Monday, September 30, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 9/30/13: Media Doesn't Notice Rouhani Continues To Manipulate The West

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Even if Rouhani is a nuclear moderate, he is not rolling back Iran’s war against the West

In his column yesterday, Hassan does Manhattan, Thomas Friedman wrote about Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani:
1) He’s not here by accident. That is, this Iranian charm offensive is not because Rouhani, unlike his predecessor, went to charm school. Powerful domestic pressures have driven him here. 2) We are finally going to see a serious, face-to-face negotiation between top Iranian and American diplomats over Iran’s nuclear program. 3) I have no clue and would not dare predict whether these negotiations will lead to a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis. 4) The fact that we’re now going to see serious negotiations raises the stakes considerably. It means that if talks fail, President Obama will face a real choice between military action and permanent sanctions that could help turn Iran into a giant failed state. 5) Pray that option 2 succeeds.
While there are no doubt domestic considerations that drove Rouhani to appear conciliatory, there’s one reason that Friedman left out.

Daniel Pipes' Solution For Resettling Syrian Refugees

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Let Refugees Remain in Their Own Culture Zones

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
September 24, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Netanyahu's UN Speech as West vs Iran Is Coming To A Head

From Arlene Kushner:
September 29, 2013

Facing Down Tough Times

Before I discuss those tough times, I want to recommend that you read my Front Page Magazine article critiquing Abbas's speech at the UN. Just about everything he says is a distortion or outright misrepresentation; calling him on his positions is important. So, after you've read it, please share the URL widely.  This is no time for reticence; people must be provided with facts:

International 'Islamophobia' Conference Promotes Sharia Agenda

The following by Andrew Harrod and Sam Nunberg is reposted here with permission of Legal Project

International 'Islamophobia' Conference Promotes Sharia Agenda

by Andrew Harrod and Sam Nunberg
September 28, 2013

Muslim protest in Bangladesh

Objective observers should be rightfully concerned by the "International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media" held by the Turkish government's Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYGEM in Turkish) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) this past September 12-13 in Istanbul's Grand Tarabya Hotel. Conference participants substantiated all too many threats emanating from various Muslims and their allies, calling into question their respect for free speech and freedom of expression.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Raymond Ibrahim: Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2013

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Prelude to the Boston Bombings: Islamic Ritual in the Waltham Triple Murder

The following by Dawn Perlmutter is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Prelude to the Boston Bombings

by Dawn Perlmutter
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2013, pp. 67-77

Mideast Media Sampler 9/23/13: How Far Will New York Times Go To Support Rouhani?

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Iran Continues to Support Assad's Savagery under "Moderate" Rouhani

In recent weeks, the New York Times has been playing up the moderation of Iran’s new government, especially that of its new president Hassan Rouhani.

Yesterday’s editorial, President Rouhani Comes to Town ahead of Rouhani’s speech before the U.N. later this week, is one more element of that campaign.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dore Gold: What Might Be Expected in Monitoring Syria: Lessons from Past Middle East Weapons Inspection

Dore Gold describes What Might Be Expected in Monitoring Syria: Lessons from Past Middle East Weapons Inspections.

Here is the executive outline of the article:
  • Weapons experts point to the successes of the West in both Iraq and Libya in destroying large weapons arsenals. Yet there are certain problems that weapons inspectors have had to deal with over the years that are common to all attempts to deal with control of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) of rogue regimes in the Middle East.

Mideast Media Sampler 9/16/13: The Accidental Obama Foreign Policy In Syria

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

After President Obama chose to ask for Congressional approval for any military action against Syria, NBC reported The White House walk-and-talk that changed Obama’s mind on Syria:
The plan was immediately met with robust resistance from a whiplashed Obama team who had listened to Kerry lay out the administration’s strongest case yet for action against Assad. “My friends, it matters here if nothing is done,” Kerry had argued. “It matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens.”
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal added more details of the reversal, Inside White House, a Head-Spinning Reversal on Chemical Weapons (Google Search here):

Monday, September 16, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Troubling Issues Surrounding The US-Russian Agreement on Syria

From Arlene Kushner:
September 16, 2013

More, Always More

There is much to follow through on, but first the joy:
Wednesday night begins the week-long holiday of Sukkot, the season of our joy.  It's my favorite holiday. We build and decorate sukkot, temporary structures in which we are supposed to live, depending on the protection of Heaven
Credit: lightofzion
And we daily do blessings (except for Shabbat), waving a lulav -- (from the left in the picture) willow, palm, and myrtle, held with an etrog -- citron. 
Lulav and Esrog.
Credit: jewishjournal
A time of celebration and gratitude and faith.  A time of family and fun.  It is because this is a time of joy that we sing Hallel -- a collection of psalms of praise.
Hey!  I feel easier already, anticipating this.
Perhaps I'll post again tomorrow (and perhaps not); there will then be a hiatus of some days, although I may post in the middle of the Sukkot week.
Here I wish all celebrating Sukkot a Chag Sameach.
I have no desire to repeat the major points made yesterday with regard to Obama, Russia and Syria. But there will need to be regular follow up on-going.  Here I share some additional insights and new information.  This material makes the situation look worse and worse...

