By Barry Rubin
The first, most important thing to understand about the Western and especially American debate on Israel is this:
Never before in history has there been such a concerted, systematic, and vicious campaign to discredit and demonize Israel, especially seeking to undermine its support in the Jewish community.
Without comprehending this fact, the massive attacks from academia, mass media, groups, and even in mainstream political and intellectual debate cannot be understood. We aren’t dealing with lots of mistakes but with the mass production of hate speech.
By Douglas Murray, GATESTONE INSTITUTE
I was asked to Brussels to address the matter of what the European Union to tackle anti-Semitism. The answer is easy: “Stop funding anti-Semites.”
And so it was that I found myself once again in a meeting in the twilight world of Brussels — an ugly city filled with ugly buildings, ugly overpriced food and overpaid officials. The objective of any visit must always be a hit-an-run: to get in and get out as swiftly as possible, The only reason to go is to try and inject some sense into a city so starved of it. When, therefore, asked to address the matter of what the European Union might do to tackle anti-Semitism, the answer is easy: “Stop funding anti-Semites.” What is hard is that this is Brussels, where words are meaningless and nothing makes any sense. Here is just one example:
by Mohshin Habib, GATESTONE
Indonesia, once a country of diversity, is now becoming a place for one-way Islam.
Although Indonesia, “the world largest Muslim country” with an 87% Muslim population, was once considered a moderate Muslim country, day by day it has been leaning more and more towards conservative Islam and Sharia laws. Initiated in 2009, bylaws in the light of Sharia rulings were implemented that conflict with the values of human rights, and are creating a difficult land for minorities to live in.
Indonesian Aceh province authorities recently launched an initiative, despite opposition from human rights activists, to ban women from straddling motorcycle when riding behind a man. Suaidi Yahia, mayor of Lhokseumawe, the second large city of the province, said to the Associated Press, “It is improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here.” He later said, “women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride: it will provoke the male drivers.” Instead, they allow women to sit sidesaddle, which is dangerous on a motorcycle.
Israel says “No” to the Status Quo
I will continue last week’s theme where I ridiculed UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon’s speech, blaming Israel for the stagnation of the Arab World. Last week we saw Israel’s neighbors continuing to self-destruct and PA Chairman Abbas extending his obstructive preconditions for restarting peace talks. In contrast, Israel was busy pushing ahead with its technological advances to make the world a better place. (Read more…)
By Ted Belman
With the announcement of Obama’s visited to Israel in March, some suggested he is bringing a new peace proposal in order to break the log jam. But the latest report is that he is not.
I don’t think that there is any possibility that he would. In matters of substance he is not about to abandon his formulae of ’67 lines plus swaps” for surely he would be making it even more difficult for Abbas to return to negotiations.So Obama has no goodies to offer Israel. Nor has he anything else to offer Abbas.
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The Jerusalem Post
Writing on his blog ‘Karl reMarks‘, the prominent Lebanese blogger and Twitter user Karl Sharro complained of the ‘decline of narrative’ in ‘Middle East expertise’, lamenting the dominance of a ‘cold analytical approach’ towards events in the volatile region and the role of foreign powers therein. But is the concept of narrative and grand theory actually useful here?
Consider the question of U.S. policy towards the region throughout the course of the Arab Spring. One narrative that has emerged among certain commentators — mainly on the Western political left like Patrick Cockburn – is that the U.S. is aligning itself with Sunni forces — including those of an Islamist nature — in opposition to a perceived ‘Shi’ite crescent’ of power in the region. (Read more…)