Archive for May, 2012

Iraq: A satellite state of Iran?

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

How much influence does Iran wield in Iraq? This question has long been a matter of debate and in light of the US troop withdrawal has become all the more relevant, especially with rumors of Iranian plans to have Mahmud Shahrudi, who is an Iraqi-born member of Iran’s Guardian Council and advocates clerical involvement in government, succeed the quietist Ali al-Sistani in Najaf.

Unfortunately, partisan politics on the left and right have precluded serious analysis on the subject.

In any event, we can begin by noting that Iraq has close economic ties with Iran. According to the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, quoted in a report by the Tehran Times, trade transactions between the two countries over the past Iranian calendar year (ending on 19th March 2012) amounted to more than $11 billion.

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Bush and Obama Together At Last: In Misunderstanding the Middle East

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

By Barry Rubin

In one of his first statements since leaving office, former President George W. Bush remarked on Middle East developments in an article, “The Arab Spring and American Ideals,” in the Wall Street Journal, May 18. The former president reflects certain American misconceptions about the Middle East that are starting to blow up big-time in the region.

Bush writes:

“We do not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East or elsewhere. We only get to choose what side we are on.”

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Count Palestine Refugees?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

The fetid, dark heart of the Arab war on Israel, I have long argued, lies not in disputes over Jerusalem, checkpoints, or “settlements.” Rather, it concerns the so-called Palestine refugees.

So called because of the nearly 5 million official refugees served by UNRWA (short for the “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”), only about 1 percent are real refugees who fit the agency’s definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” The other 99 percent are descendants of those refugees, or what I call fake refugees.

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Will Professional Boycotters Retaliate?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

by Steven Shamrak

The Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank fired a Christian employee who refused to wear a scarf to cover her hair as part of uniform for female staff. Vivian Salameh said that she, “refused to wear the partial head cover because it is against my principles,” and is religious coercion. “The bank uniform registered at the trade and industry ministry does not include wearing anything to cover my hair,” she added.

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An ‘Imaginary’ President Appeases a Very Real Islam

Monday, May 28th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

American intellectual Will Durant’s The Lessons of History—co-written with wife Ariel and published in 1968, when the Soviet Union posed a threat to the United States—still offers insightful lessons, especially concerning American-Muslim relations.

In the chapter titled “History and War,” the Durants posit some hypothetical speeches and approaches concerning war. First, an imaginary U.S. president says before the leaders of communist Russia:

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Louise Arbour undeserving of a place on a Canadian stamp

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

By Gary Gerofsky

Louise Arbour is undeserving of a place on a Canadian stamp — a recent honor bestowed upon her. While she held the important position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights she exhibited a high degree of hate for Israel and disrespect for the Jewish people. She had a dismal record of promoting one-sided, Israel-hate events that demonized and vilified Israel during her career with the UN.

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Shavou’ot (Pentecost) Guide for the Perplexed

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

by Yoram Ettinger (Based on Jewish Sages), “Second Thought”
May 23, 2012

1. Shavou’ot (Pentecost) is the holiday of the Torah, which impacted the US Constitution in particular and the state of Western morality, liberty and democracy in general. Shavou’ot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related fruit, vegetables, herb and flowers, demonstrating the endemic-connection between the Torah of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.

2. Shavou’ot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement.

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Crash Course in Shavuot

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

A fascinating, big picture overview of the holiday of Shavuot and the Ten Commandments.

From Aish.com

Enjoy this video about the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, commemorating, “the day that God revealed himself to an entire nation of people,” when the Jews received a set of wisdom, the Ten Commandments, the fundamental basis for Western civilization.

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Administrative Amnesties Create More Problems Than They Solve

Friday, May 25th, 2012

By Jessica Vaughan, CIS.org

An article in the May 24 Boston Globe highlights the problems created when the executive branch tries to make an end run around Congress by using its rule-writing authority to allow illegal aliens to remain here in virtual amnesty, but then cannot deliver the green cards.