Unresolved Issues -- And Missing References To Syria's Biological Weapons -- Remain in US-Russia Agreement

Until all the loose ends involved in the US - Russia agreement on Syria are tied up and resolved, there are still questions that remain.

On the one hand, ABC News points out that there are still unresolved issues on the US-Russia Agreement on Syria Weapons:
  • There is not yet any indication that the Assad government will agree to the agreement, which contains requirements not found in the normal criteria listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention Syria agreed to join under pressure from Moscow.

Mideast Media Sampler 9/15/13: New York Times Opinion -- End Of Israel Would Be Paradise

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Ian Lustick has graced the op-ed page of the New York Times with Two State Illusion. Here’s the thrust of his argument:
All sides have reasons to cling to this illusion. The Palestinian Authority needs its people to believe that progress is being made toward a two-state solution so it can continue to get the economic aid and diplomatic support that subsidize the lifestyles of its leaders, the jobs of tens of thousands of soldiers, spies, police officers and civil servants, and the authority’s prominence in a Palestinian society that views it as corrupt and incompetent.

Israeli governments cling to the two-state notion because it seems to reflect the sentiments of the Jewish Israeli majority and it shields the country from international opprobrium, even as it camouflages relentless efforts to expand Israel’s territory into the West Bank.

American politicians need the two-state slogan to show they are working toward a diplomatic solution, to keep the pro-Israel lobby from turning against them and to disguise their humiliating inability to allow any daylight between Washington and the Israeli government.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Arlene Kushner Explains How Unserious Obama's Agreement With Putin and Assad Really Is

From Arlene Kushner:
September 15, 2013

Who Are They Kidding?

I knew before going into Yom Kippur that a US-Russian deal for disarming Syria would be reached in Geneva while I and fellow Jews were observing Yom Kippur.  And so the news I picked up last night did not take me by surprise.  But it did sadden me immeasurably.
Thus do I ask: Does ANYONE really believe this deal is serious? 

Is Obama More Like Neville Chamberlain Than Like FDR?

“It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal.”
Adolph Hitler, quoted by Barry Rubin

Following Obama's proposal last week of allying with Islamist groups against Syria, Barry Rubin notes some Startling Parallels: Obama Appeasement Policy and British Intelligence Files on Hitler
  • The day after Hitler took power, on January 30, 1933, the Times of London (a newspaper like the New York Times) editorialized:
    “That Herr Hitler who leads the strongest party in the Reichstag and obtained almost one third of the votes at the last election should be given the chance at showing that he is something more than an orator and an agitator was always desirable.”

Gary C. Gambill: Beware Syrians Bearing Gifts

The following by Gary C. Gambill is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Raymond Ibrahim: Muslim Persecution of Christians: June, 2013

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Arlene Kushner on Syria -- and on What The Palestinians Are Up To

From Arlene Kushner:
September 12, 2013

Yom Kippur

Tomorrow eve ushers in the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.  It is a day of personal soul searching and repentance, which we are told seals our fates for the year ahead.  If we have repented and prayed in earnest (and made things right with our fellow human beings, and given charity), by the time the Gates of Repentance close, we can rejoice that we will have been forgiven.
May each of us be sealed for a year of blessing.
Gmar Chasima Tovah
Credit: templejudeapbc
Today, then, I will post and -- barring something extraordinary -- will not do so again until after Yom Kippur.  To be whole, sometimes it is essential to turn away from all of the politics and craziness. 
My posting yesterday elicited a barrage of comments from readers.  Let me be as brief here as I can:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Obama's Problem: Putin and Assad Apply Alinsky's Rules Better Than He Does

Ever since the campaign leading up to the Presidential Election in 2008, much has been made of the lessons Obama has learned from community organizer Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals -- and Obama's expertise in utilizing them:
  1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."
  2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
  3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
  4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
  5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
  6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
  7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
  8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
  9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
  10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition."
  11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
  12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
  13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Yet if you look at his latest foreign policy fiasco, it appears that our enemies are doing a much better job of exploiting Alinsky's rule than the Obama administration is.

A New Muslim Brotherhood Symbol: R4BIA

The following by Dawn Perlmutter is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

A New Muslim Brotherhood Symbol: R4BIA

Arlene Kushner Reviews The Errors of the Obama Administration on Syria Over the Last Few Days

Arlene Kushner:
September 11, 2013

International Farce

Before I look at that farce, I remember.  Today is 9/11.  Not only should it not be forgotten, it should serve as a warning, a lesson. Even now.  Especially now.
Credit: Chabad
There is consummate evil in the world.  And there are forces dedicated to taking down Western civilization -- with all of its humanistic and liberal values.  Radical Islam.  No less a threat than naziism was, or communism.



