Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Will Palestinian Move To Exploit ICC Against Israel Ruin Another International Institution?

The State Department has condemned the move by Abbas to sign the Rome Statute and open the way for going to the International Criminal Court:


But there is more to this than just the Palestinian Arabs destroying the peace process.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Obama and Iran -- And The Behind The Scenes Politicking Of Abbas's Resolution At The UN

From Arlene Kushner:
December 30, 2014

A Somber View

Very somber, my friends.  The situation in the world is not worrisome – it’s terrifying.  Consider:
In an interview with NPR, President Obama said that Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if it agrees to a nuclear deal.  He said things must move slowly but he wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of opening a US embassy in Tehran before his term ran out.
WHAT?  There is nothing on the table in negotiations with Iran at the moment that is serious enough to prevent Iran’s nuclear advancement. The Iranians – a threat to the world – are running rings around an eager Obama.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Hamas, And Signs of Trouble Down the Road

From Arlene Kushner:
December 24, 2014

Back to Work

The Chanukah week, which is now closing, was a blessing.  Now, invigorated, I see that it is time to return to the serious and painful matters that face us.

This posting will be brief because I’ve spent hours today working on the plans for the Legal Grounds Campaign, which will up and running in a short while. Those of us who are working on it are excited about what is in the planning.  My readers will be kept informed, as we progress.  Here I make mention of the fact that time is quite short for Americans to secure a tax deduction for 2014, for a donation to our work.  If you indeed would like to make such a gift, please, contact me without delay.



Here I would like to focus on Hamas, as signs of trouble down the road with this group are strong.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tarek Fatah: Muslims Must Save Islam from Islamists

The following by Tarek Fatah is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Muslims Must Save Islam from Islamists

by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
December 16, 2014

Jihadists see Western-style education of the youth as a problem worth mass murdering for.
It seems there is no respite for the ordinary Muslim. Barely a day goes by when news of fresh atrocities by our coreligionists isn't in the headlines.
Most of the world's billion-plus Muslims wouldn't dream of killing in the name of Islam, but enough do to form a critical mass that has put us on a collision course with the rest of humanity.
The Sydney siege by an ISIS-inspired jihadist had barely ended when the horrific news of a Taliban massacre killing 140 children at a Pakistani school shocked the world.

It took place at an "Army Public School", inside a Pakistan cantonment on the edges of Peshawar. Many of the students who attended this elite school were the sons and daughters of Pakistan army officers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Arlene Kushner on More Examples of the West Turning A Blind Eye Towards Palestinian Terrorism

Arlene Kushner:
December 17, 2014

This Way and That

Some news a tad encouraging, and other news that’s nothing short of infuriating. Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether we have, on average, broken even.  Doesn’t look so here.
But let’s put that aside from a moment, and attend to first things first.  It is Chanukah, and I want to share a video that is absolutely beautiful, in terms of tying together Chanukah and an understanding of who we are.
Charlie Harary is an inspirational speaker, whose videos are frequently used by Aish.  But never before have I seen one that is as brilliant and inspiring as this one. If you attend to nothing else in this posting, please do see this.  He touches on an essential truth of our uniqueness:

Anne Bayefsky: UN: Turning Back the Clock to Pre-1948 is the Real Endgame


For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2014
Follow us on Twitter

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

Incitement against the Jewish state is directly related to the stabbings, raping and killing of Jews inside and outside of Israel. But doing something to stop it requires confronting a very troubling fact: the global epicenter for incitement is the "human rights" leviathan, the United Nations.

From November 24, 2014 until December 5, 2014, UN human rights headquarters in Geneva mounted a public exhibit that was pure incitement. UN-driven antisemitism that takes the form of seeking to demonize, disable and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Middle East Quarterly Winter 2015: Gerald M. Steinberg: Europeans Fund Anti-Israel Libels

The following by Gerald M. Steinberg is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Europeans Fund Anti-Israel Libels

by Gerald M. Steinberg
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2015 (view PDF)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Middle East Quarterly Winter 2015: Shlomo Sand, The Arab's Darling

The following, by Shaul Bartal, is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Shlomo Sand, The Arabs' Darling

by Shaul Bartal
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2015 (view PDF)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Daniel Pipes on An Arab Prince Who (Almost) Denounces Islamism

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

An Arab Prince Denounces Islamism

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
December 10, 2014

In a remarkable but thus-far unnoticed address on Dec. 5, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain (an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet), candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it.

