Friday, May 30, 2014

Video: Is the EU Deploying a Double Standard Toward Israel?

From The Jerusalem Center for Foreign Affairs Youtube page:
Is the European Union consistent in restricting economic activity in Israel's disputed territories? How does the EU operate in occupied territories such as Morocco, N. Cyprus and Kashmir? Double standard? Watch the video and judge for yourself.
Here's the video:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Israel Isolated? Not When You Look At The New Up and Coming Countries of the World

Far be it from me to contradict John Kerry.

If he claims that Israel is at risk for becoming isolated if it does not make more unilateral concessions to the Abbas regime, I suppose he must be basing that assumption on something.

But in the meantime, in this changing world one does get the impression that Israel is going OK for itself.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Are The Saudis Now Accommodating Iran Under US Pressure?

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

Saudi Shuffle

by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
May 22, 2014

A number of recent Saudi moves and official statements have led to speculation regarding a possible shift on the kingdom's stance toward Iran.

The Saudis appear to be moving, at least on a declarative level, away from a position according to which Iranian ambitions are a threat to be resisted – toward an attempt to accommodate Tehran.

The speculation regarding a changed Saudi stance rests largely on three recent public events.

The first was the meeting last month between newly minted Saudi ambassador to Tehran Abdul Rahman al-Shehri, and former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Shehri demonstrably kissed Rafsanjani on the forehead during the meeting. In addition to displaying the depth of the ambassador's patriotism, this act was held by some commentators to portend a renewed Saudi determination to set relations with Iran on a new footing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gary C. Gambil: Don't Blame the People for Iranian Intransigence

The following by Gary C. Gambill is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Don't Blame the People for Iranian Intransigence

by Gary C. Gambill
The Jerusalem Post
May 20, 2014

Supporters of the Obama administration's historic willingness to accommodate Iranian nuclear ambitions frequently contend that ruling elites in Teheran are not politically capable of eliminating or dramatically downsizing their country's uranium enrichment infrastructure, as required by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. Increasing sanctions on Iran won't change this unfortunate reality, the reasoning goes, so the only alternative to an eventual military solution is accepting a more modest rollback that leaves Iran with sufficient enrichment capacity to produce a bomb in six to 12 months, but subject to intrusive inspections.

Purveyors of the political constraint model of Iranian intransigence are often frustratingly fuzzy on cause and effect. David Patrikarakos argues that Iranian leaders have "invested too much political capital in their enrichment program to give it up unless their own survival is threatened," while RAND Corporation analyst Alireza Nader suggests that "weakness in the face of [outside] pressure might be no less a threat" to their rule than the economic sanctions that have devastated Iran's economy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When Palestinian Journalists Attack

Last year, Khaled Abu Toameh wrote that Palestinian Journalists Declare War On Israeli Colleagues:
In recent weeks, Israeli journalists who cover Palestinian affairs have been facing increased threats from Palestinian reporters.

On a number of occasions, the threats included acts of violence against the Israeli journalists, particularly in Ramallah.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Attempt to Deny That Boko Haram Is Islamic

The following by Mark Durie is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Boko Haram and the Dynamics of Denial

by Mark Durie
Frontpage Magazine
May 15, 2014

It is a common refrain of pious Muslims in the face of atrocities done by other Muslims in the name of Islam that Islam must not be shamed. Whenever an Islamic atrocity potentially dishonors Islam, non-Muslims are asked to agree that 'This is not Islamic' so that the honor of Islam can be kept pristine. The real issue, however, is not what would be good or bad for Islam's reputation; Islam is not the victim here. The pressing issue is not to get people to think well of Islam, but how, for instance, in the case of Boko Haram's kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls, the girls can be rescued and, above all, how Boko Haram's murderous rampage can be halted
Qasim Rashid, an American Muslim, recently published on a heart-felt expression of deep distress at the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram ('What would Muhammad say to Boko Haram'). He declared that Muhammad himself would not recognize this group as acting in line with his teachings:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hamas and Hezbollah: Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Terrorism

Hamas continues to emulate their terrorist comrades in Hezbollah
  • Hezbollah kidnaps Israeli soldiers--Hamas kidnaps Gilad Shalit.
  • Hezbollah builds extensive underground bunkers--Hamas builds underground installations in Gaza.
  • Hezbollah bombs Israel during its war--Hamas figures it can bomb Israel forever.
And now Haaretz reports that Hamas wants to employ the 'Hezbollah model' in Gaza:

Jonathan Spyer on Palestinian Magical Thinking

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

Palestinian Magical Thinking

by Jonathan Spyer
PJ Media
May 7, 2014

So April 29th has passed, and the nine-month period allotted by the current U.S. administration for its effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has come and gone. Entirely predictably, it has failed, in its entirety.

What can be learned from the failure? And what may be expected to happen now?

The failure of the talks was predictable first and foremost because of the irreconcilable positions of the sides. This is not a matter of small details, as is sometimes maintained. It isn't that the Palestinians want 99% of the West Bank while Israel will offer only 98%.

