Several months ago, I had the zechus to serve as the dinner chairman of the National Council of Young Israel gala at the Marriot Marquis in Manhattan. The dinner – which celebrated the unique bond between the United States, the Jewish people, and Israel – featured a program that highlighted Jewish veterans who fought in World War II.
In the days following the dinner, the National Council and I were unexpectedly attacked for putting together a “Trump rally,” leading to criticism of the NCYI leadership for allegedly hijacking the organization and turning it into the political arm of the Republican Party.
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (left) meets with Egyptian president Sisi, New York, September 2017. Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation reached its peak after the ousting of President Morsi while Riyadh’s warming relations with Israel have also strengthened Egyptian-Saudi cooperation in the face of the growing Iranian threat.
An Oscillating Relationship
Saudi Arabia and Egypt have each claimed a leading regional role, and their relations have long swung between cooperation and indirect confrontation. During Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule (1954-70), Cairo emerged as the main claimant for regional hegemon. Saudi-Egyptian antagonism then came to the forefront and culminated in the proxy war in Yemen (1962-70) where the two states found themselves fighting on opposing sides. Yet Egypt’s defeat in the June 1967 war and Nasser’s death in September 1970 ushered in a thaw between the two states. Cairo gradually shifted towards the Western camp and recognized Riyadh’s prominent role in the Muslim world, in exchange for generous economic support. Under Hosni Mubarak’s rule, close relations with the desert kingdom became one of Egypt’s foreign policy pillars.
by Dr. Eric R. Mandel, MEPIN, JPOST
According to the research of Harvard’s Erica Chenoweth, more than half of nonviolent revolutions are successful, as long as more than 3.5% of the population participates to ensure regime change, whereas less than 25% of violent uprisings succeed.
CAN THE regime be changed?. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Is the hostile behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran just a mild thorn in the United States’ side, or is it a direct and growing danger to American and allied security interests?
With the exception of those married to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement at any cost, the idea of a nonviolent regime change in Iran is a very appealing notion. In theory, it would serve American interests by removing a dangerous nemesis with American blood on its hands, and it could also create the possibility of turning a malignant enemy into a potential ally in the Muslim world, while freeing the Iranian people from 40 years of terror, repression and hardship.
No one can tell how this great battle for national identity and culture will end, though Jewish populations are likely to find themselves in the firing line from all sides.
The European parliament elections last week have provided further graphic evidence that Britain and Europe are in the throes of a profound political and cultural upheaval.
In Britain, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pulverized both Labour and the Conservatives by winning many more seats than either to become the largest single party in the European parliament – within just five weeks of being created.
Since Farage’s party stands for Britain leaving the European Union with no withdrawal deal, many Conservatives rightly believe that whoever they elect as their new leader (and therefore Britain’s prime minister) in the wake of Theresa May’s resignation will need to endorse a no-deal departure to have any chance of saving the party from total destruction.
That’s because they understand from this electoral meltdown that the fury of their mainly Brexit-supporting voters over the Conservative government’s failure to honor the 2016 referendum vote, exacerbated by the refusal of the Remainer-dominated parliament to leave with no deal, is off the scale.
Arab autocrats, who need Israel far more than Israel needs them, desire a confident Israel to crush its enemies, not a craven country that bends to terrorists.
Prime Minister Netanyahu takes pride in new cooperation and communication channels with Arab governments. Formal and informal ties with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman contribute to a growing Jewish confidence that Arab countries are finally accepting a sovereign Jewish state in their midst.
This delusion is embraced by Jews desirous to confuse a short-term tactical embrace with a fundamental shift in attitudes. The bitter truth is that none of the autocrats that Israeli diplomats or Jewish communal leaders meet has the best interests of Jews or Israelis at heart.
These leaders are simply reading the writing on the wall. They understand that under the Trump Administration, adequate relations with Israel are a prerequisite for support in confronting Iranian Shiite imperialism, which threatens their territories and their autocracies. It is therefore irresponsible to attribute Arab overtures towards Israel to anything save base political survival instincts.
Likud gains 2 seats after merger with Kulanu, Blue & White sinks. Labor wiped off of political map. Broad right-wing alliance nets 7 seats.
Binyamin Netanyahu in Knesset with Moshe Kahlon, Yisrael Katz, and Gilad Erdan
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would win if new elections were held today, a new poll shows, with the right-wing bloc gaining seats in comparison to last month’s election.
According to the poll, which was conducted by Panels Politics and published Friday morning by Maariv, the Likud would win 37 seats, a gain of two mandates, while the center-left Blue and White party would fall by two seats, from 35 to 33 mandates.
