May 2011

Demonizing Israel is Bad for the Palestinians / Mudar Zahran

The negative focus on Israel by the global media has harmed the Palestinians’ interests for decades.

Hizbullah:Hating Israel...and Palestinians / Mudar Zahran

While waving Palestinian cause flag and supporting ‘right of return to Palestine,’ Shi’ite group has been obstructing every attempt to improve livelihood of Palestinians in Lebanon.

UN Workers: Holocaust Education Would "Confuse" PA Children / Maayana Miskin

May 3 2011
United Nations workers in Palestinian Authority regions have expressed opposition to teaching children about the Holocaust. Earlier, UNRWA officials said they had approved the teaching of Holocaust studies in PA schools, as part of a unit on human rights.

“We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students' by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum,” the UNRWA Workers' Union said in a statement published by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

Job Opening: New Global Jihad Leader Wanted / Raymond Ibrahim

May 2, 2011
With the killing of Osama bin Laden, we return to the age old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or, in our context, which came first—the jihadist vision or the jihadist? The ideology or the ideologue?

Did Osama "create" the ideology of jihad, or did the ancient ideology of jihad create him—and countless like him, past, present, and future?

Years ago, Ayman al-Zawahiri, now al-Qaeda's undisputed leader, placed it all in context. After he was asked about the status of bin Laden and the Taliban's Mullah Omar, he confidently replied:

Countdown to September: Israel, the Palestinians, and the UN General Assembly / Dore Gold

May 1, 2011
Countdown to September:
Israel, the Palestinians, and the UN General Assembly
The public debate in Israel over the Palestinian plan to seek UN support for statehood in September is based on a fundamental misconception: the UN General Assembly cannot by itself establish or recognize a Palestinian state. It can admit new members to the UN only after they have been nominated first by the UN Security Council, where any of the five permanent members could veto the nomination.

My Kingdom for a Hoax / Emmanuel Navon

May 5 2011
A specter is haunting Israel. As the Palestinian Authority is threatening to declare statehood in September with UN recognition, many Israelis seem to believe that the Apocalypse is near. What is approaching, however, is not a Big Bang but a Big Flop.

What is Israel's next move in the New Middle East /Daniel Pipes

May 3, 2011
Moment Magazine asked: "In recent months, the Middle East has been set aflame by democratic uprisings, popular protests, brutal crackdowns, political upheaval and international military intervention, shattering conventional wisdom about the region. Israel—surrounded by a newly unstable Arab world and confronting a Palestinian march toward statehood—faces uncertainty on every front. Moment speaks with an array of leading Middle East experts and thinkers to examine how Israel should weather the storms unleashed by the 'Arab Spring'."
For all sixteen replies:

Bin Laden is Dead and his Cause Goes Marching On / Prof.B.Rubin

02 May 2011
Usama bin Laden is dead. But revolutionary Islamism is very much alive and stronger than ever. Thinking that bin Laden is the main problem and his death is the solution is very dangerous indeed and might well intensify the policies that have been leading toward the victory of his cause, though not his specific movement.

Who Else is Condemning the U.S. for Killing Bin Laden / Jonathan D.Halevi

May 5, 2011

A close ideological link exists between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. The two organizations aspire to the similar goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate and imposing Islam over the entire world via jihad. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in Jordan and the Palestinian territories openly condemn bin Laden’s “assassination.” This condemnation once again proves that the claim by Western elements that the Muslim Brotherhood is a pragmatic movement is false.

Double Standards:UN Reaction to Bin Laden VS. Yassin / Manfred Gerstenfeld

Double Standard? UN Reaction to Bin Laden vs. Yassin

May 3, 2011

The following article explores the very different reactions of the UN and the international community to two nearly identical events: the killing of Osama Bin Laden this week by the U.S., and that of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in 2004 by Israel.

For a summary of the 2004 debate at the UN Commission on Human Rights, including UN Watch's testimony:

Bin Laden versus Yassin

Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act

New York – May 4, 2011 - Iran180, a broad-based coalition demanding “human rights, not nuclear rights" for Iran, hailed the introduction of Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011 in both Congress and the House.

Bin Laden's Death Creates Teachable Moments about the Middle East / Prof.B.Rubin

04 May 2011
It's astounding that Hamas, Fatah al-Aqsa Brigades, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood all issued pro-bin Laden statements. They didn't have to do it. He was no friend of theirs. Yet out of Islamic solidarity, anti-Western hatred, and perhaps fear that it could happen to them they did. It's extraordinary these groups could say such statements and not be totally discredited in American eyes for taking the side of the September 11 terrorist leader.

