Every few months, when the Israelis sense that US resolve in the sanctions department is weakening, or the Iranians enrich uranium to new levels, they ratchet up the rhetoric without any proper coordination, and cause political problems for the US President. This trick works because it forces Obama to prove that he is strong by pushing harder for stronger sanctions or else face the ire of potential voters and donors.
The "Christian West" is perceived by traditional Islam as responsible for all of the ills of the region: the establishment of the State of Israel, its arming and its reinforcement, are perceived as a "Western" project and therefore also as a "Christian plot" and "modern crusade."
A famous Jewish story about that is the tale of Rabbi Zosia who said that he did not expect God to berate him for not having been Moses—who he wasn’t—but for not having been Zosia.To me, that means we must do the best to be ourselves while trying to make ourselves as good as possible.
Israel should be under no illusion that the recent "upgrading" of bilateral relations with the European Union will end European hostility toward the Jewish state. Quite to the contrary; Israel should be expecting an increase in European meddling in its internal affairs.
At 18% interest, consumers have to borrow to pay the interest on previous loans. In other words Turkish banks are capitalizing interest, and booking profits on loans that would go sour if they stopped lending additional money to borrowers to pay the interest. The much-vaunted strength of Turkey's banks appears to be an illusion.
Wouldn't it be logical to expect that before issuing an invitation to Morsi to visit him at the White House, President Obama would ask his future guest how, if he believes that the country must be subjected to Islamic Law, he intends to defend the secular constitution of Egypt?
The latest anti-prostitution campaign in East London typifies an Islamist strategy, which is to create parallel communities for Muslims that do not interact with their non-Muslim neighbors. Islamists use these initiatives to present themselves as active members of the community, often picking on legitimate and understandable concerns. Their aim is to win new recruits and further their divisive agenda.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now saying that he will resume his efforts in September to achieve, unilaterally, UN recognition of a Palestinian state. This time, however, Abbas says he will go to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians enjoy the support of more than 130 countries, with a request to recognize a Palestinian state as a non-member of the UN.
The British have been in the news lately for their stretched-to-the-limit political correctness concerning militant Islamists, and have even been jailing British subjects or fining them for allegedly making insulting remarks about Islam. Despite these convictions for "hate crimes" against Islam the British government seems perfectly willing to overlook the converse: anti-Semitic attacks by Iranian front groups against the Jewish community.
Since Palestinian Authority leaders want to discuss culture, here’s one out of thousands of examples. Recently, at a cultural performance whose audience included the PA minister of culture, the songs and poetry spoke of how the main priority of raising children is to make sure they were ready to use guns—not computers—against you-know-who.
It appears that the Russians, the Turks and the Saudis will keep Syria at a low boil, making it difficult for either side to fully impose its will on the other, and impossible for a Sunni Islamist regime to emerge. What is remarkable, though, is the success of Russian diplomacy: despite all of the Obama administration's courtship, the Erdogan government has decided to signal its dependence on Moscow in the most visible -and, for Washington- humiliating way possible.
Although all marriages that take place in the United Kingdom must be monogamous, Muslim immigrants can and do employ countless evasions to practice polygamy without running afoul of British matrimony laws.
So today there is a Palestinian culture which defines itself by opposition to Israel and Jews. Its heroes are Arabs who kill Jews because that is the culture’s highest value. It can express itself in religious terms, as in the Hamas charter‘s inclusion of a Islamic injunction to kill Jews “wherever you find them,” or in pan-Arab or Palestinian nationalist ones.
Adel Imam - possibly the most famous Arab actor - has been blacklisted by Egyptian activists for apparently taking Hosni Mubarak's side in the Egyptian revolution that toppled him in 2011. Nonetheless, Imam has made a comeback with a miniseries that is full of anti-Semitism and demonization of Jews and Israel. Is this just plain hate for Jews or is it a stunt by Imam to win the public? And if so, what does it mean for Egypt and the Arab world?
Over the past year, more and more Iranians have been finding ways to communicate with their friends and relatives abroad in ways which should encourage the world to ratchet up the pressure on the regime.
If you buy into the concept that news is not news unless it is covered by the major media players, than I guess the fact that the Lebanese judo team refused to practice next to the Israeli team until the Olympic organizers erected barriers to divide the room and place the Israelis out of sight...wasn't news.
To a remarkable extent—and this has nothing to do with his views or policies—Bibi Netanyahu is the only functioning politician in Israel today. No wonder he is prime minister, will finish his current term, and will almost certainly be reelected in 2013. Consider the alternatives.
What distinguishes a jihadi terrorist from a more peaceful Muslim may not be any fundamental difference in belief, but, as in the West, merely in a given instance, how the religious legal principles of his faith should be applied.
Legal obligations and guarantees of human rights should be universally applied – but these should include mutual respect between religious and non-religious people, and members of differing religious communities. Germany would do well to examine thoroughly, respectfully and seriously, the beliefs of its Jewish and Muslim citizens about the circumcision of their sons, not to mention the unquestionable medical advantages.
The situation in Syria is deteriorating quickly, and the state is literally disintegrating. The cracks in the government are widening; ambassadors, generals and soldiers are deserting, some branches of the Ba'ath party are announcing their secession from the regime, the Russian advisers are fleeing for their lives and the feeling that the end is near is taking hold more and more. Not the end of Asad, but of Syria. Not the regime, but the system.
Speaking to an often-cheering group of about 400 people in Jerusalem, Governor Mitt Romney gave a speech less notable for what he said than for the fact that the audience believed he was sincere in saying it.
Republicans are trying to woo away Jews who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, hoping they have experienced "buyer's remorse." I, for one, have experienced no such remorse. I have gotten from President Obama pretty much what I expected when I voted for him.
Watching the ceremony last night, I had a profound sense of sadness for the hollow revelry. There was no dignified memorializing of the greatness, uniqueness, and courage of Britain’s past. There was “irreverent, idiosyncratic” entertainment, and a very long segment of writhing self-abasement before the shibboleth of socialized medicine.
Palestinians who fled the fighting in Syria this week said that the some suburbs of Damascus were full of Al-Qaeda militiamen from a number of Arab countries. Others said that many fighters belonged to radical Salafi groups.
When Andrew McCarthy drew a parallel between the treatment of State Department official (and Soviet spy) Alger Hiss in the 1940s and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin Weiner today it reminded me of an interesting discovery from my own research, as documented in my history of the State Department, Secrets of State.