December 2012

Egypt in Dire Straits by Mordechai Kedar

Nov 30 2012
Ever since Mubarak was forced to resign in February 2011, the sense of a new dawn has swept over Egypt. Grand words and phrases such as “democracy”, “civil rights”, “freedom” and “state of institutions” have become the focus of political discourse, because of the sense that all of those fine characteristics of democracy have finally come to Egypt.

Legal implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine by Prof.Alan M. Dershowitz

December 1, 2012
The General Assembly vote declaring that Palestine, within the pre-1967 borders, is a "state", at least for some purposes, would have nasty legal implications if it were ever to be taken seriously by the international community.

Tensions within Islam tear Middle East apart By Pinhas Inbari

03 December 2012
One of the threats to the recently brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is the fate of the political Islam doctrine in the region. Political Islam differs vastly from radical Islam. Western countries could potentially ally with political Islam, embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood, as opposed to radical Islam, represented most glaringly by Salafist al-Qaeda.

What Palestinians think they have achieved from passage of the UN "Non-member state" resolution / Ahron Shapiro

Dec 3 2012
Western countries that abstained or voted for the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Thursday upgrading the Palestinian representation in the UN to that of a non-member state have depicted their decision as a vote in favour of a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians and a two-state solution. However, Palestinian officials have been telling their own people that the vote was a substantive step towards forced Israeli capitulation, not compromise.

The Iranian Role in the 2012 Gaza Conflict / Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall

December 2, 2012
During the fighting in Gaza in November 2012, Iran took pains to highlight its own supply of weapons and means of manufacturing them to the Palestinians, contrasting the feebleness of the Arabs with its own potency. Tehran in particular flaunted its role in the supply of rockets, especially the Fajr-5, that was fired at Tel Aviv. Iran also sought to boost its status in Arab and Islamic public opinion as the actor that no longer fears Israel and the Western powers.

Palestinians: Abbas's Classic Thug Extortion Trick by Douglas Murray

December 3, 2012
This is a classic case of diplomatic terrorism. If you don't hand over the money, their friend here is really, really mad, and they're only just managing to hold him back. And the world fell for it.

Watching Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas make his speech to the UN General Assembly, I suspect the same jolting thought passed through my head as it did for a lot of the viewers': "Isn't this guy meant to be the moderate?"

Why Christian Persecution Is Islam's Achilles' Heel by Raymond Ibrahim

November 30, 2012
Which of the following three headlines is most difficult for the media—including the usual array of liberal pundits, apologists, academics, and politicians—to whitewash or rationalize away? Which most exposes Islam's inherent intolerance?

A) "Allahu Akbar" screaming Muslims fire rockets into Israel

B) "Allahu Akbar" screaming Muslims riot and commit acts of violence in Europe

C) "Allahu Akbar" screaming Muslims torch a Christian church in a Muslim country

The answer is C—Christian persecution.


Why Hamas and Islamic Jihad Supported Abbas's Statehood Bid by Khaled Abu Toameh

December 3, 2012
Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrated because they think that the UN has paved the way for the establishment of an Islamist state within the pre-1967 lines. The Islamists are hoping to achieve their goals with the support of three parties: Iran, Qatar and Egypt.

Why did some Hamas leaders come out in public in support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's request to the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to "Non-Member Observer State"?

Hypocrisy at the UN:Tyrannies oppose “country-specific” resolutions -and then adopt 21 on Israel

Hypocrisy at the UN:Tyrannies oppose “country-specific” resolutions -and then adopt 21 on Israel
Dec.4 2012
"Israel at the UN: A Nation
That Dwells Alone?"
In an astonishing display of hypocrisy, numerous U.N. country delegates gave impassioned speeches last Tuesday objecting to resolutions criticizing the murderous regimes of Iran, North Korea and Syria, saying they rejected the very notion of singling out countries; and then they proceeded, mere moments later, to adopt a resolution — which many of them also co-sponsored — singling out democratic Israel.

How Israel's Ceasefire Terms Are a Security Disaster by Lee Kaplan

December 3, 2012
The International Solidarity Movement, which its co-founder openly admits works with Hamas, the Palestinian Jihad, and the PFLP, organizes riots under the direction of Hamas leaders, staging them for the television cameras to make it look as if Israel is attacking Arabs, when in reality Israel is responding to Arab attacks – a detail the media usually leave out.