Ding-dong, bin-Ladin’s dead. The Wicked Terrorist of the West is no more. But there are plenty more around.

Apartheid in Israel? From Guinean Slave to Israeli Soldier / Ray Cook

The amazing story of Avi Be’eri
04 May 2011
I have often written about the plural nature of Israeli society and how it confounds those who would label Israel an ‘apartheid’ state.

Look at this story in ynetNews of an Guinean whose original name was Ibrahim and who now considers himself as ‘a Jew in every way’.

A Wedding and a Funeral - Everyting Connects to Israel / Ray Cook

04 May 2011

Fatah and Hamas have come together in unholy matrimony after years of slaughtering each other and vying politically for dominance of Palestinian society in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Why? Why now?

Why do two factions suddenly decide to make nice whilst holding a knife behind their back ready to plunge into their new friends’ chest?

For months Fatah have been pursuing Plan B: to have the UN support the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 ‘borders’. Plan A was to continue or restart peace talks with Israel.

Inquisition Killings of Jews Condemned in Spain

MADRID (AP) — More than three centuries after 37 Jews from Mallorca were killed during the Spanish Inquisition for secretly practicing their faith, the island's leading government figure issued an official condemnation Thursday.

It was the first time the 1691 killings were criticized in Mallorca by an official, and Spain's national Jewish federation said it may have been the first event of its kind for the nation.

The Reconciliation Agreement between Fatah and Hamas / Pinhas Inbari

May 9, 2011
The reconciliation agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas is the old “Egyptian paper” with a protocol that added Hamas’ reservations.

It marks an outstanding political achievement for Mahmoud Abbas. He well understands that Europe is eager to have a Palestinian state materialize, and any indication of the viability of that vision may encourage Europe to support the planned UN vote in support of a Palestinian state in September. In fact, major European parties such as Spain, Britain and France have encouraged the PA to follow the track of a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Palestinians: Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Islamism / Prof.B.Rubin

May 9, 2011
I'm always a bit wary of using public opinion polls in the Middle East because much depends on the day the poll is done; the way questions are worded; and the fact that in authoritarian societies ruled by dictatorial regimes people don't necessarily speak their mind.

Syria Pulled its Candidancy from the UNHRC

It's Official: Even Club of Abusers Won't Take Syria's Assad
May 11, 2011

Israel's New Neighbor Egypt / Prof.B.Rubin

Israel's New Neighbor Egypt: Radical Nationalist President; Islamist-Dominated Parliament
May 11, 2011
Amr Moussa, probably Egypt's next president, has given a comprehensive picture of his views, a foretaste of the likely policies of someone about to become the Arab world's most powerful person. One thing he said is particularly important and shocking. Read on.

Nakba Day and the Fraud / Ben Dror Yemini

The article was first published on May 20, 2010. Nothing has changed.
The Palestinians have been holding the title of "refugees" for over six decades -- They have succeeded in creating a unique historical narrative for themselves -- This myth is growing, so it should be shattered and the real facts presented: the Palestinian population before the first Aliya was sparse, hundreds of thousands of Jews were also expelled from Arab countries, and there is no precedent anywhere in the world for the right of return.

On U.S Middle East Policy / Prof. B.Rubin

May 11,20011
Why is U.S. and European policy toward the Middle East so off-base, and why do policymakers believe the strange things they think and the crazy things they do are good strategy?

I don’t have to write anything to make fun of current U.S. Middle East policy. All I have to do is quote administration officials.

Here’s the New York Times:

Massive Anti- Israel Rally in Egypt / Prof.B.Rubin

Massive Anti-Israel Rally in Egypt Organized by...Facebook
13 May 2011
Repeatedly we were told about the alleged absence of anti-Israel rhetoric and signs in Tahrir square during the revolution. I don’t think it was true then. I certainly don’t think it is true now.

So check out the massive anti-Israel demonstrations in Cairo today.

Muslim 'Inferiority Complex' Kills Christians / Raymond Ibrahim

May 14, 2011
Days ago in Egypt, throngs of Muslims (henceforth, "Islamists"), estimated at 3,000, fired guns and rifles and hurled Molotov cocktails at Coptic churches, homes, and businesses in the Imbaba region near Cairo: twelve Christians were killed—some shot by snipers atop rooftops—232 injured; three churches were set aflame to cries of "Allahu Akbar," while Coptic homes were looted and torched.

Imbaba church burns

Tariq Ramadan Discovers his Inner Flower Child / Jonathan Gelbert

May 15, 2011
Tariq Ramadan -- a member of the world's most famous Islamist family, as the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan el-Banna -- spoke at Stanford University on April 12, 2011, in a lecture entitled, "The Quest for Meaning: Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism."

