Archive for July, 2009

1 in 4 New Hires Vetted by E-Verify: New Data show 274% Growth since 2007

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

By CIS.org

WASHINGTON — E-Verify is now being used to determine work authorization for 1 in 4 new hires nationwide according to numbers released to the Center for Immigration Studies by the Department of Homeland Security on July 4, 2009. This increase has occurred even though the E-Verify program remains voluntary at the federal level, with only 12 states requiring its use in some manner by employers. The report containing these numbers is at http://cis.org/Testimony/E-Verify-ChallengesAndOpportunities.

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Ahmadinejad’s Academics

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

by Cinnamon Stillwell*

What a difference a popular uprising makes.

It seems like just yesterday that the Middle East studies establishment was busy defending Iran’s theocratic regime and its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from the alleged predations of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy. Yet in the wake of the unrest in response to the stolen election, suddenly American academics have succumbed to intellectual honesty and moral clarity. Despite the best efforts of the Iranian regime to drum up conspiracy theories blaming the West for the uprising, the Iranians themselves have taken center stage.

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Why Israel’s Left Doesn’t Support Obama or a Settlement Construction Freeze

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

Aluf Benn, possibly Israel’s smartest journalist, makes a fascinating point about the construction on settlement freeze issue: why is Israel’s left so indifferent to it? In the past, the left (which can mean, say, Labor party through Peace Now) has eagerly rallied to U.S. efforts to press Israel for concessions, especially on the territories. Not this time, even though the concession being sought is smaller than many in the past.

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Limping away from a Shattered Iraq

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

by Daniel Pipes*

American forces departed Iraqi cities last week to parades, fireworks, and chants of “Out, America, out!” and “America has left! Baghdad is victorious!”

They left under a Status of Forces Agreement reached in November 2008 stipulating their “withdrawal from cities, towns and villages” by June 30, 2009. In addition, by December 31, 2011, “All U.S. forces are to withdraw from all Iraqi territory, water and airspace.” The SOFA also grants Baghdad control over American military operations and it defines the U.S. role in such areas as Iraq’s economy and education.

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Analysis: Iranian Lobbying Failed

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

By Jonathan Spyer

President Shimon Peres’s landmark visit to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan this week represents a significant advance for Israeli ambitions in Central Asia. In the wake of the recent decision to permit Israel to open an embassy in the Turkmen capital of Ashghabad, the visit reflects the importance Jerusalem attaches to this strategically significant part of what is sometimes known as the “greater Middle East.”

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Our Common Foe: Obama should support the Iranian people by speaking out against their oppressors

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

Tear gas was still wafting through the streets of Tehran when, at a June 23 White House press conference, The Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney conveyed an Iranian’s question to President Obama: “Under which conditions would you accept the election of [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working towards?”

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The Middle East is a Place Where Wishful Thinking Gets People Killed but Makes Careers for Politicians, Diplomats, Academics, and Journalists

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

The more things change, the more they remain the same, sayeth the French. The Bible states that there’s nothing new under the sun. Doing a television interview today made me reflect on the relationship of those concepts to the contemporary Middle East.

It is untrue of course that nothing changes in the region. Quite the contrary: consider the recent upheaval in Iran and a whole list of other events. In fact, there might be truth in the idea that big explosions in the region are more common than small, fundamental changes.

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More Evidence Legitimizes Israel’s Existence

Monday, July 6th, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

An alliance — if one can call it that — of Arabs, Muslims, leftists, and fascists — has spent years trying to delegitimize Israel’s existence and deny the rights of Jews to live in their ancestral homeland. Yet any cursory look at these delegitimizers’ “proof” shows them to be ignorant, racist people — especially uninformed about archaeology. Yet more evidence has been found showing an ancient Jewish presence in the Holy Land:

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday. The archaeologists believe the 1,000-square-foot (100-square-meter) quarry was part of a much larger network of quarries used by Herod in the city. …

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No to Sharia Law in Britain

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

by Denis MacEoin*

There are many reasons to find problems with sharia law. In its full form, it contains numerous provisions that are barbaric and irreconcilable with any advanced society: stoning married adulterers, flogging the unmarried, throwing homosexuals from roofs or steep hills, amputating limbs for theft, and much more.

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Analysis: Syria’s Goose Lays a Golden Egg

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

By Jonathan Spyer

Washington’s decision to return its ambassador to Syria is the latest stage in the present administration’s policy of engagement with Damascus. It relates most importantly to the US desire to secure Syrian cooperation in the build-up to the departure of American combat troops from urban areas in Iraq.

The decision is related to the broader American ambition of drawing Damascus away from Iran. Hopes for a revival of talks between Israel and Syria, and the desire to enlist Syria in the ongoing effort to bring about a rapprochement between the Palestinian Fatah movement and the Damascus-domiciled Hamas may also have played a role.

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The Troop Drawdown Could Be Costly for Iraq

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

Today is a milestone in Iraq. Under the terms of the Strategic Framework Agreement, U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraqi cities. In retrospect, however, June 30 will likely mark another milestone: the end of the surge and the relative peace it brought to Iraq. In the past week, bombings in Baghdad, Mosul and near Kirkuk have killed almost 200 people. The worst is yet to come.

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Naivete Enthroned: A CNN Editor Discovers Islamism Is Impossible Because Islam Is Good

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

By Barry Rubin

Analysis of Middle East events, it often seems, is the worst-managed of all intellectual chores concerning the contemporary world. There are ideological and political barriers that get in the way of accuracy (not to mention fairness); ignorance plays a role, as does fear. But often underlying everything is the fact that when the Middle East knocks at the door, common sense jumps out the back window.

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