Egypt's New Constitution: Laying the Basis for an Islamist, Sharia State By Barry Rubin

03 Dec 2012 02:21 AM PST
On November 30, a Constituent Assembly consisting almost 100 percent of Islamists voted to approve the draft of Egypt’s new Constitution. The next day, President Muhammad Mursi ordered that a referendum be held on December 15. In other words, Egypt’s population will be given two weeks to consider the main law, which has 230 articles, that will govern their lives for decades to come.

Jihad on Christmas Trees Welcome to Christmas Cubes! by Soeren Kern

December 4, 2012
"What will be next? Will all Easter eggs be banned in Brussels because they refer to Easter?" — Bianca Debaets, of Belgium's Christian Democratic and Flemish Party

More than 25,000 people in Belgium have signed a petition denouncing a decision to remove the traditional Christmas tree in the central square in Brussels and replace it with a politically correct structure of abstract minimalist art.

Hillary Clinton on Palestinian missed opportunities for statehood America / Sharyn Mittelman

Dec 4 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was honoured at the Saban Forum in Washington on November 30, where she delivered an insightful speech on the challenges confronting the Middle East and Israel in particular. It's worth reviewing because Clinton offered a number of insights and historical reminders that anyone seeking to unravel the Middle East Gordian knot should understand.

The Rise of the Salafis in Lebanon: A New Sunni-Shiite Battlefield Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah,

December 4, 2012
The crisis in Syria has turned into a civil war where the two main contenders are fighting for supremacy: the Sunni majority is trying to gain back power from the Alawite minority that has ruled Syria since the late 1960s.

Kuwait Expels Thousands of Palestinians by Steven J. Rosen

Much has been made of the Palestinian exodus of 1948. Yet during their decades of dispersal, the Palestinians have experienced no less traumatic ordeals at the hands of their Arab brothers.

Palestine's spurious UN bid relied on some unsavoury supporters / Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Dec 4 2012
ABC Religion and Ethics - 4 Dec 2012
The bid for UN recognition is just the continuation of a decades-long policy of attempting to establish a Palestinian state without making peace with, recognising, or negotiating with Israel.

"Mr President: independence, freedom, the right to self-determination; these are principles that have been enshrined in the United Nations Charter." Those words were spoken by Daffa Alla Elhag Ali Osman, the Sudanese Ambassador to the UN as he introduced the draft resolution at the General Assembly to recognise the non-member state of Palestine.

Israel's Motives Behind the Gaza War: True and False By Barry Rubin

02 Dec 2012
One of the many distortions written about Israel during this latest Israel-Hamas war is that the Israeli government was motivated to act by the fact that elections in Israel are being held on January 22. In other words, the motive is attributed to partisan rather than defensive motives. While this is only one of many inaccurate claims, it is a good illustrative example of how ignorance and malice combine in constructing an artificial picture of Israel.

Driving in Neutral: Hillary Clinton Explains the Israel-Palestinian Conflict by B.Rubin

05 Dec 2012 12:59 AM PST
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s said some very interesting and revealing things in her appearance at the Saban Center’s gala dinner, November 30. They are, however, being quoted out of context. Let’s look at what she actually said in some detail for a sense of how the Obama Administration's highest-ranking foreign policy official and a future presidential candidate thinks about this issue.

Palestinians: What The UN Brought by Khaled Abu Toameh

December 5, 2012
There has been no mention of peace process or coexistence with Israel. The belligerent and defiant tone of Fatah officials sent the message that the Palestinians are now headed toward confrontation with Israel -- not peace.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders say they are already preparing for the next war with Israel. They say that their groups still have many rockets that will be used against Israel in the future.

As one Hamas official put it, "In the next war with Israel, Israelis will be forced to flee not only their homes, but the whole country."

Behind the 'Palestine' vote, a paradox / Ahron Shapiro

Dec 6 2012
In order to fully understand all the implications of the upgrade of Palestinian status to non-member observer state at the United Nations, it is worthwhile to begin by revisiting their more ambitious first attempt to bring Palestinian UN membership to a vote in the United Nations Security Council last year.

Slaughtering America's Golden Goose by Nonie Darwish

December 5, 2012
Immigrants in America are being told they must deny their appreciation of the capitalist system that brought them here in the first place. They are told to hate the white people; those who do not are shamed as traitors to their race. It is crushing to see an American leader talk about "redistribution of wealth" under the guise of "fairness." This kind of political talk is more suited to Haiti or Egypt, but never America. The U.S. government is on its way to becoming the nightmare totalitarian system from which we immigrants tried to escape.

Egypt's new Islamist constitution / Update from AIJAC

Dec 5 2012
On Friday, following an all night session, Egypt's constitutional assembly rushed through a new constitution, which was promptly approved by Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi, and will be put to a referendum on Dec. 15. The rushed constitutional process follows increasing political unrest there after Morsi published on Nov. 22 a decree giving himself near absolute powers, not subject to judicial review, to take measures he judges necessary " to protect the country and the goals of the revolution." But the unrest shows little sign of ending anytime soon.

Britain National Health Service: Not So Healthy by Samuel Westrop

December 6, 2012
Britain's nationalized health service has been funding a television station whose presenters preach hatred against Jews, women and the West. There will always be groups out there trying to destroy us, but does that mean we should be financially supporting their work?

The Palestinian UN Upgrade: Setting Things Straight / Alan Baker

December 5, 2012
The UN upgrade resolution has neither created a Palestinian state, nor did it grant any kind of statehood to the Palestinians. General Assembly resolutions, including the Palestinian upgrade resolution, can neither determine nor dictate international law or practice.
The areas of Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) have never been determined in any legal document or agreement to be sovereign Palestinian areas. Both Israel and the Palestinians entertain claims over the areas in dispute

UN discusses Syrian conflict for an hour, spends five hours condemning Israel/ Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Dec 7 2012
After the current conflict in Syria had commenced, observations quickly began piling-up that it was receiving noticeably less coverage than it would if it were taking place just over Syria's eastern border in Israeli territory. As time went on and the Syrians began killing hundreds of Palestinians and displacing hundreds of thousands more, many -- including this author -- were a little struck by the hypocrisy of the anti-Israel movement.

Syria's Assyrians, caught in the middle by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

December 7, 2012
Of all the Christian communities in Syria, the Assyrians, that is, those Christians who identify as such by virtue of belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East, arguably have the most complex relationship with the Assad regime.

Constitutional Confusion and Contusions by Mordechai Kedar

December 7, 2012
In a democratic state, a constitution is supposed to express in words the basic values of its citizens and state the foundational principles that will guide the conduct of the government in a way that reflects the values that most of the citizens believe in, led by the value of freedom. The constitution is intended to limit the powers of government and to defend the citizen from the whims of those in positions of power.

Explaining the Latest Israel-Palestinian Controversy By Barry Rubin

06 Dec 2012 02:16 AM PST
Journalist: Professor Rubin, why is Israel making a two-state solution impossible by building 3000 apartments in east Jerusalem?

Waste of efforts to use comments for business

No body can see or read comments before I see them and accept them

Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2012 by Raymond Ibrahim

December 7, 2012
Despite promises to reform the school textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement, especially against Christians and Jews. The textbooks teach -- among a long list of hate-filled passages, all of which originate in the Qur'an or the Hadith -- that "Christians are the enemies of the Believers," and that "the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians."

Journalist or terrorist? Why choose when you can be both! by Or Avi - Guy

Dec 9 2012
Abu Aisha- journalist in Islamic Jihad uniform.Recently it has been reported that the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming Israel for allegedly targeting Palestinian journalists during operation "Pillar of Defence" in the Gaza Strip ("Israel called to explain targeting reporters," Herald Sun, 3/12).

Ayman Zawahiri and Egypt: A Trip Through Time by Raymond Ibrahim

November 30, 2012
Around 1985, current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri fled his homeland of Egypt, presumably never to return. From his early beginnings as a teenage leader of a small jihadi cell devoted to overthrowing Egyptian regimes (first Nasser's then Sadat's) until he merged forces with Osama bin Laden, expanding his objectives to include targeting the United States of America, Zawahiri never forgot his original objective: transforming Egypt into an Islamist state that upholds and enforces the totality of Sharia law, and that works towards the resurrection of a global caliphate.