Obama VS. Israel / Alan Caruba

Is Obama a Muslim? Does Obama hate Israel? Will Israel be attacked again? Will Iran nuke Israel? Has Maghreb and Middle Eastern turmoil flummoxed the White House? Why did Obama bow to Saudi Arabia’s king? Questions, questions, questions?

The Central Scenario for the Middle East in 2012 / Prof.B.Rubin

May 16, 2011
Save this note. Last year I predicted that Egypt's instability might well be the big story of 2011. Why wait until December?
Hamas attacks Israel with mortars, rockets, a few missiles, and a few attempts at cross-border attacks. Israel counterattacks into the Gaza Strip.

What does Egypt do?

A. Egypt with President Amr Mousa and parliament with Islamist (Muslim Brotherhood plus Salafist) majority or at least a radical nationalist-Islamist majority.

Abu Mazen's NY Times Article: Combination of Rewriting History and Other Lies / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Abu Mazen's article is a combination of 2 lies:
About historical facts
About the negotiating with Israel

Lies about History:
"We go to the UN now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22% of our historic homeland."

The historic name of the country is the Land of Israel
It was the homeland of the Jews/Israelis from the 18th century BCE. 3 to 4 million Jews lived in the Land of Israel in 66 CE when they revolted against the Roman occupation of their country and failed.

How Arabs Stole Jewish Property / Tani Goldstein

As Palestinians mark 'Nakba Day,' history shows Jews were dispossessed of all their assets too after escaping Arab countries between 1944-1964
Tani Goldstein

The Palestinian people are marking their annual "Nakba Day" on Sunday, commemorating the escape and expulsion of the Palestinians from the State of Israel upon its establishment.

Give Us Money

Libyan Jews demand compensation / David Regev

What Other Surprises are the Palestinians Prepering for Israel / Jacques Neriah

May 17, 2011
May 15, 2011, might become a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

One of the main components of Israel’s security is the deterrence factor Israel projects towards its enemies, a factor that has successfully stopped the Arab armies and a plethora of terrorist organizations from initiating an overt war with Israel.

The Arab Apaparheid / Ben Dror Yemini

The real ‘Naqba’ is the story of the Arab apartheid. Tens of millions, including Jews, suffered from ‘Naqba’, which included theft, expulsion and becoming a refugee. Only the Palestinians remain refugees because they were victims of persecution and repression at the hands of Arab states. This is the story of the real ‘Naqba’.

A Brief Guide to Why 1948 Was a Palestinian-Arab and Arab Disaster / Prof.B.Rubin

16 May 2011
In 1947 the UN voted to partition the British mandate of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jews accepted partition into two states; the Arabs rejected it.

AJC Responds to Shocking Abbas Op - Ed in New York Times / David Harris

May 17, 2011
AJC Executive Director David Harris issued the following statement in response to an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which appeared in The New York Times today:

AJC is a global advocacy organization that has long been committed to achieving a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state accord.

Abbas in the New York Times:Rewriting History, Rejecting Peace / David Harris

May 17, 2011
Opening The New York Times this morning, my jaw dropped as I reached the op-ed page. There, featured prominently, with accompanying artwork, was an article by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbasoutlining the Palestinian strategy for a unilateral declaration of statehood this September at the UN General Assembly. The stunning piece says no to a negotiated peace with Israel and rewrites more than 60 years of history.

To begin with, he blithely ignores basic facts that have considerable bearing on the present situation.

The West's Foreign Policy Theme - Like Me Before You Kill Me - Applied to Israel / Prof.B.Rubin

May 18, 2011
Recently, it was revealed that President Barack Obama had consulted Tom Friedman in formulating his Middle East policy. Here’s an example of where disastrous policy comes from.
Friedman writes:

Obama's Middle East Speech / Raymond Ibrahim

Obama's Middle East Speech
So balanced it goes nowhere
May 19, 2011
One of the problems with Obama's Middle East speech was that parts of it were so deliberately balanced — so meant to appease all sides — that they go nowhere. For example, look at the portions where he discusses democracy in the Middle East versus the alternative — Islamist rule, which he does not name. One sentence seems to say that a "true" democracy is necessary, only to be followed by one that seems open to Islamist rule, and so on. Consider the following excerpts:

With Israel or Against ? The West has to decide NOW and Fast / Ray Cook

18 May 2011
With Israel or against? The West has to decide NOW and fast whether it is willing to stand by and see a second Holocaust.

