Middle East

The Enemy of My Enemy. . .

Featured image When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the life-long bitter foe of Communism Winston Churchill got on the phone right away to Joseph Stalin, and, while never forgetting what Stalin was, offered Britain’s help in staving off Germany.  A few days later Churchill said that he “would unsay none of his criticisms” of Communism, but that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would at least make a favorable reference »

Is John Kerry Out of the Mainstream?

Featured image On Friday, John Kerry suggested in a speech to the Trilateral Commission that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state,” a comment that sparked an immediate backlash. The disgusting claim that Israel practices apartheid is a staple on the left and should be repudiated by everyone. But the more important point, I think, is that while Kerry’s statement was badly phrased–he has sort-of-apologized for using what Paul calls the “A” word–he »

Fatah-Hamas reconciliation could put Obama in a bind

Featured image Last week, as was widely reported, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced that they had agreed to reconcile and will begin discussing the formation of a unity government. The announcement caused Israel to pull out “peace” negotiations, to the relief, no doubt, of all concerned except for John Kerry and a few stray Obama administration members. The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation has potential implications beyond the demise of “peace talks” that »

Abbas plays the “apply for international membership” card

Featured image John Kerry often seems like a man who can’t be discouraged, especially when he sniffs a Noble Peace Prize. But Kerry can’t be pleased by his latest humiliation. With talks between the Secretary of State and Mahmoud Abbas scheduled for today, the PA president abruptly moved to join 15 international agencies, a move vigorously opposed by both Israel and the U.S. The Kerry-Abbas meeting was, accordingly, cancelled. Abbas said he »

Dumbest John Kerry statement ever

Featured image John Kerry has said some criminally stupid things in his time. Recall, for example, this statement by Kerry from 2010 about Bashar al-Assad: Let me just say that I am . . . absolutely convinced that carefully calibrated diplomacy, that if that is what we engage in, that Syria will play a very important role in achieving a comprehensive peace in the region and in putting an end to the »

The Hamas Rockets: A Postscript

Featured image Scott wrote earlier today about the cone of silence that has descended over the Israelis’ interception of long-range rockets and other weaponry in transit from Iran to Hamas in Gaza. This AFP story adds a touch of irony: Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Hamas unveiled a rocket-shaped statue Monday showcasing its capacity to strike arch-enemy Israel, as the Jewish state boasted its own haul of captured weapons it claims »

Obama’s settlement construction lie

Featured image Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly pushed back against President Obama’s Middle East narrative during the meeting of the two yesterday. According to this account, Netanyahu offered Obama a “history lesson” covering the last 20 years of conflict with the Palestinians. If so, the lesson was much needed. Perhaps it will spark a more general interest by Obama in the subject of history. It’s difficult to say which is more distressing, »

John Kerry trumpets the economic boycott of Israel

Featured image It’s ironic that John Kerry is spending so much energy trying to upset the status quo in Israel/Palestine, given that the status quo there is preferable to that in almost every other country in the region. As Tom Wilson points out, most Palestinians don’t live under “occupation”; they live in areas controlled and governed by the Palestinian Authority — a mixed blessing, to be sure. Meanwhile, Israel enjoys relative peace »

Freedom in the world 2014

Featured image In what Middle East country do Arabs enjoy the greatest civil liberties? That is a question worthy of investigation by the Middle East correspondents of the New York Times, the Washington Post and others who bring us the news from the region. Freedom House conducts a widely respected annual survey that goes a long way toward answering the question. It has just released its 2014 report, discussing trends and providing »

Gentlemen May Cry Peace, Peace…

Featured image This news story is offered without comment: “Peace meeting in Ramallah broken up by stone throwers.” Palestinians threw rocks Thursday at a West Bank hotel, shattering windows and breaking up a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. The conference was cut short and three dozen Israeli participants were rushed out the back door, put on Palestinian police buses and driven to safety, organizers said. Here, the protesters try to »

The source of Obama’s quest for detente with Iran

Featured image It has been my contention that President Obama’s deal with Iran on nuclear weapons had little to do with stopping Iran from obtaining them, and much to do with his desire to achieve detente with the mullah-run Islamist regime. As I put it here: Obama isn’t motivated, as Israel and Saudi Arabia are, by a strong desire to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That’s not the purpose of this »

Good news and bad news on Kerry’s Middle East “peace” initiative

Featured image Secretary of State Kerry has left the Middle East without a “framework” for a “peace agreement” in place. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Kerry is expected to return next week. The basic framework Kerry is pushing would consist of Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish homeland in exchange for Israel’s acceptance of its pre-1967 frontier as the baseline for border talks. From Israel’s point of »

Surprise: U.S. weakness strengthens al Qaeda

Featured image Remember when, during the Bush administration, the left and its MSM supporters insisted that U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was causing Muslims to flock to al Qaeda? I wonder what the left and the MSM have to say now that al Qaeda is running rampant following President Obama’s withdrawal from the region? There was never credible evidence to support the left’s self-serving claim that our interventions were boosting al »

Astrology and Anti-Semitism Meet: Hilarity Ensues

Featured image The good people at the Middle East Media Research Institute have posted video of an Egyptian astrologer appearing recently on Al-Nahar TV to explain why the alignment of the stars means that the Jews will be stronger this year.  Because “it’s been tested.”  But there is an answer: Solve the Palestinian problem!  I kid you not: Sayyed Al-Shimi: “Saturn will enter the fire sign of Sagittarius. My late father and »

Syria: The foreign policy story of 2013

Featured image I caught a little bit of the end-of-the-year navel gazing — the exercise in which pundits list the “big stories” of the past year. Syria, easily one of the top three stories of 2013, along with Obamacare and Obamacapitulation (to Iran), is missing from the lists I’ve encountered. In 2013 the Assad regime, the demise of which was once considered a given, made huge gains in the Syrian civil war »

Justice takes a back seat in Israel thanks to John Kerry

Featured image I wrote here about Israel’s decisions (1) to release convicted terrorists as part of the renewed “peace process” that John Kerry is pushing but (2) to announce that it will proceed with new construction beyond the “green line” even though Kerry clearly does not want Israel to engage in such building. I suggested that the second decision is an attempt to make the first decision — a major concession — »

Meanwhile, in the Holy Land

Featured image It seems appropriate, before Christmas Day comes to an end, to summarize the latest news from the Holy Land. The first item for consideration is that there has been an uptick in terrorist activity by Palestinians against Israel. For example, an Israeli civilian working for the Defense Ministry was shot and killed on Tuesday by Palestinian sniper fire while working to fix damages caused to the Israeli-Gaza border fence. Other »