Archive for February, 2010

Jew-Haters: Beware the American Public

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

By Andrew L. Jaffee

All you Jew-haters and Israel-haters (same thing) think you know what’s best for the rest of us, just like Hitler and Stalin did. The problem is that you’re completely out of step with the collective intelligence of the greatest nation in the world, the U.S.:

… The findings of the February 19, 2010 Gallup poll put President Barack Obama at odds with the US public, when it comes to attitudes toward the Jewish state, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arabs, Muslims and Islamic terrorism.

For example, Israel maintains its traditional spot among the five most favored nations by 67 percent of the US public, despite Obama’s “even-handed” approach toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, in spite of his attempts to force Israel into sweeping concessions, and in defiance of the US “elite” media and academia.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is ranked — along with Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan — at the bottom of the list, favored by only 20% of the US public.

According to an August 10, 2009 Rasmussen poll, Israel is ranked as the third most favorable ally (70%), preceded only by Canada and Britain. The low regard toward Egypt (39%) and Saudi Arabia (23%) demonstrates that Americans remain skeptical — at least since 9/11 — of Arabs and Muslims, even as these countries are portrayed by the media and the administration as supposedly moderate and pro-American.

Moreover, only 21% of adult Americans expect that the US relationship with the Muslim world will improve in a year, while 25% expect that it will get worse. …


The Northern Tinder Box

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

By Jonathan Spyer

The war of words is continuing. The latest salvos were fired last week by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and his Lebanese ally and client Hassan Nasrallah. Ahmedinejad reportedly told Nasrallah that if Israel attacks Hizballah, the response should be sufficient to lead to the closure, once and for all, of the Israeli ‘case.’ In the same week, Nasrallah promised attendees at a ‘Resistance Martyrs Day’ celebration that his movement would target Israel’s infrastructure in the event of further hostilities. The Hizballah leader mentioned airports, factories and refineries as possible targets.

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Who Rules Iran? – Iranian Ambitions

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

by Reza Molavi and K. Luisa Gandolfo*

In the 30-year reign of Iran’s Islamic Republic, there have been few controversies as serious as the one surrounding the 2009 elections. The votes that brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power for a second term have been challenged, not just on paper, but by citizens taking to the streets in angry protests that have only been quelled by brute force on the part of the establishment. Less well known is the upset that followed Ahmadinejad’s nepotistic appointment of Esfandiar Rahim Masha’i, the father of his daughter-in-law, to the post of first vice president. Not long after this, Iran’s supreme leader, ‘Ali Khamenei, demonstrated his personal authority over the entire political system by forcing Ahmadinejad to reconsider his appointee, leading to Masha’i's dismissal. Masha’i had become controversial for his impolitic references to Israel and America. In a speech at a tourism convention in July 2008, for example, he had observed: “Not only we have no enemy, but we are friends with the American people, with the Israeli people, and we are proud that we are friendly with all the nations in the world.”[1]

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The Death of Edgar Tovar and the FARC Cocaine Pipeline

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

By Douglas Farah*

Relatively unnoticed in Colombia, the government confirmed the death of Edgar Tovar, a senior FARC commander and one of the group’s chief ties to Mexican drug cartels.

Tovar, AKA Gentil Gomez Marin or Angel Gabriel Losada Garcia, was the commander of the FARC’s 48th Front, which operates primarily along the Ecuador/Colombia border, which has recently grown into the main cocaine conduit for supplying Mexican drug cartels. This makes him a key figure in the FARC’s financial structure.

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Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy: “Islam and Science Have Parted Ways”

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Denis MacEoin interviews Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy*

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy (b. 1950) is one of South Asia’s leading nuclear physicists and perhaps Pakistan’s preeminent intellectual. Bearer of a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is chairman of the department of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad where, as a high-energy physicist, he carries out research into quantum field theory and particle phenomenology. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was visiting professor at MIT and Stanford. For some time, he has been a frequent contributor to Britain’s leading intellectual journal, Prospect. His extracurricular activities include a vocal opposition to the political philosophy of Islamism. He also writes about the self-enforced backwardness of the Muslim world in science, technology, trade, and education. His many articles and television documentaries have made a lasting impact on debate about education, Islam, and secularism in Pakistan. Denis MacEoin interviewed him by e-mail in October 2009.

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Minority Advocates, Constituents Differ on Immigration: Zogby Poll Finds Wide Support for Enforcement, Lower Numbers

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

WASHINGTON (February 25, 2010) — While it is sometimes assumed that minorities, particularly Hispanics, favor increased immigration and legalization for illegal immigrants, a new Zogby survey finds that minority voters’ views are more complex. The poll of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American likely voters finds some support for legalization. But overall each of these groups prefers enforcement and for illegal immigrants to return home. Moreover, significant majorities of all three groups think that the current level of immigration is too high. These views are in sharp contrast to the leaders of most ethnic advocacy organizations, who argue for increased immigration and legalization of illegal immigrants. The survey used neutral language, avoiding such terms as “amnesty,” “illegal alien,” or “undocumented.”