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa on Dec. 5, discussing the enemy's identity.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Making Sense of Coming Israeli Elections

Arlene Kushner:
December 6, 2014

A Political Circus

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

It wouldn’t do, I suppose, for the political situation to have clarity for too long. Or for the news to simply be promising.  We’ve now entered the circus arena: the rumors are flying, predictions are contradictory, and some surprising alliances are being suggested as possible. All of this defeats clarity and considerably dampens optimism.

I will offer here only an overview, with a promise of more to come when it’s possible to make better sense of how matters will evolve.  In the few days since my last posting - announcing the firing of Livni and Lapid and the advent of elections – there have been news stories and opinion pieces about all of the following:

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Jewish Rights To Judea and Samaria ("West Bank")

From Arlene Kushner:
November 30, 2014

Jewish (and Other) Rights in the Land Today

Let us begin today by looking briefly at the historical situation that immediately followed Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the subsequent War of Independence.  At the end of the war, in 1949, armistice lines (ceasefire lines) were established.  They were similar to, but not exactly the same, as the lines within which the Jews had declared a state in 1948: Israel had gained a bit of territory.  Most significantly, Israel had secured the western part of Jerusalem.  (In the original UN proposal, Jerusalem was to be internationalized.)


 Credit: English-online

These armistice lines – referred to as the Green Line - were the lines within which Israel remained until 1967. Egypt had taken Gaza, and Jordan had taken the remainder of Mandate Palestine – Judea and Samaria, dubbed “the West Bank” by Jordan.  Jordan, I will note, occupied this land illegally, for it was acquired in a war of aggression.

Daniel Pipes: Is CAIR a Terror Group?

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission.

Is CAIR a Terror Group?

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
November 28, 2014

We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates' ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

This came as a surprise because the UAE authorities themselves have a record of promoting Islamism; because CAIR has a history of raising funds in the UAE; and because the UAE embassy in Washington had previously praised CAIR.

On reflection, however, the listing makes sense for, in recent years, the Islamist movement has gravely fractured.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Arlene Kushner Analysis of the Palestinian Terrorist Attack on the Jerusalem Synagogue

From Arlene Kushner:
November 18, 2014

Without Words

Sometimes a situation is so horrific that it renders one speechless.  Such was the attack by Israeli Arabs on innocent Jews praying in Jerusalem this morning.  And so, I’m going to start with photos, which provide greater impact than my words alone would. 

Once I would have apologized for provided such graphic illustrations.  No more. The world must “get the picture,” figuratively as well as literally.

Har Nof shul massacre
Credit: preoccupiedterritory


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MEQ 2005 Article on Beheading in Islamic Theology and History

The following by Timothy R. Furnish is reposted here with the permission of the Middle East Forum:

Images of masked terrorists standing behind Western hostages in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have become all too common on Arabic satellite stations such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar. Islamist websites such as Muntadiyat al-Mahdi[1] go further, streaming video of their murder.

The February 2002 decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, true to its intention, horrified the Western audience. Chechen rebels, egged on by Islamist benefactors, had adopted the practice four years earlier,[2] but the absence of widely broadcast videos limited the psychological impact of hostage decapitation. The Pearl murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. In Iraq, terrorists filmed the beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong. Other victims include Turks, an Egyptian, a Korean, Bulgarians, a British businessman, and a Nepalese. Scores of Iraqis, both Kurds and Arabs, have also fallen victim to Islamist terrorists' knives. The new fad in terrorist brutality has extended to Saudi Arabia where Islamist terrorists murdered American businessman Paul Johnson, whose head was later discovered in a freezer in an Al-Qaeda hideout. A variation upon this theme would be the practice of Islamists slitting the throats of those opponents they label infidels. This is what happened to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, first gunned down and then mutilated on an Amsterdam street,[3] and to an Egyptian Coptic family in New Jersey after the father had angered Islamists with Internet chat room criticisms of Islam.[4]

Daniel Pearl, pictured in an image sent to media organizations by
his kidnappers. Credit: Daily Mail. Photo not from original article.

