Archive for August, 2009

Why Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State is a Prime Requirement for Israel-Palestinian Peace

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Barry Rubin

One of Israel’s highest priorities in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is recognition by the PA and Arab states as a “Jewish state.” The purpose of this demand is to ensure a lasting peace with Israel as it exists rather than some formal declaration which would thereafter be subverted in every possible way.

[For Israel's peace plan go here; for a summary of the two sides' negotiating positions, go here.]

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When Will Westerners Stop Westernizing Islamic Concepts?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Recently, Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today wrote an article about Muslim zakat, wherein I was referenced as a “critic of Islam.” She then followed up with another article titled “Critic questions the aims and ends of Islamic charity,” dedicated to examining my views on zakat.

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Hate Speech On Campus: A Film By “Stand With Us”

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Reviewed by Fern Sidman

It is that time of the year once again. The new school term will begin in a matter of weeks. As the excitement and anticipation escalates for some, entering college or university for the first time can be a daunting and intimidating experience for the Jewish student. Always a minority, the secular Jewish student faces the foreboding prospect of living on a campus that has morphed into a raging hotbed of anti-Israel fanaticism.

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Tariq Ramadan Repudiated

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

by Stephen Schwartz*

In an important development for the fight against extremist Islam in the West, the Dutch city of Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam have dismissed Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Islamist academic, from his two local jobs.

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Analysis: The Common Hatred

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

By Jonathan Spyer

Last week’s arrest of the “Zeitoun terror cell” was a significant moment in the ongoing battle between the Egyptian security forces and homegrown Islamist extremism.

The cell, we are told, plotted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Egypt, Shalom Cohen. It is also thought to have been involved in a series of acts of terror in Egypt earlier this year.

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TRIUMPH OF THE SPIRIT: A new film on the life of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Reviewed by Fern Sidman

Holocaust films and literature are, to say the least, depressing and devastating — how else can they be? Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis’ new film entitled, “Triumph of the Spirit”, however, stands alone in the genre of Holocaust documentaries. While it depicts the Holocaust in all its horror and savage brutality, its dominant theme is hope, faith, and the triumph of the Jewish spirit. The film demonstrates that the spirit of man is infinitely more powerful than Hitler or his mighty armies and that the flame of faith is more intense than the fires of the crematorium. This long awaited film is a must see for secular, religious, young and old as it speaks to every heart. While the vintage photos, the music and the images are all captivating, it is Rebbetzin Jungreis’ personal story and voice that penetrates the soul and touches the deepest recesses of the heart in this compelling documentary.

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Middle East Cycles: Are We Stuck in This Era?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

After watching Middle East politics for more than 30 years, it is clear that these events — and the perceptions of them — move in cycles. At times, developments force a more realistic, and at other times a less realistic, understanding of what’s going on. Sometimes, sadly, it is only when things go wrong that people in the West wake up.

Let’s take some “positive examples,” in terms of negative developments, as examples:

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CAIR continues its attack on the FBI

Monday, August 10th, 2009

By Andrew Whitehead

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is protesting the “unconstitutional subterfuge” and “unjust trick” used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to gain entrance to the home of a terrorism suspect.

Sabrina Boyd claims she was “tricked” out of her house by a ruse that her husband and three sons had been involved in a serious car accident and that the North Carolina State Police would provide a lift to the local hospital. Boyd stated that when she arrived at the hospital 30 agents surrounded her and handcuffs were slapped on her wrists.

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Islamist Groups Push Conspiracy Theories in Homegrown Terror Cases

Monday, August 10th, 2009

by Brendan Goldman and Shireen Qudosi*

“Our Koran is off limits,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles chapter. “Our youth, who they try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, ‘We’re not going to let this happen anymore.’”

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Illegal Immigrant Population Declining: New Report Estimates 1.7 Million Drop Since Summer 2007

Monday, August 10th, 2009

By CIS.org

WASHINGTON — An analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of monthly data collected by the Census Bureau shows that fewer illegal immigrants are coming and more are returning home. The findings also show that the legal immigrant population has not declined. As a result, the overall foreign-born population has held relatively steady. The report examines the extent to which stepped-up enforcement and the downturn in the economy account for this trend.

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Deadly Connections: States that Sponsor Terrorism [Book Review]

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

by Daniel Byman
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 375 pp. $30 ($18.99, paper)

Reviewed by Boaz Ganor*

Until the mid-1990s, international terrorism was generally considered to be state-sponsored. At one extreme, terrorist organizations motivated by communist ideology were receiving support from the USSR. The Soviets regarded these organizations as proxies — an inexpensive tool to promote the superpower’s interests all over the world and in conflict areas in particular. Such affiliated organizations could both challenge Soviet enemies and preserve and promote Soviet dominance and influence in conflict areas. For other states, such as Iran, Syria, and Libya, terrorism was considered a low-risk tool that could achieve various goals inexpensively in both the international and regional arenas.

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Middle East Studies, Changing for the Better

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

by Daniel Pipes*

Highly impressed by the post-9/11 and post-Iraq cohort to enter the field of Middle East studies, I have been predicting for years that by about 2015 the field will begin evolving in a more mainstream direction. The eccentrics and extremists of yesteryear who dominate academic studies of the region will be replaced by individuals with a greater dose of common sense and ambition.

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Analysis: Arab States ‘Just Say No’ to Normalization

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

By Jonathan Spyer

The idea of gestures of ‘normalization’ from Arab states to Israel is a central component in the US administration’s plan for reviving the Mideast peace process. The notion represents a variant of the Oslo-style approach whereby a series of confidence-building measures will create a climate conducive to the successful conclusion of final-status negotiations. President Barack Obama’s approach seeks to expand the circle of confidence-building, so that the Arab states, and not only the Palestinians and Israelis, will be drawn into it.

According to reports, the US is now in the final stages before the announcement of its new, comprehensive peace plan. In the past week, meanwhile, three Arab states appear to have rejected the possibility of gestures of normalization.

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