By BENNY AVNI, Special to the Sun | May 31, 2019
As Israel gears up to a surprise election, the American-led peace plan touted as the “Deal of the Century” seemed to suffer a major blow. But don’t write off the deal yet.
Wait, election? Didn’t we just do this, like, five minutes ago? Yes, Israel had an election back in April. But 50 days later, Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose right-wing bloc won, failed to assemble a ruling coalition — so he opted for a redo instead.
Quibbling with would-be partners over compulsory national service for the traditionally-exempt ultra-Orthodox, Mr. Netanyahu needed to contend with religious zealotry, political egos, and his own vulnerability after being charged with corruption.
By MARTIN SHERMAN
The endeavor to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by economic means not only shows a grave defect in understanding its underlying causes, but inverts the causal relationship that generates & sustains it.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions – An aphorism thought to have originated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1150).
When senior representatives of the Trump administration, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt woke up this morning in Israel (May 30, 2019), it was to a totally different political reality to that which they expected to encounter only a few days previously.
New elections instead of new government
Indeed, instead of having to present what is being billed as the “Deal of the Century” for the innovative resolution of the seemingly intractable conflict between Jews and Arabs over control of the Holy Land, to a newly installed government, supported by a firm majority of 65 Knesset members, they are faced with political pandemonium, and new elections in little more than three months’ time.
Last week my Masorti shul hosted a visiting group of Americans, members of a Conservative synagogue. One of the subjects for discussion was “what’s the issue that you are most concerned with at your synagogue?” The answer was not declining and aging membership, providing Jewish education for children (and grandchildren), mixed marriage, Israel, or any of the usual issues. It was security. “Ask anybody. Security is the top issue,” they said. “Who wants to join a shul or send their children to a school where they might get shot?”
The traditional position of liberal Jews in the US has always been that security was for someone else. It was sort of a badge of honor for liberals to insist that they didn’t need to protect themselves. They really liked themselves, so why shouldn’t everyone else like them? The Reform Temple in my home town built a beautiful new suburban structure for themselves in 1990, to replace the old fortress-like building downtown. The new one was invitingly open, with acres of glass, lots of doors, and expansive grounds without serious fencing – and it will cost them a small fortune to secure it.
Of all of Islam’s conquests of Christian territory, the most symbolically significant occurred today, on May 20, 1453, when Constantinople fell. For not only was “New Rome” a living and direct extension of the ancient Roman Empire and current capital of the Christian Roman Empire (or Byzantium), but its cyclopean walls had prevented Islam from entering Europe through its eastern doorway for the previous seven centuries.
On becoming Ottoman sultan, Mehmet, or Muhammad II (b. 1432, r. 1451-1481) — “the mortal enemy of the Christians,” to quote a contemporary prelate — made ready for war. Throughout the spring of 1453 the city watched helplessly as his forces made their way to and surrounded Constantinople by land and sea. One contemporary remarked that Muhammad’s “army seemed as numberless as grains of sand, spread… across the land from shore to shore.” In the end, some one hundred thousand fighters came.
In surprise twist, radical Saudi preacher apologizes for his movement’s past and hails the crown prince’s reforms.
BY ZVI MAZEL, JPOST
EXTREMIST THEMES from the Muslim Brotherhood appeared on Al Jazeera. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Sheikh Aid al-Qarni – one of the leaders of the Al-Sahwa al-Islamiyya (“Islamic Awakening”) radical movement – apologized publicly on a Gulf television channel earlier this month for the excesses he and his fellow members in Saudi Arabia committed in the ’80s and ’90s. He admitted that they had made grievous mistakes in attempting to impose their extremist religious views and forcing the government to acknowledge the supremacy of the sages of Islam, thereby damaging the fabric of the country. The government had indeed taken far-reaching steps to enforce strict religious observance in order to appease the group.
“We were wrong,” Qarni said, “in contradicting the Koran and the Sunna and misrepresenting the tolerance of Islam, thus causing hardship to the faithful. Islam is a religion of peace, confidence and mercy,” all things he said he failed to understand when he was young. Life, he continued, has since led him to change his views, and he now believes in the moderate Islam open to the world of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).
Border Inferior to pre- ’67, 3rd Party-Based Security, Multiple Sovereignties
Last night PM Netanyahu charged that Avigdor Liberman is “now” part of the
left after forcing snap elections for the second time,
In truth – Liberman has ALWAYS been left!
Here is something I wrote over two years ago:
Weekly Commentary: Liberman Consistent: Border Inferior to pre- ’67, 3rd
Party-Based Security, Multiple Sovereignties
Dr. Aaron Lerner 15 March, 2017
There’s nothing new about Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman’s positions.
From the very start of his political career he has advocated:
#1. Redrawing Israel’s borders to remove large Arab communities. The
resulting lines would be militarily inferior to the terrible pre-’67 border.
