The mainstream Western view of the election is bizarre and very damaging. In this fantasy, Aboul Fatouh is portrayed as the liberal candidate. If he wins, everything will be just fine and dandy. You can go back to sleep.
What evidence is adduced for this picture? Basically, none. The idea is that his moderation was proven because he defied the Brotherhood to run for the office. Yet the reality is the exact opposite. The Brotherhood refused to run a candidate at a time when it was following a cautious strategy, wanting to show that it wasn’t seeking total power and could co-habit—at least for five years—with a non-Islamist president.
By declaring his candidacy, Aboul Fatouh was in fact taking a more radical approach. Later, when the Brotherhood felt more confident after winning almost half the parliamentary seats it became more aggressive.
In 1936, The Atlantic published a prescient article titled Jews in trouble. It began as follows;
By LUDWIG LEWISOHN
ONE of the most excellent of my Christian friends (the greater number of my older friends are such) could finally hold in no longer. ‘Your people are in trouble!’ There was a tinge of over-eagerness in his tone; there was the faint shadow of something akin to the triumph of one who can say, ‘I told you so.’ He had, in fact, never told me anything. But an unspoken implication had hung in the air between us (as it has between other Christian friends and me) for years. The implication could be phrased somewhat as follows: ‘You had become quite one of ourselves; we never thought of you as different. Did you have, as it were, to leave us and identify yourself so wholly with this people which, whatever its virtues and whatever be the merits of the case, does always create friction and commotion? Where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire. Did you have both to fan that flame and to leap into it?’
The president fears confronting Assad because of the effect it might have on his nuclear diplomacy.
By JOHN BOLTON, WSJ
Despite months of negotiations by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and extensive Security Council deliberations, hostilities in Syria continue. Although overall violence is down slightly and the council has increased U.N. observers to 300, the civilian death toll continues to rise. Syria’s dictatorship ignores Mr. Annan’s “cease fire,” and Bashar al-Assad himself shows no signs of stepping down.
President Obama seems paralyzed for two basic reasons: First, he is committed to a U.N. process almost certainly doomed to failure; and second, he fears taking on the real nemesis in Syria, namely Iran’s ayatollahs.
The ongoing rivalry between PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas and his young challenger Mohammad Dahlan is an open secret on the Palestinian street. What may, however, come as a surprise, is the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the internal Palestinian struggle for power. Recently, the kingdom has dramatically decreased its subsidies to the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, Abbas is almost never invited to visit any of the Gulf Emirates or Saudi Arabia. Dahlan, on the other hand, is known to have a home base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as a special relationship with Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.
Will Netanyahu face an election before Obama?
Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are facing another of the periodic opposition campaigns to unseat them – this time by pressure for an early election a year before its October, 2013 date. New faces have joined the opposition lineup. They are focused on challenging the current government’s credentials for leading an Israeli attack to preempt a nuclear Iran. These two goals are interchangeable. However, before the campaign peaks, DEBKAfile’s analysts report it has begun to backfire.
The newcomer to the anti-government ranks is the party registered Sunday, April 29, by ex-broadcaster Yair Lapid as “Yesh Atid” (There is a Future). His potential partners are former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former chief of staff Gaby Ashkenazi. They are all casting about for a political base, together or apart, from which to tip over the current government. Incumbent President Shimon Peres cheers them on from the wings.
As the Obama Administration tries to hammer together an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the body count from his disastrous retreat from Iraq is swiftly rising. Last week alone there were fourteen car bombings orchestrated by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose goal has always been a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. The bombings, which received only light coverage in a media unwilling to talk about anything that might show their candidate in a bad light, are only one of the fracture points.
A united Iraq died a few days after the withdrawal. The only people who still believe in the fiction of a centrally governed Iraq are holding down desks in the State Department. There are several Iraqs now. There is Iran’s Iraq, the one overseen by Tehran’s puppet in Baghdad, Prime Minister Maliki. Then there is Iraqi Kurdistan which stands on the verge of declaring its independence, an act that will touch off a violent territorial dispute accompanied by ethnic cleansing.
