Like many Arab countries, Lebanon has always been treating Palestinians as third-class citizens. Nearly half a million Palestinians live in Lebanon's 12 camps. Though born and raised in the country, they are denied political, economic and social rights.
In a democratic state where freedom of expression is cherished, can we place limits on expression when the very foundation of that state is attacked? Is there a point at which the state can say “if that’s how you feel, go live somewhere else?”
The drive to have the Church of the Nativity recognized as a global heritage site is nothing short of offensive. Christians have been driven out of their ancestral lands; Palestinians have shown nothing but hostility to both Christians and Jews. Moreover, Christ himself was a Jew.
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States realize that “effective sanctions” is a contradiction-in-terms, since Russia and China, as well as India and Japan, and probably parts of Europe, do not cooperate with the US. Forty years of diplomacy and sanctions have paved the road to a nuclear North Korea and are paving the road to a nuclear Iran.
Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf: "There is something in the grim assuredness of these Muslim thinkers, learned and gifted in Western scholarship, powerful, forthright in expression and in ideal[s] that makes my blood run cold.”
Cyprus is said to be so high on Russia's priority list that President Putin himself is currently dealing with the €4bn loan request from Nicosia. The financial risk for the Russians is limited. There is every chance that Cyprus will be able to repay their bilateral loans fairly soon. Nicosia hopes to start exploiting the huge gas reserves off the Cypriotic coast in the coming decade. With Russian help, it might even be able to exploit these gas fields within the next five years.
What should we make specifically of this most recent event, the certification of al-Mursi’s victory? Certainly, it is another step forward for the Brotherhood toward capturing the most important Arab country. A confident Hamas has launched a war against Israel by firing dozens of cross-border rockets from the Gaza Strip and other means which the “international community” and democratic West are ignoring.
Dr. Yehuda Balanga from Bar Ilan University: Egypt is going through extensive changes which may have a drastic effect on its peace accords with Israel. An all-out war with Israel is out of the question, though, as Egypt does not have the financial backing to finance such a costly war. What we can expect to see is a demand for a renegotiation of the accords and a change of some of the parameters.
The United Church of Canada Working Group's objectives do not even take into account the Jihadist call to war against Israel , and children being taught in Palestinian schools to hate and kill Jews. This hatred has nothing to do with the so-called "occupation," as Palestinian children are indoctrinated to believe, but is instead fuelled by Israel having a different ideology of true Democracy and Human Rights in a region where most leaders are hostile to both.
In light of the situation in which the kingdom must stand up to external challenges - principally an Iranian threat to the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia - it is not clear whether the population of the kingdom will indeed lend strong support to the leadership of the ruling family.
Resistance to the establishment of women's rights may be blamed on self-appointed male caretakers of Muslim tradition, who feel threatened by the appearance of a significant number of women in a public space, considered reserved for men only, and who say they see emancipated Muslim women as negative exemplars of Westernization.
There is an appropriate response to Walker's bigotry. The publisher who sought to publish Walker's book in Hebrew should simply go ahead and do it—without her permission and over her objection. Walker could then sue for copyright infringement, and the issue would be squarely posed: can copyright laws, which are designed to encourage the promotion of literature, be used to censor writings and prevent certain people from accessing it, based upon the language they read.
Iran’s moment in the region as a whole is over, though it can still do much damage in the Persian Gulf area. But we are now about to enter a new era in which Egypt, under Sunni Islamist leadership, has the option of assuming the leading role again. The last round of Egyptian ascendancy began almost 60 years ago with the Arab nationalist coup of July 23, 1952. Today it;s revolutionary Islamism that is sparking efforts to make some futile new effort to wipe out Israel.
Suddenly, sometime after the 1973 war and succeeding oil price spike, there was an explosion of concern for the Palestinians. The UN has since then established what seem like dozens of agencies and functionaries relating to their ‘plight’, despite the fact that Arab citizens of Israel and those “under occupation” have fared much better economically and have more individual freedom than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East.
Recently, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas added two more conditions for resuming the stalled peace talks: first, that Israel allow him to import more weapons for his police forces in the West Bank, and second, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. Abbas is in fact searching for any excuse not to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
Many abroad think that there is little that can be done to silence the BDS movement. They rightfully assume that these campaigns are being instigated by callous hate-mongers who are unwilling to recognize Israel’s contribution to the world out of their ignorance of the realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those same people think that it is best just to ignore BDS and it will go away.
Since the killing of three children and a rabbi in the courtyard of a school in Toulouse on March 19 by Mohamed Merah, the number of attacks against Jews in France has exponentiated. French Jews feel very isolated and very vulnerable. They now know that simple things can be dangerous: wearing a skullcap in the street, going to the synagogue alone, placing a mezuzah on a door frame.
My dear colleagues, due to my activities as a journalist, I am unfortunately deprived unlawfully of freedom in my own country. I have been sitting in prison for 17 months without any final verdict. Journalism is a universal profession. Wherever a journalist is arrested and thrown into prison for doing his or her job, all of the world's journalists are under threat.
If Obama and other world leaders want Merkel to keep propping up the euro with German taxpayers' money, they will have to share some of the burden. Soon, the world will have to come to the rescue of Europe, and help to bail out the eurozone. So until November, the euro's problems are Obama's problems, too.
Muslim Brotherhood Wins Presidency; Egyptian-Islamist/Hamas Jihad Against Israel (Apparently) Begins
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.
In the short term, the Palestinian Authority may succeed in restoring law and order to areas under its control in the West Bank. But in the long term, its current clampdown will increase bitterness and frustration among a large number of Fatah gunmen and security officers who feel betrayed by Abbas.
Turkey is trying hard to carve out a new international role, attempting to leverage the unrest generated by the Arab Spring to garner wider influence throughout the Mideast and beyond. The larger story, the part that transcends the Turkish thrust/counter-thrust, is far more intriguing. Shifting regional alignments offer a wealth of possibilities for savvy Israeli initiatives in a wider sphere of ripening influence. Indeed, a true sea change is imminent for the Israel in the heart of the Balkans.
Notice that in every culture a cheated husband is a laughing-stock. This attitude to a cuckold shows not only a nasty cruelty towards weakness, but also a reasonable contempt to a voluntary blindness, a reluctance to see what is going on under one’s own nose.
While one can certainly sympathize with the idea of letting an elected parliament being allowed to take office, that's not necessarily such a clear call in strategic terms. The Egyptian parliament--which will write the constitution and thus define the powers of the president--is almost 75 percent rabidly anti-American and antisemitic.
President Obama recently invited me to the Oval Office for a discussion about Iran. The President reiterated to me in private what he had previously said in public: namely, that he would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons; that containment of a nuclear Iran was not an option; that sanctions and diplomatic pressures would be applied and increased first; but that, as a last recourse, the military option would not be taken off the table.