Video: Hamas on Campus

From the About Page of "Hamas On Campus": was set up by a group of students from different campuses across the USA and Canada.
We represent both Jews and non-Jews, left and right, liberal and conservative. We value freedom of speech, women’s rights and human rights. For this reason we are disturbed by the increasingly radical behaviour and rhetoric by Hamas supporting organizations on campus.
Check out the Hamas on Campus website

Here is the video:

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Al Aqsa Mosque Used To Store Weapons and Today's Palestinian Terrorist Attack

From Arlene Kushner:
November 5, 2014

Never Ending

I am referring to the grief that is leveled at us, here in Israel, on a regular basis.  I don’t really mean “never ending.” This is hyperbole; some day it will end.  But I don’t know when; I only recognize that we must be strong in all respects as we face down the situation.


But before I get to our difficulties, I want to say “Baruch Hashem.”  I awoke with great gladness this morning to the news that the Republicans had taken Congress.  May the Almighty grant the Republican majority wisdom and strength as they work to stop Obama in his tracks and turn around a great deal of the bad that has been done.  With the finest of intentions, the results will be far less than ideal, I know.  Obama still sits in the White House.  But there is much that CAN be done.  We have at least hope now for a better America, an America that reflects traditional values and loyalties.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Palestinian Incitement As Moderation, Israeli Rights As Extremism

From Arlene Kushner:
November 2, 2014

How Did We Get to This Place?

Our presence here in the land goes back more than 3,000 years. We prayed for millennia, while separated from the land, to be able to return.  Once we did return, our people sacrificed in order to build and protect the land.
And now, insanely, the Jew who is passionate about our rights to the land and our attachment to the land is viewed as a “radical right winger,” a troublemaker.
Come again?
The world certainly sees nationalist Jews this way:  If only these Jews would relent already, then Israel could reach an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs and there could be peace. But the fanatic and troublesome right-wingers keep getting in the way.
Far worse, there are Jews who think the same way.  A good percentage of those who don’t live in Israel certainly do.  Most painfully, and shamefully, there are Israeli Jews who have forgotten who they are.  (I will come back to this at some point, hopefully.)
The reason that Jews who seek Jewish rights are seen as troublemakers is because the Arabs tend to negotiate via violence and threats. (You don’t give me what I want, this is what I’m going to do.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tarek Fatah: Time for Canada to Take on the Jihadist Agenda

The following by Tarek Fatah is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Time for Canada to Take on the Jihadist Agenda

by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
October 28, 2014

[Originally published under the title "Time to Take on Jihadist Agenda"]

Damian Clairmont, a Calgary-based convert to Islam, was radicalized for two years before departing Canada to fight and die for ISIS in Syria. His mother has denounced the government's "cavalier attitude" toward Islamist indoctrination of Canadian youth.
At times, my fellow Canadians alarm me.

When three anonymous women allegedly have kinky sex with radio celebrity Jian Ghomeshi and are allegedly physically and/or verbally assaulted by him, the country goes into a tizzy.

However, when three anonymous Toronto girls are recruited by Islamic State to marry ISIS fighters overseas who are warring against Canada, and are subsequently rescued by our security agencies and released back into the community, Canada yawns.

While Canadians were distracted by the Ghomeshi affair, the Senate Security Committee heard from RCMP and CSIS officials about the threats we face at the hands of homegrown jihadists.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Netanyahu Standing Up To US "Chickens***" Pressure

From Arlene Kushner:
October 29, 2014

Standing Tall

The media here in recent days has been full of observations about the growing rift between Israel and the US, or, more accurately, between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations.
There have been, incredibly, some Israeli politicians and commentators centrist-left who point a finger at Netanyahu, saying that he is provoking Obama and that Israel-US tensions are his fault.  They point out that we need America and cannot afford to alienate its chief executive.
Me?  I say, Right on, Bibi!  And I am hardly alone in this response.
Time to cut the umbilical cord with the US – which makes some afraid to alienate a source of “nurturing” – and to do what is best for Israel, unapologetically.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kerry Blames ISIS Recruitment on 1948 Refugee Problem -- Not 18 Million From Arab Countries

The following by David P. Goldman is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Does Kerry Think that 18 Million Muslim Refugees Are Irrelevant to ISIS?

by David P. Goldman
PJ Media
October 20, 2014

There are now nearly 18 million refugees and internally displaced persons in seven Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen), up from slightly over 7 million in 2011, according to the UN. That doesn't count more than 2.5 million Afghani refugees from the continuing war in their country. Much of the population of Syria has left their homes, including 3 million who have left the country due to the civil war and an additional 8 million internally displaced.