Militant Islam has far more in common with Nazism and Communism than it does with any genuine religious faith. All three have two common elements: (1) the openly stated intention to rule the entire world and (2) a claim to the right to deport, oppress, re-educate, or exterminate those who do not fit into their regimes. Militant Islam can, despite the lessons of 1939-1945 as well as the Holodomor (genocide by starvation of Ukrainians), China’s Cultural Revolution, Stalin’s Great Purge, and the killing fields of Cambodia, promote this agenda today by masquerading as a religion, with all the legal and social protections that this implies.
By MARTIN SHERMAN
The panicky response by Israel’s leaders to the Eisner episode will only serve to encourage pernicious ‘protest tourism’ by pampered radicals.
Nor do the gods appear in warrior’s armor clad
To strike them down with sword and spear
Those whom they would destroy
They first make mad – Bharthari, 7th century (translated from the Sanskrit)
“Protestors are slowly upping the ante, with slogans becoming more daring day by day,” observed Mohamad Masri, a political scientist at the Centre for Strategic Studies at Jordan University.
In the streets of Amman, rumours abound of misspent public funds involving three corruption scandals – namely, allegations surrounding the state-owned National Resources Investment and Development Corporation (Mawared), the illegal licensing of a Dead Sea casino, and the Jordan Petroleum Refinery.
“Unfortunately the protests have failed to garner momentum: the opposition is fragmented, different groups have too many different grievances,” remarked activist Tareq Zureikat. The pro-democracy movement is a mix of tribal Jordanians, leftists and IAF followers.
Yisrael Beytenu fired the opening shot for the Knesset’s summer session, submitting the first of many “Tal Law” alternatives expected in the coming months.
The Tal Law – declared illegal by the High Court of Justice in February – provided the legal framework for ultra-Orthodox men to defer IDF service indefinitely.
He also called on legislators from across the political spectrum to support the proposed bill.
“All groups, organizations and people involved in this issue should contact all MKs from Likud, Labor, Kadima, Independence, National Union, Habayit Hayehudi and Meretz and demand they support our proposal,” Liberman added. “No gimmicks, no excuses. Whoever wants everyone to serve in the army should just come and vote.”
By ABDULATEEF AL-MULHIM, ARAB NEWS
Since 1948 till today, the Arab states have been in a state of war with Israel. There were four major wars (1948-56-67-73) and many more military conflicts. And till 1979, there were no formal relations between any Arab country and Israel.
The first breakthrough came in 1979 after the signing of the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. With this agreement, Egypt achieved what they couldn’t achieve by war. They got back the Sinai Peninsula. And in later years, we saw diplomatic relations between Israel and another four Arab countries (Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia). The relations were strained during the Palestinians’ Intifada (uprising). Later on, two Gulf states had the first contact between any of the Gulf states and Israel since 1948 with the opening of trade representation offices in Qatar and Oman. Jerusalem is important to all Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity), so, why Jerusalem is dividing people of different faiths rather than bringing them together?
The Jewish community’s largest “defense” organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has adopted a policy, consistent with the progressive agenda, not to speak up much about the global tsunami of Muslim anti-Semitism, but instead to campaign against “Islamophobia.”
This while FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Jews in America are five times the number of hate crimes against Muslims. The rationale for this policy, as the ADL’s chief, Abe Foxman, told the Boston Jewish Advocate, is that “[y]ou can’t fight the fight against anti-Semitism without fighting against bigotry. … You cannot ask people to stand with you unless you are ready to stand with them.”
The Likud would win more than twice as many mandates as any other party if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advanced the next general election, according to a Smith Research poll sponsored by The Jerusalem Post this week.
Netanyahu said in interviews this week that he had no intention of advancing the election, which is set for October 22, 2013. The poll of 500 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Jewish and Arab adult population in Israel was taken on Sunday and Monday and had a had a 4.5 percentage point margin of error.