And the farce?  Aiii!  It would be very funny, if it weren't so pathetically sad and dangerous.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MEQ Spring 2009: Muslim Strategies to Convert Western Christians

The following by Uriya Shavit and Frederic Wiesenbach is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Muslim Strategies to Convert Western Christians

by Uriya Shavit and Frederic Wiesenbach
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009, pp. 3-14

Anne Bayefsky: Obama Foreign Policy In Tatters, U.N. Hopeless On 9/11 Anniversary

For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2013
Follow us on Twitter

Obama Foreign Policy In Tatters, U.N. Hopeless On 9/11 Anniversary

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FOX News.

Born and bred in Canada, I settled in New York City on September 9, 2001. I came via Durban, South Africa, after enduring the U.N.’s virulently racist “anti-racism” world conference.

On September 11, watching the smoke rise from a hundred blocks away and enveloped by the grieving everywhere, I was struck by the unmistakable connection between U.N.-promoted hate and the terror it emboldens.

Who could imagine that a mere twelve years later, in an effort to save his plummeting credibility, the president of the United States would grasp a U.N. straw as a means to realize the very peace and security the organization so notoriously undermines?

MEQ Fall 2013: Efraim Inbar: Time Favors Israel - The Resilient Jewish State

The following by Efraim Inbar is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

by Efraim Inbar
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2013, pp. 3-13 (view PDF)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

MEQ Fall 2008: Judea Pearl on Early Zionists and Arabs

The following by Judea Pearl is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Early Zionists and Arabs

by Judea Pearl
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2008, pp. 67-71

Video: Mordechai Kedar on Why The Arab World Is Just Not Capable of Peace With Israel

During the Iraq War, it was fashionable to discuss whether the Arab World was capable of maintaining a Democracy -- whether it was compatible with Islam and the Arab culture.

How about peace?

Is the Arab World really capable of making peace with Israel?

Dr. Mordechai Kedar answers the question.

Arlene Kushner on Moshe Ya'alon's Surprising Comments About Democracy in the Middle East and a Palestinian State

From Arlene Kushner:
September 9, 2013


You don't often find a person in a high government position -- who has aspirations to be even higher, and is serving at the pleasure of a prime minister who has publicly embraced a decidedly different position from the one he thinks proper -- who speaks truth to power.  And so, that is what is amazing.

That government official is Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon (Likud).  I have long known that Ya'alon is one of the good guys, but I watched as he pulled back once he became Defense Minister, careful not to take positions that blatantly transcended what Netanyahu was saying.  Until now...


Monday, September 09, 2013

Countering The Abuse of the Media by Palestinian Propaganda

Philippe Assouline, Esq. has written Manufacturing and Exploiting Compassion:
Abuse of the Media by Palestinian Propaganda for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)

Here is the executive summary:
  • Israel, a liberal democracy caught between tyrannies and sectarian violence, is increasingly perceived as uniquely evil.

  • In the struggle for hearts and minds, feelings trump facts. Imagery and accusations that automatically trigger public compassion are incomparably more compelling than dry, defensive argumentation. We are "wired" by evolution to support those we perceive as innocent victims in distress, even when the facts do not mandate such support.

Daniel Pipes: Forget Syria, Target Iran

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted with permission:

Forget Syria, Target Iran

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
September 9, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 9/9/13: The Secret of John Kerry's "Success": He Relies on Thomas Friedman!

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Friedman has made a career of being wrong.

John Kerry’s testimony last week before Congress does not give confidence in the wisdom of his understanding.

In response to a question about a Thomas Friedman column – in which Friedman wrote that all Assad needed was a really good talking to and not any physical attack – Secretary of State John Kerry stated that Thomas Friedman “… is most often correct…”

I am a long time Friedman aficionado, and Kerry’s assertiont is untrue. Friedman has made a career of being wrong.

I could spend the next weeks cataloging those mistakes. But I don’t have the time. Instead let me treat to you to five or six of his greatest hits, errr, I mean misses.

David P. Goldman on Why US Fails When It Comes To Arab Intelligence

The following by David P. Goldman is resposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Arlene Kushner: Catching Up With News About Israel, Syria and Obama

From: Arlene Kushner:
September 8, 2013

Adjusting Sites

How sweet it was: Two days of Rosh Hashana and then Shabbat.  Prayers, singing, time with family and friends, eating... No computer, no TV, no newspaper, no news... 
Now, I return to the harshness of the world slowly, beginning with positive messages.
Victor Davis Hansen wrote recently about "The Israeli Spring" (emphasis added):
"...Yet these tragic Arab revolutions swirling around Israel are paradoxically aiding it, both strategically and politically -- well beyond the erosion of conventional Arab military strength.