That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs. There are millions of young men in the Muslim world sitting in refugee camps with nothing to do, nowhere to go back to, and nothing to look forward to. And there are tens of millions more watching their misery with outrage. Never has an extremist movement had so many frustrated and footloose young men in its prospective recruitment pool.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daniel Pipes on the Failure To Define "Terrorism"

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Terrorism Defies Definition

by Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld
The Washington Times
October 24, 2014

Defining terrorism has practical implications because formally certifying an act of violence as terrorist has important consequences in U.S. law.

Terrorism suspects can be held longer than criminal suspects after arrest without an indictment They can be interrogated without a lawyer present. They receive longer prison sentences. "Terrorist inmates" are subject to many extra restrictions known as Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs. The "Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002" gives corporate victims of terrorism special breaks (it is currently up for renewal) and protects owners of buildings from certain lawsuits. When terrorism is invoked, families of victims, such as of the 2009 Ft. Hood attack, win extra benefits such as tax breaks, life insurance, and combat-related pay. They can even be handed a New York City skyscraper.

"Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002"
The "Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002" greatly increased the importance of defining what "terrorism" means.

Despite the legal power of this term, however, terrorism remains undefined beyond a vague sense of "a non-state actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arlene Kushner on American-Born Palestinian Shot by IDF While About To Throw A Molotov Cocktail

From Arlene Kushner:
October 26, 2014


The word “tough” has different meanings, and I am actually using it in more than one sense in this posting.  The first meaning – difficult to deal with – applies to the video directly below.  From “Jewish Voices on Campus,” it is exceedingly important and I ask you all to take the time to see it:

The second meaning I want to apply is slang, as in “You don’t like it? Tough.” 
Orwa Abd El-Wahab Hammad, from the village of Silwad near Ramallah, was killed by the IDF on Friday.  Arab sources said he was 14, the IDF says he was 17.  Born in America, he has lived in Arab villages in Samaria since he was a small boy.  He was shot because he was about to throw a Molotov cocktail into on-coming traffic on Highway 60.  A Molotov cocktail is a home-made incendiary device, serving as a fire bomb, that can set its target on fire. Thrown at a car, it could be lethal and might cause multiple deaths.
Explained an IDF spokesman: “The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger....”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Palestinian Celebration of Butchering Of An Innocent Baby

From Arlene Kushner:
October 23, 2014

Burning Hatred and Darkness

Chaya Zissel Braun the three-month old baby girl killed by a terrorist using his car as a weapon, was laid to rest at midnight last night.  Her death came about after the terrorist’s car slammed into her stroller, sending her flying some ten meters into the air. She landed on her head, and fractured her skull; doctors could not save her because of internal hemorrhaging.

President Ruby Rivlin, who attended the funeral said (emphasis added):

“We are standing before a tiny, silent body, before a small grave, standing against haters and murderers who hands slaughter without distinction, without mercy.  An innocent baby was butchered by burning hatred and darkness.”


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Steven J. Rosen: Will Mahmoud Abbas Reject Israeli Protection?

The following by Steven J. Rosen is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Will Mahmoud Abbas Reject Israeli Protection?

by Steven J. Rosen
The Gatestone Institute
October 20, 2014

Shortly after the death of Yasser Arafat on November 11, 2004, and the election of Mahmoud Abbas to the Palestinian Authority [PA] presidency in January 2005, the U.S. Department of State increased its security assistance to the PA and began to promote Palestinian security cooperation with the Israeli security services. The motive was not personal support for Abbas, but a belief that Fatah under Abbas could become a more reliable partner for maintaining order and keeping peaceful relations with Israel.

