Archive for November, 2010

What are the Wikileaks?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

People keep hearing the term, “Wikileaks.” It is of greatest importance that the public understand what this term means, and digest its tremendously ominous implications: Israel and several Arab states are finding common cause in opposing Iran’s nuclear threat. Here’s what the The Israel Project says, but you should read the whole essay:

Leaked Documents Show Iranian Threat to Arab World, Europe

  • Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, UAE alarmed at Iranian nuclear program
  • Arab states privately agree with Israel on Iranian threat
  • Iran may have missiles that could threaten European capitals

Washington, Nov. 26 – Arab states feel gravely threatened by Iran’s nuclear weapons program and several have privately urged the United States to use all means including military action if necessary to stop it, according to classified diplomatic documents made public by Wikileaks.

Among the 250,000 cables leaked to media organizations, several of the most dramatic illustrate how Arab leaders regard the Iranian nuclear program as a deadly threat to their security and distrust and fear the regime in Tehran.

According to an account published in The Guardian, Saudi King Abdullah repeatedly urged the United States to destroy the Iranian program. …

“The cables reveal how Iran’s ascent has unified Israel and many longtime Arab adversaries — notably the Saudis — in a common cause,” The New York Times said. “The United States had put together a largely silent front of Arab states whose positions on sanctions and a potential attack looked much like Israel’s.” …

(more…)


Wikileaks Confirm Our Analysis of U.S. Policy and Middle East Politics

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

Editor’s note: See “What are the Wikileaks?”

Please forgive me for saying this, but what really amazed me in reading the Wikileaks was how thoroughly they proved points I’ve been making for years. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to say that except that readers have been telling me the same thing.

1. Iran steadily smuggled arms to Hizballah using various means including in ambulances and medical vehicles during the 2006 war. This violates the laws of war. At times, the media has condemned Israel for attacking ambulances though it showed Hamas was also using such vehicles for military and arms-smuggling operations. Moreover, the postwar UN force proved consistently ineffective in stopping smuggling while the U.S. government did not denounce Iran, Syria, and Hizballah for breaking the ceasefire arrangements.

2. Israeli leaders have repeatedly made clear in diplomatic discussions their acceptance of a two-state solution but warned that the Palestinian leadership sought Israel’s destruction.

(more…)


Notes for Today: The Big Story Being Missed & Trying to Ignore Wikileaks

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

Editor’s note: See “What are the Wikileaks?”

In all the excitement over the Wikileaks story, I want to remind people that there’s another big story being ignored. You will be reading about it in the mass media in two or three months.

The Obama Administration has messed up its attempts to get Israel-Palestinian negotiations going. The whole misplaced emphasis on a freeze of construction on settlements–something this government initiated–continues to put a freeze on talks. The presentation of the proposed three-month-long freeze to Israel was done so badly that nobody is quite sure what’s in it.

(more…)


Islamist Turkey vs. Secular Iran?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

by Daniel Pipes*

Early in the sixteenth century, as the Ottoman and Safavid empires fought for control of the Middle East, Selim the Grim ruling from Istanbul indulged his artistic side by composing distinguished poetry in Persian, then the Middle East’s language of high culture. Simultaneously, Ismail I ruling from Isfahan wrote poetry in Turkish, his ancestral language.

This juxtaposition comes to mind as the populations of Turkey and Iran now engage in another exchange. As the secular Turkey founded by Atatürk threatens to disappear under a wave of Islamism, the Islamist Iranian state founded by Khomeini apparently teeters, on the brink of secularism. Turks wish to live like Iranians, ironically, and Iranians like Turks.

(more…)


CAIR: What Now, Congress?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

By Andrew Whitehead

The truth of the founding of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to support Islamist terrorists has been proven, over and over again. A sealed ruling of the Holy Land Foundation trial by Judge Jorge Solis has been unsealed and officially reveals what many already knew: CAIR was specifically created to support the terrorists of Hamas and advance the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Several years ago, CAIR all but admitted its connections to Islamist terror by refusing to defend itself in litigation CAIR initiated against Anti-CAIR.

(more…)


Israel Independence Fund Responds to the New Left

Monday, November 29th, 2010

By Fern Sidman

Deeply troubled by the excessive philanthropic funding of a plethora of anti-Israel and left-wing non-governmental organizations by such umbrella charities as the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund and such polemical personalities as billionaire financier George Soros, the Israel Independence Fund has stepped up to the proverbial plate in a call to patriotism.

Established in 2007 by a board of directors consisting of Israelis and Americans concerned with the “cultural shift” in Israeli society, the Israel Independence Fund is a philanthropic fund whose objectives are to combat a “left-wing assault” on Israeli public opinion. The IIF distributes grants to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Israel with patriotic, pro-Israel bents in an effort to offset the litany of left-wing groups that have cropped up in the Jewish state over the past several decades.

(more…)


The Real Lessons of the Korea Crisis: It Explains How The World Works Today

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

What will the United States and the world going to do about an act of aggression by North Korea on South Korea, the deliberate unprovoked firing of mortars at civilians? And what are the lessons of this situation for other world problems?

First, nobody is going to do anything real in response to this attack. Indeed, the South Koreans are lucky that they aren’t being investigated and condemned for something or other.