How Obama Forced AIPAC onto His Syria-Bombing Bandwagon

The following by Steven J. Rosen is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

by Steven J. Rosen
Foreign Policy
September 4, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 9/04/13: Oslo Anniversary -- Another Chance For New York Times To Blame Israel

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

The New York Times kicks off its 20th Anniversary celebration of the Oslo Accords, by blaming Israel

Last week, the New York Times kicked off its twentieth anniversary celebration of the Oslo Accords with an op-ed, Oslo, 20 years later by Uri Savir. I didn’t have to read far to learn the premise of of Savir’s argument. (Actually, I didn’t have to read it any of it to know the premise. This is the New York Times. Obviously, Israel was going to be substantially responsible for the failure of Oslo.) In the third paragraph, Savir wrote:

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Rosh HaShanah -- And Obama's Use of Israel To Manipulate Congress on Syria

From Arlene Kushner:
September 3, 2013

Rosh Hashana

Credit: mymorningmeditations
Tomorrow night begins the two-day holiday of Rosh Hashana, a time of repentance and renewal.  I do not expect to post again until after the Shabbat following Rosh Hashana.
I extend my heartfelt wishes for health and fulfillment for each of you.  And for all of Israel the blessings of peace.  May our prayers reach Heaven.
I provide here a beautiful rendition by Israeli singer David D'Or of Avinu Malkheinu -- a prayer traditionally recited on Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur.

YU's Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur To-Go 5774

Here is this year's Rosh Hashanah To-Go 5774:

Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur To-Go

Here are this year's shiurim:

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Media Ignores The Increased Kidnappings of Christians in Egypt

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Egypt: Christians Killed for Ransom

by Raymond Ibrahim
September 2, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 9/03/13: Will Obama Make Israel The Scapegoat For His Failed Syria Policy?

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Identifyng a Scapegoat for the President’s Inaction

Politico reports:
The Obama administration is using a time-tested pitch to get Congress to back military strikes in Syria: It will help protect Israel.
Right. The reason the administration is so intent on lobbing a few cruise missiles at Syria is to protect Israel. Secretary of State Kerry said:
“I think the stakes of upholding the international standard of behavior that has been in place since 1925, after World War I, that only Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein have breached that in time of war since then, and now Assad joins them, I think to contemplate that the Congress of the United States would turn its back on Israel, on Jordan, on Turkey, on our allies in the region, turn its back on innocent Syrian people who have been slaughtered by this gas and those who yet may be subject to an attack, … I can’t contemplate that the Congress would turn its back on all of that responsibility and the fact that we would have in fact granted impunity to a ruthless dictator to continue to gas his people,” Kerry told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
Similarly, on Face the Nation the Secretary of State said:

Monday, September 02, 2013

Anne Bayefsky: Obama Pushes Syria Intervention With Same Argument He Ignores On Iran

For Immediate Release:
September 01, 2013
Follow us on Twitter

Obama Pushes Syria Intervention With Same Argument He Ignores On Iran

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on

President Obama has turned to Congress to save him from staggering political isolation on the global stage. It is an isolation that is the inverse of the promise of a passionate and reciprocal multilateral embrace that carried him into office.

Asking Republicans to rescue him from a foreign policy catastrophe entirely of his own making is not a neat political trick. It dramatically cheapens the office of commander-in-chief. Contrary to the President’s devious portrayal, therefore, the coming vote is so much more than a response to “this attack” or “the massacre” in Syria.

Raymond Ibrahim Reviews Noah Beck's "The Last Israelis"

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

The Last Israelis

by Noah Beck
CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2013. 270 pp. $13.99

Reviewed by Raymond Ibrahim
August 27, 2013

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Arlene Kushner: Why Uproar About Syria's Use of Gas, But Not Syria Dropping Napalm on Kids?

From Arlene Kushner:
September 1, 2013

It's Not "Just" Attack with Gas

The "just" is being employed advisedly, of course.  But the fact of the matter is that there is more than one horrendous way for Assad to attack civilians associated with rebel forces. 
This past Thursday, information came out from Syria via BBC journalists that was picked up by very few news sources. I would have thought it would have been screamed from the rafters, but either it is "ho hum" or is simply running under the radar. 
My betting is that you haven't heard about this:

Mideast Media Sampler 8/30/13: Things Are Not Going Well For Fatah, Hamas and Hizbollah

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

When bad things happen to bad people

The three terrorist groups Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah have all fallen on hard times. Though their problems differ, none of them are ascendant now (or at least not in regards to Israel). To be sure, each still presents a challenge and a threat to Israel, but all three are the weakest that they’ve been in a long time.