President Bush had declared in 2002, "The United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure. This will require an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services." To establish his leadership, Abbas was determined to have a monopoly over the use of force. So in 2005, the office of the United States Security Coordinator [USSC] for Israel and the Palestinian territories was created to train Palestinian Authority security forces, especially the Palestinian National Security Forces [NSF] and the Presidential Guard.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Turkey's Love Affair With Hamas -- As It Whispers Sweet Nothings in Their Ear

The following by Burak Bekdil is reposted here with permission of  the Middle East Forum:

Turkey's Love Affair with Hamas

by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
October 19, 2014

Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warmly greets Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Ankara, March 2012.
"The Palestinian cause" is a unique charm that brings together Turks from different ideologies. Turkish Islamists view it as an indispensable part of "jihad;" the conservatives feel attached to it because it has a religious connotation; for the leftists it is part of an "anti-imperialist" struggle; the nationalists embrace it just because most Turks embrace it. In the 1970s, when a dozen Turks a day on average were killed in street violence, the "Palestinian cause" was the only issue that otherwise warring fractions of the Turkish left, right and Islamists could agree on.

But it was the Islamists who, in the 2000s, made the biggest gains from the concept. Since 2002, when they came to power, they have reaped enormous political gains from the "Palestine-fetish," to which they also love to be ideologically attached. For the Turks, it has been like abusing alcohol and wanting to have a healthier life. It still is.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Middle East Quarterly: Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians

The following by Hilal Khashan is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians

by Hilal Khashan
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2014 (view PDF)


Not even having the Arabic word for resistance (muqawama) tattooed on his right arm could save the life of avowedly-secularist, pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni. The Italian leader of the blockade-breaking Free Gaza flotilla was executed by Salafists for "spreading corruption" and having been born in an "infidel state."
In April 2011, Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist and "journalist" who had spearheaded the blockade-breaking Free Gaza flotilla was kidnapped from Hamas-held territory and shortly thereafter, killed. His captors and executioners were not a branch of the Israeli special services but members of a local Islamist group, Salafists going by the name Jahafil al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad fi Filastin (Armies of Monotheism and Holy War in Palestine). The Salafists released a YouTube video in which they accused Arrigoni, a secularist, of "spreading corruption" stemming in part from his connection to his birthplace, an "infidel state."[1]

"He came from across the world, left his country and family and his entire life, and came here to break the siege, and we kill him? Why?" cried one of his Gazan friends.[2]The answer is essentially twofold. For one thing, bias against Christians is embedded in a literal interpretation of Qur'anic verses, and apparently a sizable number of Muslims, and certainly Salafists, take the Qur'an literally. For another, a preponderance of Muslims views Middle Eastern Christians as an extension of Europe and thus a constant reminder of past colonial encroachments and supremacy over them. A survey of past examples and those of more recent vintage bears out this assessment unambiguously.

Monday, October 20, 2014

David P. Goldman: Why Europe Is Irrational About Israel

The following by David P. Goldman is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Why Europe Is Irrational About Israel

by David P. Goldman
PJ Media
October 14, 2014


Coming soon after Sweden's recognition of a non-existent state of Palestine, the British Parliament's 274-to-12 resolution to recognize "Palestine" flags a sea-change in European sentiment towards Israel.France is thinking of following suit. The European Community bureaucracy, meanwhile, has readied sanctions against Israel. One remonstrates in vain. The Gaza War should have taught the world that Israel cannot cede territory to Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 10th year of a 4-year term. Hamas has the support of 55% of West Bank Palestinians vs. just 38% for Abbas, and Hamas openly bragsthat it could destroy Israel more easily from firing positions in the West Bank. Only the Israeli military keeps Abbas in power; without the Israelis Hamas would displace Abbas in the West Bank as easily as it did in Gaza; and a Hamas government in the West Bank would make war on Israel, with horrifying consequences.

To propose immediate Palestinian statehood under these circumstances is psychotic, to call the matter by its right name. The Europeans, along with the United Nations and the Obama administration on most working days, refuse to take reality into account. When someone tells you that Martians are transmitting radio waves into his brain, or that Elvis Presley really is the pope rather than an Argentine Jesuit, one doesn't enquire into the merits of the argument. Rather, one considers the cause of the insanity.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?

