Archive for September, 2008

Forward to the Past: The Fall and Rise of the One State Solution

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

By Jonathan Spyer*

Deeply embedded in Palestinian nationalism is the notion that Israeli Jewish identity is analogous to that of communities born of European colonialism, which are not seen as having legitimate claim to self-determination. No reconsidering of this characterization took place during the period of the peace process of the 1990s. Hence, the short period of acceptance of the "two-state solution," was a departure by Palestinian nationalism from its more natural stance, and the current trend of return to the "one-state" option is a return to a position more in keeping with the deep view of the conflict held throughout by this trend.

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“Time is on my side, Yes it is!”

Monday, September 29th, 2008

By Barry Rubin

So sang the Rolling Stones. But which side has time working in its favor? That’s one of the Middle East’s most intriguing and controversial questions.

Recently, Israeli leaders and well-wishers–sincere and hypocritical alike–have spoken in panicky terms that time isn’t on Israel side and it’s either peace in a few months or the Biblical flood.

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Does Islam Justify Honor Killings?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

by Supna Zaidi*

Sandela Kanwal wanted a divorce for unknown reasons. Maybe her husband in Chicago was a wife-beater. Maybe she just didn’t like him. We don’t know. For months, she had been trying to get her father to end her unhappy marriage and in July 2008 Sandela tried again. This time, Chaudhry Rashad strangled his daughter to death. When the police arrived, he stated that he did nothing wrong and later demanded that he be provided halal food while in jail.

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My Jewish New Year Prayer For Us All

Monday, September 29th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

We Jews are about to celebrate a new year again. We have been at this for 5,769 years, which is quite a long time considering that everyone else we once knew, (the Hittites, Jebusites, Phlishtim–even the ancient pre-Islamic Egyptians), have come and gone. As they say: “We’re still here,” a little worn and a little weary. Even as we miraculously inhabit our Biblical homeland once again, our right to it remains under profound and existential siege and our people, our precious youth, generation after generation, must continue to risk death in order to defend our right to be there. … (Continue reading…)

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Sharia Law: Coming to a Western Nation Near You?

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

by Cinnamon Stillwell*

Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) will be hosting a conference on October 23 that asks the loaded question: “Is There a Role for Shari’ah in Modern States?

The Saudi-funded ACMCU and its founding director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable.

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Why isn’t Ahmadinejad on a plane to The Hague?

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

I know that Ahmadinejad entered the Grand Hyatt Hotel earlier tonight. What I don’t understand is why he has also exited it. Are there no Iranian dissidents or human rights activists prepared to arrest him on the spot and transport him to stand trial in The Hague? As the Israelis did for Herr Eichmann? … (Continue reading…)

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Boxed In: Containing a Nuclear Iran

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

by Michael Rubin*

Containment helped define US foreign policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Inspired by a view of the USSR as expansionist and intractably opposed to capitalist states, containment was viewed as the most cost-effective method to prevent Soviet extension without resorting to cataclysmic war.

The policy was perhaps best described by George Kennan in his 1947 ‘X’ article, in which he claimed “it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.”

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The Trouble with Russia

Friday, September 26th, 2008

By Barry Rubin

The return of Russian power in the Middle East, next to Iran’s nuclear weapons’ campaign, is the region’s most important new issue. While far less threatening than the Soviet bloc’s Cold War backing for radical Arab states, this development poses some major problems for U.S. leaders, Israeli interests, and Middle East politics.

Between 1956 and 1990, the Soviet Union bestrode the regional stage like a colossus, the alternative model and sponsor that indirectly inspired, armed, and protected the domination of radical Arab nationalist regimes, groups, and ideas. Moscow’s goals were to win the competition with the United States, extend its influence, and gain access to strategic locations and resources.

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Appease Iran?

Friday, September 26th, 2008

by Daniel Pipes*

After Hitler, the policy of appeasing dictators – ridiculed by Winston Churchill as feeding a crocodile, hoping it will eat one last – appeared to be permanently discredited. Yet the policy has enjoyed some successes and remains a live temptation today in dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Academics have long challenged the facile vilification of appeasement. Already in 1961, A.J.P. Taylor of Oxford justified Neville Chamberlain’s efforts, while Christopher Layne of Texas A&M currently argues that Chamberlain “did the best that he could with the cards he was dealt.” Daniel Treisman, a political scientist at UCLA, finds the common presumption against appeasement to be “far too strong,” while his University of Florida colleague Ralph B.A. Dimuccio calls it “simplistic.”

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The Stoning of Soraya M in Iran: Not America’s Fault

Friday, September 26th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

… So, let me tell you a story about one tragic incident that took place in that cursed country in the summer of 1986. Telling this story and listening to it is a way of mourning, and of bearing witness. Iranian expatriate journalist Freidoune Sahebjam resurrected the facts for us in his jewel of a book, The Stoning of Soraya M which is now also a film which stars the great Iranian expatriate actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo. Sahebjam writes that in contemporary Iran, “being born female is both a capital crime and a death sentence.” … (Continue reading…)

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Rep. Alcee Hastings says Palin “don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks”

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

By Andrew L. Jaffee

I hope Barack Obama distances himself from Rep. Alcee Hastings and his very ugly remarks directed at Sarah Palin. From CNN:

Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.” …

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CAIR: “Dangerous Islamic Organization?”

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

By Andrew Whitehead

On 23 September, the executive director, Hussam Ayloush, and the staff attorney, Ameena Qazi, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter (CAIR-LA), wrote an unsigned letter to Dr. Stephen Choi of the Irvine, California City Council.

In the letter, Dr. Choi, an incumbent for office, was accused of referring to CAIR as a “dangerous Islamic organization”.

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Ahmadinejad and the Mahdi

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

by Mohebat Ahdiyyih*

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surprised not only many Westerners but also many Iranians when, during his first speech at the United Nations, he prayed for the hasty return of the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, Shi‘i Islam’s messianic figure.[1] Demonstrating his priorities, he repeated the prayer in December 2007 when addressing Arab leaders at the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Doha[2] but did not object when they described the Persian Gulf as Arab, a diplomatic swipe at Iran’s place in the region. Ahmadinejad’s messianism is no ploy; it is very serious indeed.[3] Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the Guardian Council, credits Ahmadinejad with “being inspired by God.”[4]

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The Praying Mantis [Photo Series]

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Editor’s note: netWMD has decided to expand its horizons beyond political issues.

“Placing them in the same jar, the male, in alarm, endeavoured to escape. In a few minutes the female succeeded in grasping him. She first bit off his front tarsus, and consumed the tibia and femur. Next she gnawed out his left eye…it seems to be only by accident that a male ever escapes alive from the embraces of his partner.” Leland Ossian Howard, Science, 1886. …
[~from Serendip]

Eh, too much shock value. Apparently, this cannibalism can be an artifact of scientists observing mantids in captivity. Serendip continues:

Story continues below…

Mantis scissor-hands. Photo © 2008 netwmd.com, LLC.

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The new American Doctrine of “Changing Course” and the Asian Doctrine of Bribes: The Afghan President was at the Asia Society while Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

The street had been closed to traffic, the lines were long, the security was tight, the place was packed, and the joint was jumping. No, I was not at the airport or attending an event at the Israeli Consulate–although, these days, more and more places have been forced to adopt Israeli-like security measures. It always starts with the Jews but it never ends with us. … (Continue reading…)

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