Will Cameron and Sarkozy and Merkel and Obama and the rest wring their hands and say: “f only they had compromised; if only they had shared Jerusalem and dismantled the settlements. If they hadn’t been such stiff-necked Jews then all this genocide would not have happened.

Why do I say this? Surely Israel is the regional superpower?

Well that means nothing.

Abbas's Fable / Prof. Efraim Karsh

May 20, 2011
In the opening episode of the iconic series Boardwalk Empire, Nucky Thompson, Atlantic City's bootlegging strongman, tells a group of pro-prohibition women activists a gutwrenching story about his abject childhood, ravaged by the vagaries of alcoholism. Asked by his driver, a young aspiring gangster, about the story's veracity, Thompson retorts: "The first law of politics is to never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Obama Middle East Speech / Prof.B.Rubin

A Big and Revealing Mistake That Nobody Has Noticed
20 May 2011
There is a small detail at the end of Obama’s big Middle East speech that everyone has overlooked up until now but which shows how inept this administration is at understanding the Israel-Palestinian issue and why it continually makes Israel mistrustful.

In doing his balancing act on Israeli and Palestinian fears and hostility, he says this:

Turkey's Christians under Siege / John Eibner

May 18, 2011
The brutal murder of the head of Turkey's Catholic Church, Bishop Luigi Padovese, on June 3, 2010, has rattled the country's small, diverse, and hard-pressed Christian community.[1] The 62-year-old bishop, who spearheaded the Vatican's efforts to improve Muslim-Christian relations in Turkey, was stabbed repeatedly at his Iskenderun home by his driver and bodyguard Murat Altun, who concluded the slaughter by decapitating Padovese and shouting, "I killed the Great Satan. Allahu Akhbar!" He then told the police that he had acted in obedience to a "command from God."[2]

U.S Middle East Policy / Prof.B.Rubin

To Understand the Middle East Why Not Study The Real Middle East?
Obama Speech: Not Intended To Bash Israel But Did So Anyway
22 May 2011
A lot of people may think that I’m too tough on President Barack Obama and the New York Times. Yet every day they do something that—despite my high suspicions and low expectations—amazes me.

Obama At AIPAC: Indifference to Israel's Needs / Prof.B.Rubin

Obama At AIPAC: Beneath The Flattery, He Revealed His Indifference to Israel’s Needs and His Tilt Against It
23 May 2011
I expected President Barack Obama’s AIPAC speech would be a bunch of feel-good clichés to persuade the audience that he is Israel’s best friend. Thus there would be nothing worth analyzing in it. But as I read the speech carefully I was astonished at how thoroughly Obama reveals his underlying miscomprehension, indifference, and even hostility toward Israel.

Qaddafi Money tied to Co - Sponsor of Huron Uni. College Chair of Islamic Studies / Mary.L.Ambrogio et al

Letter to Campus Watch: Qaddafi Money Tied to Co-Sponsor of Huron University College Chair of Islamic Studies
Mary Lou Ambrogio, Douglas Cassan, Eva Ryten, et al.
May 23, 2011

Issue NO.1 Between Israel and the PA:The PA Demand to Settle the Refugees in Israel / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

May 24, 2011
Abu Mazen tells the world all he wants is a Palestinian state, and Israel is responsible for the lack of Peace because of the settlements.

Abu Mazen is lying:

The PA already rejected twice a peace proposal identical to the ideas included in President Obama speech:

Arafat rejected the Clinton – Barak proposal at Camp David, 2000, that included a solution to the settlement issue, because it included the settling of the Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian state.
Abu Mazen rejected the Prime Minister Ulmert proposal in 2008 because of the same reason.

Damascus on Trial / David Schenker

Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2011, pp. 59-66 (view PDF)
In September 2008, the U.S. Federal Court in Washington, D.C., rendered a $413 million civil judgment against the government of Syria for its provision of support and material aid to the killers of two American contractors in Iraq.[1] Syria's appeal is pending, but should it lose, the victims' families will undoubtedly endeavor to attach Syrian assets in the United States and abroad.

Palestinian Politics is about to make a Transition for the Worse / Prof. B.Rubin

Palestinian Politics Is About to Make a Transition For the Worse; Bad Time to Push for Peacemaking
23 May 2011
Palestinian Authority "president" Mahmoud Abbas is retiring and has called on Fatah to choose a replacement. Wonder who they'll pick? Watch this space. I think I know and he makes Amr Moussa look like Megan McCain.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has suffered a heart attack. The Fatah leadership wants to get rid of him and is only held back by concern over the donors giving money. His days, too, are numbered.