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Egypt’s Presidential Elections: What’s at Stake

Friday, May 25th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Egypt’s long awaited and much anticipated presidential elections—the first of their kind to take place in the nation’s 7,000 year history—are here. As we await the final results—and as the Western mainstream media fixate on images of purple-stained fingers—it is well to remember that there is much more at stake in Egypt’s elections than the mere “right” to vote.

While some Egyptians are certainly voting according to their convictions, the fundamental divide revolves around religion—how much or how little the candidates in question are in favor of Islamic Sharia law. In other words, Islamists are voting for Islamists—Abdel Mon’im Abul Futuh and Muhammad Mursi—whereas non-Islamists (secularists, liberals, and non-Muslims) are voting for non-Islamists, such as Amr Musa and Ahmed Shafiq.

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Iran’s Growing Presence in Latin America

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A briefing by Ilan Berman*

Ilan Berman, an expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, is the vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and has consulted the CIA and the Department of Defense. He has authored several books, including Tehran Rising: Iran’s Challenge to the United States (2005) and Winning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive against Radical Islam (2009). On April 23, 2012, Berman addressed the Middle East Forum via conference call.

Tehran’s October 2011 attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington using a Mexican drug cartel has focused international attention on what had until then been a largely-overlooked political phenomenon: the Islamic Republic’s intrusion into the Western Hemisphere. But how deep is this penetration, and what does it seek to achieve?

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The IRGC: A terrorist organization supporting Iran’s mullahs

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

By Sara Akrami and Saeed Ghasseminejad

In recent years, especially under the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the (Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps) IRGC has taken over many aspect of Iranian society. The group oppresses Iranian citizens and must be ostracized and punished by the civilized world.

The establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 was the beginning of horror for Iranian citizens and greatly hindered the process of peacemaking in the Middle East and the world.

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A Sentence by the State Department Sentences the World to Disaster

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

By Barry Rubin

If I’ve ever seen a single sentence that spells disaster for the Middle East it’s this one:

“‘People say things in a campaign and then when they get elected they actually have to govern,’ [U.S. State Department] spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.”

The specific context of this statement were remarks by the Obama Administration’s favorite Egyptian presidential candidate, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, in a debate. He called Israel racist, an enemy of Egypt, and a state based on occupation (that is, has no right to exist), then calling to alter the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: April, 2012

Monday, May 21st, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Considering that Easter, one of the highest Christian holidays, comes in April, Christian persecution in Muslim nations—from sheer violence to oppressive laws—was rampant last month: In Nigeria, where jihadis seek to expunge all traces of Christianity, a church was bombed during Easter Sunday, killing some 50 worshippers; in Turkey, a pastor was beaten by Muslims immediately following Easter service and threatened with death unless he converts to Islam; and in Iran, Easter Sunday saw 12 Christians stand trial as “apostates.”

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Jerusalem: The Media Myths (Lies) About ‘Two Cities’

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Despite all the archeological/historical evidence of three thousand of years of a flourishing, continuous Jewish presence in their undivided city of Jerusalem, many people are inundated with lies about Arab claims to the city. In reality, the division of Jerusalem began in 1948 when Jordan invaded and physically cut the city into two pieces. In the video shown below by HonestReporting.com, hear living testimony from an eighth generation Jerusalem Jew and from one whose family arrived in the great city in 1835. Then study up on your history and learn the truth that Jerusalem has, shall, and always will be the undivided capital of the Jewish State. Period.

Disregard the anti-Semitic bigots — the delegitimizers of Israel. Find out about the Biblical and historical convergence of, for example, the books of Nehemiah and Jeremiah. The haters ignore the mountains of evidence proving that Jews lived in the Holy Land long before Arab conquerors arrived in the 7th century A.D. … Evidence like the first Jewish temple (ca. 950 B.C.) and the second Jewish temple (ca. 535 B.C.), or the Biblical passages in John 1:49, Book of 1 Samuel, 13:19, Exodus 2:23, or 1 Chronicles 29:23. Indeed, Archaeologists have found Hebrew text in Israel dating to 3,000 years ago.

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