Likud would win 31 seats, followed by Labor and Yisrael Beytenu with 15 each, Kadima with 13, former journalist Yair Lapid’s new Atid Party with 11, Shas eight, United Torah Judaism six, National Union four, and Habayit Hayehudi and Meretz three each. The three Arab parties together would win 11 mandates.
Jordan king blames premier for slow reform
By JAMAL HALABY, Associated Press
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II blamed his resigning prime minister Thursday for failing to push hard enough for reforms, reflecting frustration on all sides over demands for power-sharing and fair representation in parliament.
In a letter to Awn al-Khasawneh, Abdullah complained that “achievements so far are far less than what is required and way below what we expected.”
The king appeared to come down on the side of those pushing for swift moves toward a greater say in politics and improved economic conditions in resource-scanty Jordan, which depends on U.S. aid to keep its economy afloat.
Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson recently made another super PAC donation of $5 million. This time the recipient was the GOP establishment run Congressional Leadership Fund, and the gift brought his family’s total super PAC contributions this election cycle to over $21.5 million.
In a February interview with Forbes Magazine, Adelson implied that his activism was in part spawned by a rival on the far opposite side of the political spectrum; financier, post-American globalist, patron of myriad liberal causes and anti-Israel groups, George Soros. “As long as it’s doable I’m going to do it. Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades,” he said.
A great controversy has erupted over a National Journal article by Michael Hirsh entitled, “The Post Al Qaida Era.” I think this is an important issue there is absolutely nothing new here that couldn’t have been seen—as I’ll show in a moment—five years ago.
The Obama Administration has long thought along the following lines:
Al-Qaida is an evil and terrible organization. It attacked America on September 11, 2001. It is a sworn enemy of the United States and it uses terrorism. Consequently, to protect the American homeland, al-Qaida must be destroyed. Our “war on terror” is then a war on al-Qaida.
Oh, yes, one more thing:
Kasim Hafeez, YNET
I am a Zionist, a proud Muslim Zionist, and I love Israel, but this was not always the case. In fact, for many years I was quite the extreme opposite. I experienced the high levels of anti-Semitismand anti-Israel activity taking place on British university campuses, because I was the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel activist.
Growing up in the Muslim community in the UK I was exposed to materials and opinions at best condemning Israel, painting Jews as usurpers and murderers, and at worse calling for the wholesale destruction of the “Zionist Entity” and all Jews. In short, there was no accommodating a Jewish State in the Middle East.
By Amos Harel, HAARETZ
August ? or possibly November ? 2015 will most likely be a historic month. If all goes smoothly, one of those months will see an event that will be unprecedented in all of Israel’s 67-year history: the first large cohort of ultra-Orthodox soldiers will arrive at the National Induction Center at the conclusion of three years of compulsory service, in order to return their gear and get their discharge papers, just like their secular and national-religious brethren.
This year’s High Court of Justice ruling overturning the so-called Tal Law, which until now exempted ultra-Orthodox men from army service, could lead to realization of what was probably a fantasy of hundreds of thousands of Israelis for decades. The guidelines laid down by the court for the government and the Knesset are quite clear. On the assumption that the court’s directives will be honored and the principle of equality upheld, the road to drafting tens of thousands of Haredim seems to have been paved.
The number of Israeli-Palestinian joint events has significantly dropped over the past few years.
The number of Palestinians participating in dialogue with Israelis has hit a low ebb recently, as more and more Palestinians see no point in reconciliation attempts while the peace process is at a stalemate.
Peace activists say that as prospects for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem gloomy, Palestinians perceive activities that don’t challenge the occupation directly as normalization, or acceptance of the status quo.
“Last year, Palestinian activists came to our campuses to meet young Israelis and talk to them about the conflict,” says Tal Harris, executive director of One Voice-Israel. “Today it is much more difficult. We had plans to carry out different activities together with Palestinian politicians and peace activists, but they have all been put on hold.”