Egyptian opposition leaders to be investigated for bizarre ‘Zionist plot’ / Sharyn Mittelman

Dec 7 2012
Those who had still been hoping that an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government under President Mohammed Morsi would usher in democracy to Egypt have sadly had a wake up call this week. On Tuesday around 100,000 protestors gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo to protest President Morsi's November 22 decree that expanded his powers, placing his decisions beyond judicial oversight and enabling him to call a mid-December referendum on a draft constitution drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel that limits freedom of expression and religion.

Jordan’s King Abdullah eyes Palestinians in the West and East Banks By Pinhas Inbari

10 December 2012
King Abdullah of Jordan visited Ramallah last weekend immediately after the United Nations accepted Palestine as a non-member observer state. The king’s message was clear: Palestine will be created in the West Bank while the East Bank will remain Jordanian.

Abbas offers 6-month talks with settlement freeze By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF

12/09/2012 19:19
PA president says talks should resume from where Olmert left them; ministers pledge to give fiscally shaky PA $100m.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged the Arab League on Sunday not to withdraw its 2002 peace initiative as he called instead for renewed negotiations with Israel for six months.

He told the League in Doha he would demand that Israel freeze West Bank settlement construction and Jewish building in east Jerusalem during that time.

IDF: Hamas trying to activate W. Bank sleeper cells

Hamastan: The Genie in the Bottle by Amin Farouk

December 11, 2012
An Islamic emirate in the West Bank and Gaza strip will eventually drop like ripe fruit into Hamas's lap, while Hamas plots the "liberation" of all of "Palestine." Hamas's "prime minister, Ismail Haniya, now wants to demand that Western countries delete Hamas from their lists of designated terrorist organizations. It was clear that Mahmoud Abbas's role was over and that a non-alcoholic toast could be proposed to the forthcoming Hamastan, with the blessings of the UN and Allah.

"Obey The Prophet, Even If He Tells You To Kill" by Raymond Ibrahim

November 26, 2012
Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood—maintains that Muslims must obey the commands of Islam's prophet Muhammad, even unto murder. This would be the same Dr. Qaradawi that American academics like Georgetown professor John Esposito praise for engaging in a "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights."

Germany: Image of Islam 'Devastating' by Soeren Kern

December 10, 2012
The most sobering finding is that 46% of Turks say they hope that one day Germany will have more Muslims than Christians.

Germans are overwhelmingly mistrustful of Islam and Muslim immigration, according to a new research survey, which concludes that the image of Islam in Germany is "devastating."

Better Dictators than Elected Islamists by Daniel Pipes

December 11, 2012
Who is worse, President Mohamed Morsi, the elected Islamist seeking to apply Islamic law in Egypt, or President Husni Mubarak, the former dictator ousted for trying to start a dynasty? More broadly will a liberal, democratic order more likely emerge under Islamist ideologues who prevail through the ballot box or from greedy dictators with no particular agenda beyond their own survival and power?

Morsi's recent actions provide an answer, establishing that Islamists are yet worse than dictators.

London Rejects Plan for Mega-Mosque by Soeren Kern

December 11, 2012
"You watch how we get angry." — Abjol Miah, activist, Islamic Forum for Europe

Authorities in London have rejected a controversial proposal by a radical Islamic group to build one of the largest mosques in the world near the city's Olympic Stadium.

Prominent Muslims have responded to the news by vowing to punish the Labour Party in future elections unless the decision is reversed and the application to build the mosque is approved immediately.

A Turning Point in Egypt: Not on Direction But on the Speed of Islamist Transformation By Barry Rubin

11 Dec 2012
A critical moment has arrived for Egypt. But in what way?

President Mursi has rescinded much of his decree claiming total power right now. But he could accomplish much the same thing after the Constitution is confirmed and perhaps by forcing reinstatement of the parliament whose election was declared invalid by a court. At any rate, Mursi's concession has not quieted the demonstrations--another sign that concessions in the Middle East don't bring agreements--and so this crisis isn't going away.