The following by Jonathan Spyer is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?

by Jonathan Spyer
Middle East Review of International Affairs
October 12, 2014

WARNING: This post contains images which some readers may find disturbing. Caution is advised.
The fate of Kobani city now hangs in the balance, as around 9000 fighters of the Islamic State organization close in on the Kurdish held area. The current IS assault on the Kobani enclave was not the first attempt by the jihadis to destroy the Kurdish-controlled area.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Middle East Quarterly: Efraim Inbar on Israel's Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean

The following by Efraim Inbar is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Israel's Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean

by Efraim Inbar
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2014 (view PDF)


About 90 percent of Israel's foreign trade is carried out via the Mediterranean Sea. The East Mediterranean is also important in terms of energy transit. Close to 5 percent of global oil supply and 15 percent of global liquefied natural gas travels via the Suez Canal while Turkey hosts close to 6 percent of the global oil trade via the Bosporus Straits and two international pipelines.
About 90 percent of Israel's foreign trade is carried out via the Mediterranean Sea, making freedom of navigation in this area critical for the Jewish state's economic well-being. Moreover, the newly found gas fields offshore could transform Israel into an energy independent country and a significant exporter of gas, yet these developments are tied to its ability to secure free maritime passage and to defend the discovered hydrocarbon fields. While the recent regional turmoil has improved Israel's strategic environment by weakening its Arab foes, the East Mediterranean has become more problematic due to an increased Russian presence, Turkish activism, the potential for more terrorism and conflict over energy, and the advent of a Cypriot-Greek-Israeli axis. The erosion of the state order around the Mediterranean also brings to the fore Islamist forces with a clear anti-Western agenda, thus adding a civilizational dimension to the discord.[1]

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Sweden Recognizing A Palestinian State (If They Can Find It)

From Arlene Kushner:
October 7


“v'samachta bechagecha”: and you shall rejoice in your festival.  This is it, Sukkot, our season of rejoicing.  My very favorite holiday.  The spirit is in the air, here in Jerusalem.  I look forward to meals in the Sukkah (much larger than the illustration here!), and sleeping in the Sukkah with my grandchildren. 

And blessings over the lulav and etrog.

Sukkot starts tomorrow night, and I will post only very erratically, if at all, during the coming eight-day period.  The older I get, and the worse the world seems, the more I understand how important are these moments of joy.  To all celebrating, I wish a Chag Sameach.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Netanyahu Standing Up to US on Building In Jerusalem

From Arlene Kushner:
October 2, 2014

Right On!

This will be an exceedingly short post. We go into Yom Kippur late afternoon Friday, and I will have no chance to write tomorrow.  And so I do it now. 
Wishing all those observing Yom Kippur a G’mar Chatima Tova.  Maybe we be sealed for a good year, and may the Almighty watch over us.

Yesterday I expressed considerable unease about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statements voicing his on-going support for a “two state solution.”
Today I am happy to offer praise for a forthright stand he has taken on behalf of Israel.  It all happened later in the day yesterday, after the two leaders met. But with the time difference (seven hours later here), I didn’t pick up full information until this morning.

More Than 95% of UNRWA's "Palestinian Refugees" -- Aren't

The following by Steven J. Rosen is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Why State Dept. Defends UNRWA's Artificial "Refugee" Designations

by Steven J. Rosen
The Gatestone Institute
September 30, 2014

Here is a paradox: UNRWA, the United Nations agency that manages the Palestinian refugee issue, follows rules that contradict United States law and policy, and its practices result in perpetuating and multiplying the refugee problem rather than resolving it. Yet the U.S. Department of State gives unquestioning support to UNRWA's refugee designation rules [1], even on occasion defending them in detail. How can this be?

For example, almost two million Palestinians who have long been settled in Jordan and have for decades enjoyed Jordanian citizenship[2], are routinely counted as "refugees" by UNRWA, and the State Department supports it. This, in spite of the fact that, under U.S. law, a person who has citizenship in the country where he resides, and enjoys the protection of that state, cannot lawfully be eligible for refugee status.[3] How can State justify this contradiction?