Tycoon Li Ka-shing has donated US$130 million (HK$1 billion) to an Israeli university to build a facility in Guangdong in partnership with Shantou University.The grant from the Li Ka Shing Foundation is the largest ever to the Israel Institute of Technology – Technion – and one of the most generous in the history of higher education to the country.
By Arlene Kushner
Toughest of all the problems we face is the very real threat presented by Iran, which is a huge promoter of terrorism, and on the verge of going nuclear.
Iranian president Hasan Rouhani is currently engaged in a new technique – popularly known as the “charm offensive” – for forestalling interference with his nation’s goals.
That offensive rose to a new level on Friday, when, for the first time since 1979, the leaders of the US and Iran spoke with each other by phone (via interpreters). As I am reading it, some feelers were put out by Iran, but the phone call was actually placed by the US. The Iranians are saying the call was strictly the initiative of the US.
By Harry Bauskin
“The most morally crimped speech by a president in modern times.” That description of President Obama’s address to the United Nations this week came not from conservative critics but from the editorial page of The Washington Post.
Anybody remember The Obama Cairo speech where he claimed that Housni Mubarak, the Egyptian people and Islam in general have much in common with the American people. At the same time the Obama administration asserted that Assad was a natural US ally, because after all he was an educated man. A doctor who had done his post graduate studies in London, loves western music (especially Chris Brown…wonder why?) and married Asma, educated in the UK with degrees in computer science and French literature. Almost a copy of Obama himself. Well we all know how that turned out….”Mubarak must go!” and then…”Assad must go!”
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- Given the long history of Muslim Brotherhood activity in this country, its declared objective to “destroy the Western civilization from within,” and the extensive evidence of successful influence operations at the highest levels of the U.S. government, it is urgent that we recognize this clear and present danger that threatens not only our Republic but the values of Western civilization.
- “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”
— Motto of the Muslim Brotherhood
The upheavals of 2011-2012 across the Middle East and North Africa swept aside secular rulers and the established political order with startling speed, and continue to focus world attention on the revolutionary forces driving these far-reaching events. Poverty, oppression, inequality, and lack of individual freedom are all hallmarks of the societal stagnation that has gripped the Islamic world for the better part of fourteen centuries, but the driving force of the so-called “Arab Spring” is a resurgent Islam, dominated by the forces of al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Energized as Islam may be at this time, however, without the active involvement of the United States to help arm, fund, support, and trainthe region’s Islamic rebels, it is questionable whether they could have gotten this far, this fast.
BY RAPHAEL AHREN, TOI
NEW YORK — “Any miscalculation of one’s position, and of course, of others, will bear historic damages; a mistake by one actor will have negative impact on all others.” These words were spoken Tuesday by President Hasan Rouhani, but they aptly reflect what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently thinking about the thawing relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America.
Netanyahu has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t mind standing alone in his opposition to the Iranian overtures, and that he will continue to pour cold water on the budding détente between Tehran and Washington. He seems to embrace being the sole voice of dissent to a Western chorus that is willing to test Iran’s sincerity, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the prime minister makes a point about being a party-pooper during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
The following article was sent to the spokesman for Baroness Catherine Ashton. It was not acknowledged.
BARONESS ASHTON: PLEASE ENLIGHTEN WHY, WHEN ISRAEL IS INVOLVED, THE EU CHANGES THE LEGAL TO ILLEGAL AND THE ILLEGAL TO LEGAL.
Sometimes one wonders exactly what the European Union [EU] wants from and expects of Israel. In its chosen road of making the legal illegal and the illegal legal, it is becoming clear that the EU is on the road to irrelevance in assisting the parties to the dispute in the Middle East to find an acceptable compromise.
I JUST GOT THIS IN THE MAIL. I AM SURPRISED THAT THIS IS THE FIRST i HEARD OF IT. i THINK ITS GREAT THAT THE LAND OF ISRAEL CAUCUS IS WORKING HARD ON THIS FIGHT.I WILL BE GOING
Unless the Right can devise a methodology and mechanisms to determine the political agenda in Israel, it will continue to be determined by the Left – irrespective of electoral outcomes.
Israel has vacated the battlefield of ideas…Israel has made itself defenseless. –Melanie Philips
The Left will be easy to defeat in the battle of ideas if we can make a level playing field. – Jay Abouaf, in a Facebook talkback to my previous column
As readers will recall, I devoted my last two columns to a discussion of why much of right-wing philanthropy has been misdirected, in the sense that if it was intended to determine political realities, reflecting the predilections of the benefactors, it has been spectacularly ineffective.
For in the past two decades, the hard Left has managed to convert what was up until the early 1990s a completely marginalized – indeed, borderline treasonous – political doctrine into a respectable, arguably majority mainstream position.
Sheikh Raed Salah has gained stature and risen to prominence and popularity the likes of which should rightfully alarm us, considering his nonstop sedition.
Scant attention, if at all, was paid the reported recent fatal shooting of an Israeli Arab on Syria’s killing fields. The phenomenon of local Arabs volunteering to fight alongside the anti-Assad jihadist forces is small in terms of overall population proportions, but the fact that it at all exists and the context in which it is starting to sprout is nothing we can afford to scoff at.
From available data – and it is partial at best – Mouid Zaki Jumaa, 28, from the Arab village of Musherifa, near Umm el-Fahm, is the first Israeli casualty in the Syrian strife. News of his death in battle with a rival rebel group near the southern Syrian city of Jaramana came in the form of a photo of the body, which the family unequivocally identified.
The EU knowingly and purposefully provides substantial direct financial assistance to settlements in occupied territory – in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, that is.