The findings:

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When It Comes to Analyzing the Middle East, We Live in an Age of Idiocy

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

After more than 30 years of watching people write dumb things about the Middle East, I believe that in the last month I’ve seen more nonsense than at any previous time. The problem arises from ignorance, lack of understanding of the region by those presented as experts; plus arrogance, treating the region and the lives of people as a game (Hey, let’s try this and see what happens!), fostered by the failure of such control mechanisms as a balanced debate and editing that rejects simplistic bias or stupidity; as well as a simple lack of logic.

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Presbyterians Usher in the Jewish Holiday of Purim

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

The Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUSA) is about to release a report which denounces Israel as a “racist” nation which has absolutely no historical, covenantal, or theological right to the Holy Land. The report calls for the United States to withhold financial and military aid to Israel and for boycotts and sanctions against Israel. That’s not all. The report also endorses a Palestinian “right of return” and “apologizes to Palestinians for even conceding that Israel has a right to exist.” According to the press release, it also states that Israel’s history begins only with the Holocaust and that Israel is “a nation mistakenly created by Western powers at the expense of the Palestinian people to solve the ‘Jewish problem’.” Continue reading…

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Analysis: Long-Term Fallout with UK from Dubai Hit Unlikely

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

By Jonathan Spyer

The evidence suggesting that British passports were used by members of the team responsible for killing Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is causing concern at the possibility of a new diplomatic row between Israel and the UK. Such a row would come at a time of already strained relations between the two countries, because of the failure of the British government to take firm action to end the possibility of the arrest of Israeli officials in Britain on suspicion of ‘war crimes.’

Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged to carry out a full investigation into the affair.

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Should We Believe Rashad Hussain?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

by Daniel Pipes*

Rashad Hussain, Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, has run into a problem: He appears to be an Islamist. The evidence largely concerns a public statement he made six years ago, as Josh Gerstein reports in Politico:

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Why Isn’t There Peace? One Reason: Few People Know How Much is Being Offered

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

By Barry Rubin

I’ve been having a dialogue through correspondence lately with someone describing himself as a moderate Palestinian who lives in the United States. What most impressed me in the exchanges–both from what my interlocutor said and how he described the views of other Palestinians–is the total lack of comprehension on their part–those who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip along with those who live elsewhere, both moderate and radical–about Israeli positions toward peacemaking that are easily available on the public record.

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Christian-Americans Forbidden To Kill Murderer If He Is Muslim

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

Remember the case in which Faleh al-Maleki, an Iraqi-American father brutally ran over his daughter, Noor, in Arizona, then attempted to escape but was apprehended in Britain and returned to face justice?

Guess what’s just happened? The Arizona prosecutors have been scared off seeking the death penalty. Public defender Billie Little raised the specter of “How will it look for Christians to execute a Muslim?”

I kid you not. Continue reading…

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Israeli and New Mexico Clean Water and Clean Technology Business Seminar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dafna Aviv of the Israeli Economic Mission at 713.599.0290 or Dafna.Aviv@israeltrade.gov.il

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Representatives from the Israeli and New Mexico water and clean technology industries will gather for a business seminar in Albuquerque on February 24th for an exchange of technologies and information, to encourage joint economic development, to expand trade, and to solidify social and economic ties between the two regions. Both Israel and New Mexico have arid to semi-arid climates, and face similar challenges in water and other resource conservation. Both regions are leading centers for innovating new technologies: for water conservation, cleaning and reclamation; alternative energy technologies; and general, leading-edge research into new sciences.

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Is Barack Obama More AIPAC Than J Street?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

by Steven J. Rosen*

Anxiety about Barack Obama has afflicted Israelis since his meteoric rise to the White House. Here was an untested president, one whose agenda in the Middle East could only be imagined. Would Obama’s America be Israel’s lifeline in a dangerous and often hostile world? Or would this American president experiment with mistaken or even unfriendly ideas that could wreak havoc for Israeli security?

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Heroic Muslim Girls and Women: Missionaries to Feminist America?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

By now, we have all heard about Nujood Ali, the incredibly heroic ten year girl in Yemen who fled her abusive husband and demanded a divorce. This act was the first of its kind in a country where girls as young as eight are given away in marriage.

We want her as an ally. We want her counterparts in the Muslim world as allies. We want Mukhtaran Bibi on our side. She is the young Pakistani woman who was gang-raped by her alleged social superiors in order to cover up their other crimes. She escaped. She was not silenced by shame. She did not kill herself. Unlike Phoolan Devi, India’s Bandit Queen (a girl after my own heart), Bibi did not join a gang of outlaws and then exact personal revenge. Despite numerous death threats, Mukhtaran Bibi legally pursued the criminals — and won. Continue reading…

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