While Liberman promises the move would dramatically reduce the Arab
population inside Israel this assertion ignores that the affected Israeli
Arabs could opt to change their official place of residence to a location
remaining inside Israel and/or successfully challenge their unilateral loss
of Israeli citizenship in the Supreme Court.
Read more …
Angelo M. Codevilla, HOOVER INSTITUTION Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pitilessly, the past quarter century’s events have dismissed the hopes for peace with the Arabs that Israeli diplomats, often accompanied by U.S. counterparts, detailed to the world in 1993 as they explained the concessions they had finalized in Oslo. Previously, they had treated Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization as a terrorist organization to be marginalized if not destroyed. The list of its outrages, from bombing school buses and airports to murdering Olympic athletes, spoke for itself. In 1982, the U.S. saved the PLO from imminent destruction by an Israeli and Lebanese alliance, and sustained it in supervised exile in Tunisia. U.S. policy had always nourished hopes that, were the PLO to be given responsibility and treated as a partner, it would moderate itself. This would result in a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel.
In Israel, substantial high-level opinion had come to share these hopes. And why not? The Soviet collapse, having removed the PLO’s main source of funding and hope of support, radically weakened Syria. The Israelis judged that the PLO had little choice but to take the generous option of peace and partnership offered to it. Besides, Israel had been suffering from a wave of PLO-organized violence in the West Bank, and longed for a broad path to peace. Hence, the Oslo Accords.
The Trump Administration has changed course in various ways from its predecessor when it comes to relations with Israel. Among other things, the current American government has moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and reduced aid to the Palestinians. In addition, the administration is on the verge of unveiling the so-called Deal of the Century, a new proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
What are the strategic consequences of these initiatives? And how do they advance American national interests? To answer these questions, we need to start with the broader context of American foreign policy.
As a global power, and the sole state capable of defending the liberal world order, the U.S. has interests around the world. Understandably, it has focused of late on East Asia, given the challenges of China and North Korea. Then too there is the importance of other states in the region, especially Japan. Yet other issues in other parts of the world call for attention as well, for example: the revolt against dictatorship in Venezuela, the future of NATO, trade relations in North America, dealings between India and Pakistan, economic development in Africa, and power politics in the Middle East. I turn to the latter here.
By Andrew J. Sciascia, WESTERN JOURNAL
The Trump administration moved to revoke an Obama-era rule that affords anti-discrimination protections to transgender individuals under the Affordable Care Act.
The proposed regulation, which the Health and Human Services Department released Friday, would exclude “gender identity” from being read into current sections of federal law that maintain that healthcare providers may not discriminate because of one’s sex.
“In 2016, HHS issued a new rule that redefined discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as one’s internal sense of being ‘male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female,’” HHS’ Friday press release read.
By Karin McQuillan, AMERICAN GREATNESS| May 16th, 2019
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and the Democratic Party leadership defending her indefensible comments on the Holocaust are now promoting the Big Lie about Arabs as innocent victims of World War II. Nazism was widely popular among Palestinians, who played a key role in the Holocaust. Adolf Eichmann himself went to Cairo to train the Muslim Brotherhood in anti-Semitic propaganda, military sabotage, and terrorism—launching the modern jihadi movement in the process. Without Arab Nazism, 6 million Jews would not have been murdered.
This is a history Americans should know, since it is a war we are still fighting today.
It is Ramadan month and the message to Muslims—via didactic analysis of Koran 1:7—is the requirement to be an “essence” isolated and distinct from non-Muslims, abetted by obsessive, monotonous daily repetition of a verse cursing Jews and Christians.
By Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, INN Part I of II
As reported by the indispensable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), esteemed Islamic scholar, and “Spiritual Guide” to the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi provided a Ramadan Koranic “homily”, of sorts, on May 14, 2019. In essence, Qaradawi merely re-affirmed for Muslims the classical-cum-modern mainstream ramifications of a Koranic verse [Koran 1:7] votaries of Islam recite 17-times per day, during their requisite 5 prayer times, and the subdivisions of those prayer sessions.
Notwithstanding what is a rather anodyne reminder to Muslims, the contents of Qaradawi’s statements will be “shocking” to those who are completely uninformed about Islam, or have chosen to understand the creed exclusively through the prism of Muslim and non-Muslim apologists, alike.
Jordan has so far not announced whether it will participate in the June conference, and remains a key political and diplomatic player whose lead other Arab states could follow
WASHINGTON — Senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner will visit Amman on Wednesday and is expected to meet with King Abdullah II, Jordanian media outlets have reported.
The meeting between the two will likely revolve around the administration’s plan for Middle East peace and the economic conference scheduled to take place in Bahrain next month. The workshop is being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority.