Archive for December, 2012

The Israeli Constituent — Realism over Wishful Thinking

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

By Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”

On the eve of the January 22, 2013 Israeli election, the Israeli constituent demonstrates more realism than Israeli politicians. Israelis highlight security imperatives when responding to reality-driven polls, which pose questions based on the stormy Arab Winter and not on the mirage of the Arab Spring.

Increasingly, Israelis recognize that — in the Middle East — bolstered security constitutes a solid base for survival and for the pursuit of peace. They realize that the pursuit of peace, by lowering the threshold of security, could jeopardize survival, as well as the slim chance for peace.

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Lawfare infringes on the rights of investigative journalists, steps on free speech, ruins lives and wastes the resources of the courts

Friday, December 28th, 2012

By Gary Gerofsky

The court systems are being abused by serial lawfare agents working on behalf of international governments and in some cases, terrorist-connected or terrorist-supporting Islamist groups. Where there is money, there is always a lawyer waiting to get a piece of the pie regardless of the merit or morality of the case. Frivolous lawsuits waste tax dollars, ruin lives, and tie up valuable court resources so that others are delayed or denied justice. We must act now to prevent our courts from becoming vehicles for Islamist and other groups who want to silence journalists and citizens; anyone who challenges and exposes their hateful, violent and vengeful ways.

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Talking Turkey

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

The menu for meals on my Turkish Airlines flight earlier this month assured passengers that food selections “do not contain pork.” The menu also offered a serious selection of alcoholic drinks, including champagne, whiskey, gin, vodka, rakı, wine, beer, liqueur, and cognac. This oddity of simultaneously adhering to and ignoring Islamic law, the Shari’a, symbolizes the uniquely complex public role of Islam in today’s Turkey, as well as the challenge of understanding the Justice and Development Party (known by its Turkish abbreviation, AKP) which has dominated the country’s national government since 2002.

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The Failure of the American Jewish Left

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

by David Brog*

In early September 2012, many in the pro-Israel camp were disturbed by a series of events at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. First, the committee drafting the party platform eliminated traditional language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Next, the party elders chose to restore the language and called for a pro forma voice vote from the delegates in support of this amendment. Instead, what looked and sounded like an angry majority of the delegates voted against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This hostility should not have come as a surprise. For many years, the liberal base of the Democratic Party has been steadily turning against the Jewish state. So much so that for the first time since 1948, one of America’s two major parties has begun to abandon its commitment to Israel. This trend has less to do with the behavior of President Obama or other national party leaders than with the far more troubling phenomenon of changing opinions at the grassroots. The Jerusalem flap at the Democratic convention was not a warning sign. It was the final bell.

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Egypt: Meet the new boss, [worse] than the old boss

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

I woke today to find that 63.8% of the Egyptian electorate approved a very Islamist-biased new constitution, formulated by the Muslim Brotherhood. I have become increasingly fearful of the events now unfolding in the Middle East: A steady shift of power from corrupt pan-Arab nationalist leaders to Islamist extremists. These Islamist thugs taking power don’t represent an expression of democracy just because they’ve been elected. Egypt’s voters are by-and-large uneducated and/or illiterate, basing their decisions more on what their extremist imams preach every Friday in their sermons; basing their voting decisions much less, if any, on news, education, history, social media — the things that Westerners take for granted. Unfortunately, many Westerners equate an election with democracy, forgetting that Hitler was elected.

Islamists are extremely violent, misogynistic, anti-Western, anti-democratic, and intolerant thugs. They will do and say anything to achieve their ultimate goal, that of absolute power and total domination of the Earth under Islam. According to Raymond Ibrahim of the Middle East Quarterly, deceit is one of the primary tactics of Islamic extremists:

… This, then, is the dilemma: Islamic law unambiguously splits the world into two perpetually warring halves—the Islamic world versus the non-Islamic—and holds it to be God’s will for the former to subsume the latter. Yet if war with the infidel is a perpetual affair, if war is deceit, and if deeds are justified by intentions—any number of Muslims will naturally conclude that they have a divinely sanctioned right to deceive, so long as they believe their deception serves to aid Islam “until all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to God.” Such deception will further be seen as a means to an altruistic end. Muslim overtures for peace, dialogue, or even temporary truces must be seen in this light, evoking the practical observations of philosopher James Lorimer, uttered over a century ago: “So long as Islam endures, the reconciliation of its adherents, even with Jews and Christians, and still more with the rest of mankind, must continue to be an insoluble problem.” …

I keep hearing the words of an old Who song, “Won’t get fooled again,” going through my head:

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The Useful Myth that Obama Now Likes Israel

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

Reality, especially in 2012, is very hard to face. So many hopes dashed; so many bad things happening. So people can be forgiven for taking refuge in wishful thinking. Sometimes, not telling the truth has its value in public affairs, especially when you are looking at a president with four more years in office and no elections ahead of him.

Such is the story now gaining currency in some quarters that President Barack Obama has changed his view of Israel, now wants to get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the two are closely cooperating. If you want to believe that idea it probably does no harm and makes you feel better. Maintaining this fiction may also encourage Obama supporters to think more kindly of Israel.

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As We Face a “Fiscal Cliff” Let’s Close Immigration-Related Tax Loopholes

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

By David North, CIS.org

Memorandum to: President Obama and Speaker Boehner
From: David North, CIS
Re: There’s $100 billion available from immigration sources to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff”

Widespread press reports say that the two of you are about $100 billion apart, over a ten-year period, in your mutual efforts to increase revenue and reduce spending, both to reduce the federal deficit debt. The House Republicans want to avoid raising taxes on all Americans, including very rich ones, and the White House does not want to reduce entitlements (presumably for American voters).

Here’s a way out of the logjam that reduces (undeserved) entitlements on illegal aliens, while increasing revenues, largely by appropriately taxing non-voting aliens (and some corporations hiring aliens). The total to be raised by a series of these fiscal actions would come to about the needed $100 billion, over ten years.

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Justin Trudeau will speak at radical Islamic conference

Friday, December 21st, 2012

By Gary Gerofsky

Like the name “Kennedy” in the USA, the name “Trudeau” evokes warm feelings and fond memories within the “liberal” sector of Canadian society. They think of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as an intellectual playboy bachelor who eventually married a young, pot-smoking hippy-chick to start a family on Parliament Hill. On a more salient note, they also see him as a legal expert and visionary who patriated the Canadian Constitution, implemented multiculturalism, and promoted state-directed, French-language legislation across the country at great cost. For people who actually lived through the Trudeau era and those who are able to detach themselves from the make-belief world of leftism, the Trudeau years meant deficits, watching Trudeau visit his leftist friends such as Fidel Castro, tolerating arrogant leadership, and observing Trudeau’s use of the f-bomb against Canada’s western population as he plundered their energy reserves for the benefit of elites in Quebec and Ontario. Looking at his pragmatic side, Trudeau was hated in Quebec because he was a federalist (actually a progenitor of Quebec-centrism across Canada) who stood against the militant Separatists. He effectively dealt with nascent terrorism from Quebec by putting into place the War Measures Act to prevent further bloodshed (carried out by the Front de libération du Québec [FLQ] during the October Crisis of 1970) — beyond the kidnapping and murder of the Deputy Premier of Quebec, Pierre Laporte, and the kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross.

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Reforming UNRWA

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

by James G. Lindsay*

It is sometimes suggested by critics of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that the agency should be abolished and its duties transferred to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.N. organization responsible for all other refugees in the world. But it is doubtful whether such a move would change much, for it is not UNRWA’s existence but rather its mission that is the root of the problem.

To be sure, as a creation of the General Assembly, it is this international body that gives UNRWA its mission; and packed as it is with an abundance of votes to prevent any alteration in UNRWA’s mission, the General Assembly would need a tremendous amount of persuasion and pressure to get behind any meaningful change. Yet there are important and commonsensical changes to UNRWA that could be made outside the General Assembly. The question remains whether Washington, perhaps the only major player in this drawn-out drama with sufficient clout, is willing to take the necessary steps in this direction.

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Senator Daniel Inouye – Did They Break the Mold?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”

The late Senator Daniel Inouye (D), Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and President Pro Tempore (third in the line of succession to the presidency) was the most effective architect-ever of mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation. He was a tenacious defender of the US Constitution and the role of the legislature as a co-determining, co-equal branch of government; a humble American patriot and a realist who rejected wishful-thinking in the interest of advancing US national security.

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Amnesty’s Impact on Health Resources

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

By David North, CIS.org

If Washington enacts a mass amnesty, even one that limits illegal aliens’ new legal status to some kind of provisional or temporary immigration grounds, it will likely add to taxpayer health care costs and risk depriving Americans from timely health care.

Obamacare exempts illegal aliens from eligibility for Medicaid or a premium subsidy and from the individual mandate to get health insurance or pay a fine. But once they gain legal status, former illegals are likely to become eligible for Medicaid or the taxpayer subsidy for paying their premiums.

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“Whoever Fights Us, Fights Islam”

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

In the ongoing conflict between those Egyptians who strongly oppose a Sharia-based constitution—moderates, secularists, non-Muslim minorities—and those who are strongly pushing for it, Islamists are currently evoking the one argument that has always, from the very beginnings of Islam, empowered Islamists over moderates in the Muslim world.

Examples are many. According to a December 1 report from El Fagr, Gamal Sabr, former campaign coordinator for the anti-freedom Salafi presidential candidate Abu Ismail, made the division clear during an Al Jazeera interview, where he said that “whoever disagrees with him, disagrees with Islam itself,” and that many Egyptians “are fighting Islam in the picture of President Muhammad Morsi and in the picture of the Islamists,” clearly implying that the latter are one with Islam, and to fight them is to fight Islam.

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Israel at Peace

Monday, December 17th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

Those concerned with the security and welfare of the Jewish state keep asking questions like “Is Israel Doomed?” and Will Israel Survive? (also in French, Israël peut-il survivre?). One even titled a book The Late Great State of Israel. This gloom results from the unique barrage of threats facing the Jewish state. These include weapons of mass destruction, conventional armies, and terrorism; economic boycott, demographic challenge, and political delegitimization. No country at present – and perhaps in all history – faces such an array of dangers, from mass violence (Iranian nuclear bombs) to intellectual sabotage (professors of English).

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Jewish boy among those killed in Connecticut school shooting

Monday, December 17th, 2012

By Fern Sidman

In the heinous massacre that has rocked the nation to its core, it has been reported that among the 20 children that were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning, December 14th, was six-year-old Noah Posner, a Jewish boy. His twin sister, also a student at the Sandy Hook school, escaped with her life. Upon receiving the news that her son had been one of the first graders killed, Noah’s mother, Veronique, a nurse at a local hospital, completely broke down according to Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel in Newtown.

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Analyzing Egypt

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

With the upcoming referendum to begin on Saturday in Egypt (already taking place in embassies abroad) for the draft constitution that is primarily the work of Islamists from both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist factions, it is worth bearing the following issues in mind:

The Military: For all intents and purposes, the Egyptian military is interested in keeping its distance from politics, safeguarding its interests in the country’s economy and maintaining a degree of autonomy from civilian government control.

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