The Psychological Asymmetry between Israel and Hamas Dr. Irwin J. (Yitzchak) Mansdorf

25 Nov 2012
In the conventional wisdom and historical sense of “winning wars,” the photo of the white flag, the raised hands and the empty shoes of fleeing enemy soldiers used to be the staple of Israeli “victory” albums. But after this latest Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, we see Hamas chief Khaled Mashal gloating, Palestinians in Gaza celebrating, and Israelis complaining that “things are unfinished.”

3,000 Foreign Jihadis to Terrorize Egyptian Opposition? by Raymond Ibrahim

December 11, 2012
The title of a recent Al Khabar News report declares: "Morsi summons 3,000 jihadis from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia and Iran to be an Islamic army to strike the police and army forces" of Egypt.

According to the report, Ibrahim Ali, a lawyer of various Islamic groups, said that 3,000 leaders and members of the Jihad Groups and the notorious Islamic Group—including the brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the army officer who planned and participated in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat—will arrive in Egypt in a few days.

The Real "Obstacle to Peace" by Peter Martino

December 12, 2012
Why should any country sign an agreement if it will just be invalidated a few years later?

Iran is building nuclear weapons, Syria is slaughtering its citizens, Libya is being taken over by al-Qaeda, Egypt is threatened with another Pharaoh, Turkey is working toward rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and Christians are being massacred in Egypt, Nigeria and Mali (among other countries). But last Thursday, the European Commission summoned the Israeli Ambassador to the European Union (EU) over Israel's plan to build 3,000 new homes in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

Radical W. Bank leader mulls run for PA president By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

12/12/2012 05:39
Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, who recently established new Palestinian political party, is nephew of Islamic Jihad founder.
Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi in France [file photo] Photo: REUTERS

A radical Islamic leader from Hebron indicated on Tuesday that he was considering running in the next Palestinian presidential election.

Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, a former Palestinian Authority chief judge of Islamic Courts, is a nephew of Sheikh As’ad Tamimi, founder and spiritual leader of Islamic Jihad. Israel deported the uncle to Jordan in 1969.

What Egyptians Are Afraid to Know by Nonie Darwish

December 12, 2012
The problem with Egypt and many other Islamic nations is that they are ignorant of what they are demanding, and are left ignorant by their own media and educational system. By now it seems apparent that Egyptians do not even want to learn the truth about Sharia, in case they might reject it -- an act that would turn them into apostates, eligible for death.

Christianity evolved; but can Islam do so? Fein Melvyn

December 10, 2012
Two weeks ago when I implied that Islam might not be a religion of peace, I agitated a hornet’s nest. More than one reader came to the conclusion that I was a narrow-minded bigot. After all, only a mean-spirited racist could suggest any such thing.

Nevertheless, this is a serious question. With Israel again under violent assault, with Egypt being torn asunder by ferocious street demonstrations and with Syrians killing tens of thousands of their own, is there something about Islam that encourages this belligerence?

Radical and Moderate Palestinians Who Is More Popular? by Khaled Abu Toameh

December 13, 2012
The Palestinian Authority leadership does not see that the real threat to the two-state solution is Hamas and the unwillingness of many Palestinians to accept Israel's right to exist.

An Arab Proverb: "The Sheikh's Dog Thinks He is the Sheikh" by Amin Farouk

December 13, 2012
America has a difficult decision to make: If Iran is struck a blow by the United States and its allies, extremist Sunni Islamists will exploit the situation to accelerate a military build-up and continue to conspire to establish a global, militant Islamic Caliphate. On the other hand, if the threat for a nuclear Iran is not removed, the Persian Gulf interests of the United States and its oil-producing allies will be seriously endangered. The Western world did not internalize that the Muslim Brotherhood was closing ranks in the Middle East.

Analyzing Egypt by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

December 13, 2012
With the upcoming referendum to begin on Saturday in Egypt (already taking place in embassies abroad) for the draft constitution that is primarily the work of Islamists from both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist factions, it is worth bearing the following issues in mind:

The Military: For all intents and purposes, the Egyptian military is interested in keeping its distance from politics, safeguarding its interests in the country's economy and maintaining a degree of autonomy from civilian government control.