Under guidelines prepared earlier this summer, euros would not be allowed to go to Israeli entities located cross the Green Line – or to those that have any operations there. All Israeli entities applying for funding would have to submit a declaration that they do not have such operations.
Groundbreaking books about the history of communism, such as Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago or Viktor Suvorov’s Ice-Breaker, are never written by “professional” historians. Indeed, historians typically meet those books with remarkable hostility.
Yet, non-academic history books certainly have their advantages. For one thing, they are readable. More often than not, they are better researched too. Above all, they are intellectually honest, free from the unspoken taboos of the academic world and from allegiances to theories and to colleagues that tie the hands of many an academic.
By Ted Belman
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Kerry & Indyk – a succession of foreign emissaries and politicos came and went but israel consistently recoiled from the notion of shuttle diplomacy, go-betweens or overseers such as Indyk.With the Syrian thriller and its spin-off machinations keeping us at the edge of our seats, who had time to at all notice much less care about the volubility of Ramallah’s honchos?
Too much distracting din made it difficult to pay much mind to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies. But this didn’t keep them from babbling and what they revealed deserved our attention – even if the utterances in question weren’t the sort that the more politically correct in our midst prefer we dwell on.
The Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadida daily quoted Abbas as bluntly issuing the following ultimatum when addressing a visiting Arab athletic delegation: “We told the present Israeli negotiators that if you want to go back on what was agreed with [former Israeli premier Ehud] Olmert, we will go back on our agreement for a land swap and so we will ask for all of the 1967 land as is.”
A RELIGIOUS minority is being persecuted, driven from their homes, robbed, raped, murdered.
From all the faux Islamophobia hysteria, you’d think it was Muslims.
It’s Christians, under a death sentence in parts of the Muslim world. Not in every Muslim country, but in too many.
The world remains remarkably, willfully blind and mute as the faithful of the world’s largest religion are blown apart by followers of the world’s second-largest religion.
Precise Christian persecution “figures are hard to come by,” says Kiri Kankhwende, spokesman for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, in the United Kingdom. Precise or not, things have rarely been worse. And who cares?
GLICK’S ARGUMENT IS NOT TERRIBLY CONVINCING. SHE DOES AND DOES NOT THINK ISRAEL CAN STAND UP TO AMERICAN PRESSURE ON MOST THINGS. YORAM ETTINGER BEGS TO DIFFER. PRIME MINISTERS ARE ELECTED TO STAND UP TO PRESSURE AND OFTEN HAVE. MARTIN SHERMAN AGREES WITH HIM. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN SHE IS WRONG. TED BELMAN
US President Barack Obama’s rapidly changing positions on Syria have produced many odd spectacles.
One of odder ones was the sight of hundreds of lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee fanning out on Capitol Hill to lobby members of the House and Senate to support Obama’s plan to launch what Secretary of State John Kerry called “unbelievably small” air strikes against empty regime controlled buildings in Syria.
AIPAC officials claimed they were doing this because the air strikes would help Israel.
But this claim was easily undone. Obama and Kerry insisted nothing the US would do would have any impact on the outcome of the Syrian civil war. This was supposed to be the strikes’ selling point. But by launching worthless strikes, Obama was poised to wreck America’s deterrent posture, transforming the world’s superpower into an international joke.
Despite Obama’s claims to the contrary, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a solution to the region’s instability.
In his speech this week before the UN General Assembly, US President Barack Obama gave special attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to Obama this conflict – along with Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons – is central to peace and stability in the region. Several times during his speech he repeated this mantra.
In the opening to the central, major section of his speech, for instance, Obama declared, “While these issues [Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace.”
Mahmoud Abbas – putative president of the Palestinian Authority – addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday, focusing on the negotiations between the PA and Israel. How eminently reasonable was the tone he attempted to project. There he stood on the dais, expressing his intention to work hard for peace, even pleading for peace.
“Our quest is supportive of the path of peace,” he assured those assembled.
- “I affirm before you that… we shall continue [the negotiations] in good faith and with open minds, strong determination and an insistence on success…we shall …foster the most conducive atmosphere for the continuation of these negotiations…”
BEIRUT — American hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s fractious rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed opposition coalition and announced the formation of a new alliance dedicated to creating an Islamic state.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group, which will further complicate fledgling U.S. efforts to provide lethal aid to “moderate” rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Others include the Tawheed Brigade, the biggest Free Syrian Army unit in the northern city of Aleppo; Liwa al-Islam, the largest rebel group in the capital, Damascus; and Ahrar al-Sham, the most successful nationwide franchise of mostly Syrian Salafist fighters. Collectively, the new front, which does not yet have a formal name but has been dubbed by its members the “Islamist Alliance,” claims to represent 75 percent of the rebels fighting to topple Assad.
The only real accountability for the Benghazi scandal will have to come in 2016.
From the competing partisan reports and the congressional testimony of various officials this week, it seems fair to say that no actual crimes were committed (though you never know what you don’t know).
There were, in at least a figurative sense, criminal lapses in judgment by senior officials. Many of those lapses are recounted in the Accountability Review Board, or ARB, report. It found “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department” that “resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”
UNITED NATIONS — The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but there will be no automatic penalties if the Syrians fail to comply, officials said Thursday.
The agreement, hammered out after days of back-room negotiations, is a compromise among the United States, its allies and Russia about how to enforce the resolution, which would eliminate Syria’s chemical arms program.
But the deal, when approved by the 15 members of the Security Council, would amount to the most significant international diplomatic initiative of the Syrian civil war. It would also be a remarkable turn for President Obama, who had been pushing for a military strike on Syria just a few weeks ago before accepting a Russian proposal to have Syria give up its chemical arsenal.