israel Attacked Gaza

Sowing disarray was not Israel's primary objective here. The Israelis needed to respond to a series of rocket attacks in recent days, including a guided missile attack on an Israeli jeep that wounded four soldiers. Deterrence is a critical component of Israeli military doctrine. The most compelling factor, however, may have been escalating Israeli concerns over the ordnance Hamas was stockpiling. Israel reportedly hit several key weapons caches in Gaza yesterday, including some that included the deadly Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets, which have powerful payloads and ranges long enough to strike Israeli population centers.

Category: Press
Tuesday 23. October 2012

Hizbollah's naked aggression strips away resistance facade

A friend recently emailed me a story reporting that Hizbollah militants had been killed in fighting in Syria. "The road to Jerusalem goes through Homs," he wrote in the subject line. But while Hizbollah turning its guns away from Israel and against the predominantly Sunni Free Syrian Army might bewilder my Sunni friend, it sounds about right to many Shiites. After all, that conflict goes back 14 centuries; the one with Israel is only a few decades old.

Category: Press
Tuesday 16. October 2012

The Israeli Who Sneaked into Syria - Interview with Jonathan Spyer

My own view remains that the United States and its allies should engage closely with the rebels, identify deserving clients and begin to arm and support them. This has not yet happened to a significant degree and the result is the current stalemate. It’s understandable that many Westerners feel that given the rise of Sunni Islamism as a result of the downfall of secular Arab dictatorships over the last 18 months, the US interest is to stay out. Understandable, but wrong.

Category: Press
Wednesday 10. October 2012

Arab Spring and the Israeli enemy

The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

Category: Press
Friday 21. September 2012

“Innocence of Muslims” prompts a wave of anti-Semitic cartoons

Unsurprisingly, the media in the Arab world and Iran have continued this theme, and below, are some cartoons from recent days -- a sampling of the many cartoons throughout the Middle East that blame Jews for the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims.” There have also been anti-Semitic statements and editorials about the film throughout the Middle Eastern media, as well as finger-pointing by politicians.

Category: Press
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