Archive for March, 2010

Analysis: The Legacy of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Friday, March 26th, 2010

By Jonathan Spyer

Wherever departed Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is now, he is presumably enjoying the considerable trouble the nature of his exit is causing his Israeli enemies.

The British decision to expel an unnamed Israeli diplomat following the conclusion of an investigation into the alleged use by Israel of cloned British passports in an assassination operation probably does not signal the onset of a general crisis in relations between London and Jerusalem. Still, it is not an everyday act, and the language used by the foreign secretary in announcing the expulsion was notably harsh.

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An Honor Killing That Was Not An Honor Killing After All

Friday, March 26th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

Sana Ali, a 17-year-old pregnant Pakistani wife, was found stabbed to death in Bury, England, near Manchester. Sana had been stabbed 46 times. A 7 ½ inch knife had been plunged into her abdomen. At the time, poor Sana was nearly three months pregnant.

Initially, it was assumed that her husband, Sair, had committed an honor killing. He was a philanderer — maybe he wanted to marry his mistress. But Sair had found no fault with Sana; he really had no motive to honor-murder her.

Indeed, as it turned out, Sair did not murder his pregnant wife — shockingly, his jealous mistress, Harmohinder Sanghera (“Mindy”), a dentistry student, did, and she was finally found guilty of killing Sana in a “sustained and ferocious attack.”

Sair, a lustful, greedy man, had lied to “Mindy”; he had not told her that he was married. However, he did say that the fact that he’s a Shi’a Muslim and “Mindy’s” a Sikh meant that “their love could not last.” … Continue reading…

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Juan Cole: The Ted Williams of Middle East Studies?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

by Winfield Myers*

University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole is desperate for you to know that he is eminently qualified to speak publicly on the Middle East. He is, we are told in the opening paragraph of his recent response to the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg,

[a] Middle East expert who lived in the Muslim world for nearly 10 years, travels widely there, speaks the languages, writes history from archives and manuscripts and follows current affairs …

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CAIR: Legitimacy Questioned

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By Andrew Whitehead

Several Oklahoma state lawmakers recently faced questions over their announced attendance at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter’s annual banquet (CAIR-OK). CAIR sent an email touting the attendance of Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones, two state senators and seven state representatives. The email featured photos of several people including State Rep. Richard Morrissette and Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Morrissette and Edmondson later said they would not attend the CAIR event after learning of CAIR’s disreputable background. While this was good news for those who support the marginalizing of Islamist hate groups generally, and CAIR in particular, there are questions that Oklahoma’s politicians should be called upon to answer:

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Exclusive Scoop: A Shocking Example: How NY Times Coverage Buries Middle East Reality; Find the Four Gigantic Errors

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

In my entire life I have rarely read an article which simultaneously showed the need to be well-informed before reading a newspaper and the shocking shortcomings of mass media coverage of the Middle East than this minor piece about the reopening of the Cairo synagogue. I’ve never said this before but will now: If you want to understand the Middle East’s reality and how it is distorted in the media, read the following analysis.

Have a little patience and I think you will see precisely what I mean.

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CAIR Attacks the Foreign Policy Research Institute

Friday, March 19th, 2010

by Daniel Pipes*

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is up to its usual assault on the discussion of Islam.

Its Philadelphia chapter is holding a press conference on March 17 at which it plans “to announce the launch of a nationwide campaign to challenge anti-Islam bias in a series of children’s books that the Washington-based Muslim civil rights group says promote ‘hostility toward Islam and suspicion of Muslims’.”

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Hamas Fans Flames of Islamic Anger Following “Day of Rage”

Friday, March 19th, 2010

By Jonathan Spyer

Hamas leaders are seeking to escalate Palestinian unrest over the supposed Israeli threat to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. In addition to reflecting the movement’s ideological goals, this effort makes good political sense.

Hamas seeks to supplant the West Bank Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. It knows that by returning the focus of the conflict to the explosive issue of Islamic pride and outrage over the loss of holy places, it can present itself as the natural leader of the Palestinians, and its opponents as irrelevancies or, worse, collaborators.

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Boycott of Israeli Products at Trader Joe’s in Albuquerque Backfires Big-time

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

By Andrew L. Jaffee

I found out about a so-called “boycott” of Israeli products at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago. Of course, I went straight to the store to buy as many Israeli products as I could get my hands on. Guess what? Most of the Israeli food-stuffs had already sold out. Not really surprising when a “recent poll of American voters shows an astonishing 8-to-1 sympathy for Israel over the Palestinians,” and Bill Clinton stating recently, “I don’t know what we would have done without the Israeli field hospital in Haiti.”

When I asked the manager where I could specifically find Israeli products, he had an associate help me search what was left. As the manager and I talked, he commented, “Funny how these things work out,” regarding this and previous “boycotts.” In fact, a week later, Trader Joe’s had set up an extremely prominent display for Israeli couscous (see below the picture for more info):


Yeah. That “boycott” was a real success! This Israeli couscous display was put up soon after the “boycott.”

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The Worst Crisis in 35 Years?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

by Daniel Pipes*

On the surface, that the Obama administration decided one fine day to pick a fight with the government of Israel looks like an unmitigated disaster for the Jewish state. What could be worse than its most important ally provoking the worst crisis (according to the Israeli ambassador to Washington) since 1975?

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Explaining the U.S.-Israel Crisis

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

It is important to understand that the current controversy over construction in east Jerusalem is neither a public relations’ problem nor a bilateral policy dispute. It arises because of things having nothing directly to do with this specific point.

What are the real issues involved:

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The Jihadi Feels Persecuted – His Aggression is Self-Defense

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

The other day, a pediatric nurse in New York City refused to dance with Mbarek Lafrem, a Moroccan man, in a New York City bar. What did Lafrem do? He followed her into the women’s bathroom where he attempted to rape and savagely beat her. The woman was found unconscious and is now hospitalized. She required 50 stitches to close just one of her lacerations; she also suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nose, skull fractures, and a busted jaw.

The media pointedly refrain from telling us that he is a Muslim, but with a name like “Mbarek” or ‘Mubarak,” what religion are we talking about? Lafrem now claims that she started it, that the nurse “berated him when he barged into the women’s restroom shortly after she’d rebuffed him on the dance floor.” … Continue reading…

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Bankrupting Terror: Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

From Aish.com’s “Heroes of Israel” series, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is the voice of the victims of terrorism:


America’s Shiny New Palestinian Militia

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

by Daniel Pipes*

“The stupidest program the U.S. government has ever undertaken” — last year that’s what I called American efforts to improve the Palestinian Authority (PA) military force. Slightly hyperbolic, yes, but the description fits because those efforts enhance the fighting power of enemies of the United States and its Israeli ally.

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Islamists Respond to Terror Cases with Denial

Monday, March 15th, 2010

by Sid Shahid*

As homegrown terrorism grabbed headlines at the end of 2009, Islamist pressure groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) felt the need to look as if they were responding forcefully. However, all they offered was spin and denial of the very radicalism that they themselves have helped breed.

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Norway, Italy, Iran: The Islamist Takeover, The Push Back

Monday, March 15th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

… Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) … is in danger and … I will soon write about this. Bruce Bawer has already done so. Please read it. This is very important. HRS is the first, and perhaps the only newspaper in Europe that is focused on the Islamist threat to Europe. European leftists — Norwegian leftists — despise this and have been engaged in a legal cabal to silence it. Shame on them! They are appeasing Norwegian Islamists in their midst who only recently called for “the execution of homosexuals” and who have been “threatening another 9/11 on Norwegian soil for failing to respect Muslim sensitivities.” … Continue reading…

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