Palestinian nationalism in both its Fatah and Hamas variants rejects the possibility of accepting the permanence of Jewish statehood in any part of the area west of the Jordan River.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vassar Removes "Wall of Truth" Raised to Protest Anti-Israel Campus Climate

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Photo: Israel -- No Apartheid Here

I posted this on Google Plus -- it's my first post shared to my blog as an experiment.

Hat tip: +Ilya Fainshtein

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Efraim Inbar On Israel's Next Step After Collapse of Talks: Let's Do Almost Nothing

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

Let's Do Almost Nothing

by Efraim Inbar
Israel Hayom
May 15, 2014

Now that the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have ended in failure, many suggest taking advantage of the political limbo to advance their preferred unilateral plans. The Israeli political right wing is promoting the annexation of Area C, while the left wing is advocating a "coordinated" (whatever that means) unilateral withdrawal. Government officials have spoken about the need for Israel to "do something." Others suggest negotiating with the Quartet, instead of the Palestinians.

Activism is unquestionably a trait that is admired in Israel. Zionist-rooted rhetoric such as "we have to determine our borders and destiny on our own" falls on receptive ears.

However, probably the wisest course of action for Israel is a patient and cautious "wait and see" approach. Resolving the conflict is impossible, but attempting to manage it -- minimizing the suffering to both sides as well as the diplomatic costs to Israel -- is within reach.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Poll: Israel Not to Blame for Failure of Middle East Peace Talks

The Daily Beast reports that a new poll by The Israel Project shows that most Americans blame the Palestinians for the failure of the Israeli - Palestinian peace talks:
Over twice as many Americans agree with Israel’s claim that they are not primarily to blame for the failure of the Middle East peace process than those who agree with the Palestinian claim that moving toward a unity government with Hamas is a step toward peace, according to a new poll by The Israel Project.

The poll was conducted May 2-4, 2014, among a national sample of 1595 likely voters in the 2014 midterm election. The interviews were conducted online by Survey Sampling International.
Among the findings of the Israel Project poll:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gary C. Gambill: A Sweet Deal for the Mullahs

The following by Gary C. Gambill is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Anne Bayefsky: UN Replaces Notorious Richard Falk -- Don't Expect Changes

For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2014
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This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FOX News.

For over a month, the U.N.’s top human rights body has been struggling with a major dilemma. How much prior Israel-bashing experience is necessary to be appointed U.N. “independent expert” on Israel?

On Wednesday we found out. Indonesian Makarim Wibisono has just the right mix of confirmed anti-Israel bias and diplomatic cover to replace outgoing U.N. “expert” Richard Falk.

Falk was a notorious anti-Semite, infamous 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and Boston Marathon apologist. But at the U.N., a six-year time limit forced his retirement -- and not a matter of principle.

Former Indonesian U.N. ambassador Wibisono is from a country that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. He served as the president of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in its last year of operation in 2005 – a body that even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.”

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Israeli Pride on Yom Haatzmaut

From Arlene Kushner:
May 6, 2014

Celebrating at 66

Israel is an ancient nation, celebrating the 66th year of her rebirth.

Credit: Hoops
And there is a great deal to celebrate, my friends.
Ben-Dror Yemini, writing about the paradoxes in how Israel is seen, says (emphasis added):
“...there is one thing [Israel’s founders] definitely didn't know: That the State of Israel would lead the contribution to humanity and would also become the most hated country by that same humanity.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Yom HaZikaron

From Arlene Kushner:
May 5, 2014

"Yom HaZikaron"

Credit: Erinamsili

Credit: Haifa-Israel

Credit: Porisrael

Credit: Na’ama Yehuda

Israel’s Memorial day – a day for remembering all those from our defense forces who have died defending the country, and all those who have died at the hands of terrorists.  It is a day of national mourning.  Just about everyone in the country has either suffered a personal loss or knows someone else who has.
I dedicate this posting to all of them.

Collapse of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Reveals More About US Than Israel or Palestinians

The following by Alexander H. Joffe is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Friday, May 02, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Saying Goodbye To Kerry and Peace Talks -- For Now...

From Arlene Kushner:
May 2, 2014

Bye Bye Negotiations

Shabbat starts late at this season, which allows me the time to do a post – but even so, Shabbat is Shabbat and this will be brief.

The nine-month negotiating deadline of April 29 came and went with no resolution of the issues, and no promise of an extension of the talks. So we can breath a sigh of relief. It should not, however, be too large a sigh. Somewhere, somehow, it’s going to come back to haunt us yet again.

For the meantime, Kerry has actually declared that he thinks it’s best now to take a “pause” and to re-evaluate what is possible and what is not. What he means by “pause” is exceedingly vague. Is he looking at a couple of weeks or several months or even a year?

Secretary of State Kerry thinks its time for a break. Credit: Slate
Photo not from original article