(more…)


Somali jihadist thug “didn’t mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony”

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Yes, the Islamist/jihadi thugs have once again had their evil dreams of mass murder thwarted because jihad = stupidity = terrorism = an unquenchable thirst for blood, blinding all reason. Here we have some psychopathic Somali gutter-snipe, enjoying the freedoms and protections afforded by living in the U.S., plotting to kill as many of his neighbors/countrymen as possible:

A Somali-born teenager plotted “a spectacular show” of terrorism for months, saying he didn’t mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, according to a law-enforcement official and court documents.

He never got the chance. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested Friday in downtown Portland after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, prosecutors said. It turned out to be a dummy bomb put together by FBI agents. Authorities said Mohamud was acting alone. …

The official said Mohamud was very committed to the plot and planned the details alone, including where to park the van to hurt the most people.

“I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave dead or injured.” Mohamud said, according to the affidavit.

“It’s in Oregon, and Oregon, like you know, nobody ever thinks about it,” the suspect told an agent in one discussion. …

Isn’t that sweet? Anyone else getting tired of this shit? Time to take out the trash.

(more…)


Romeo and Juliet in Muslim Iraq

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

Romeo and Juliet are alive and well in Dokan, Iraq — well, not exactly. Romeo (Aram Jamal Rasool) was murdered in an honor killing. Juliet (Sirwa Hama Amin) gave birth to her legal husband Romeo’s son, but was also permanently shunned by her own family — the same family who killed her beloved Romeo. Juliet now lives in a house filled with weapons and is escorted by armed guards provided by Romeo’s family when she leaves the house.

(more…)


How the “Sons of Iraq” Stabilized Iraq

Friday, November 26th, 2010

by Mark Wilbanks and Efraim Karsh*

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 8, 2008, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. and coalition forces commander in Iraq, reported a dramatic reduction in violence levels and civilian deaths from fifteen months before when Iraq seemed on the brink of civil war.[1] Petraeus attributed this turning point to the increased numbers of coalition and Iraqi forces, part of the surge declared by President George W. Bush in January 2007, but he gave equal credit to the predominantly Sunni popular movement known as the Sons of Iraq (SOI). “These volunteers have contributed significantly in various areas,” he said. “With their assistance and with relentless pursuit of al-Qaeda-Iraq, the threat posed by AQI, while still lethal and substantial, has been reduced significantly.”[2]

(more…)


Obama’s Statement of Support for Lebanon Shows His Lack of Support for Lebanon

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

By Barry Rubin

Even when you say the right thing it can only highlight the fact that you haven’t been doing it. Take President Barack Obama’s statement on Lebanon. The wording is all correct, yet it only makes the fact that this has nothing to do with actual U.S. policy stand out even more vividly.

Thus, when Obama said that he is committed to keeping Lebanon free of “terrorism,” the fact is that-in part due to weak U.S. policy-the country is largely under the control of Hizballah, a terrorist group. Right now, Hizballah doesn’t have to make many terrorist attacks since it has already used terrorism successfully to gain veto power over state policy.

(more…)


Ban the Burqa? France Votes Yes

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

by Benjamin Ismail*

On July 13, 2010, France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, approved a bill outlawing the wearing of “clothing intended to hide the face” in public spaces and slapping a fine and possible jail time on offenders;[1] on September 14, the bill was also approved by the French senate.[2] While the bill refrained from mentioning specific communities or religions, it was common knowledge that it was primarily aimed at the Muslim full body and face-concealing garments, the niqab and the burqa. Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, who presented the bill to parliament, had specifically argued that being forced to wear these Muslim garments “amounts to being cut off from society and rejecting the very spirit of the French republic that is founded on a desire to live together.” President Nicolas Sarkozy was even more forthright, stating that “the burqa is not welcome in France because it is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity.”[3]

(more…)


Muslim and Non-Muslim Thinkers Call for a Human Rights Revolution

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

by Phyllis Chesler

Yesterday I had the enormous privilege of delivering a lecture at Yale University’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism. In a few days, a video will be posted on their Web site. It was also a pleasure to be hosted by the very suave yet exceedingly sober Dr. Charles Small, the director, and to engage in dialogue with so many thoughtful, well-spoken faculty, retired faculty, students, and community members.

(more…)


An Evening of Cantorial Music on the Upper West Side

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

By Fern Sidman

Over 200 afficionados of cantorial music gathered at the West Side Institutional Synagogue on Manhattan’s upper west side Saturday evening, November 20th to enjoy the vocal stylings of a panoply of world class chazanim (cantors) at a very special kumsitz (party) organized by long time radio personality and music impresario, Charlie Bernhaut. The evening was considered a “cultural happening”, dedicated to the revivification of interest and activity in cantorial music, initiated by Mr. Bernhaut in 1977 with his legendary WFMU soul music radio program. Since that time, Mr. Bernhaut has taken a leading role in the organization of cantorial concerts with his partner Cantor Benny Rogoznitsky at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall and the Metropolitan Opera under the auspices of “Cantors World.”

(more…)


The Great Mystery: What’s The Obama Administration Up To On Israel-Palestinian Talks?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

By Barry Rubin

Letters I receive from readers mainly focus on asking me what I think about the U.S.-Israel-PA negotiations about getting back to…negotiations. What is my view of this big deal that’s being discussed for a three-month freeze on Israeli construction.

My response has been that until we have a clear, authoritative, and detailed description of what’s being asked and offered, there’s no sense in analyzing it.

(more…)