Middle East

Israel, “the world’s most vibrant democracy”

Featured image Like the American left, Palestinians aren’t pleased about Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory. But some Palestinian opinion leaders are taking the news more graciously than David Axelrod and, I would argue, President Obama. Evelyn Gordon reports: A veteran Palestinian journalist from Ramallah summed up the prevailing sentiment [among Palestinians] succinctly. “We say all these bad things about Israel, but at least the people there have the right to vote and enjoy democracy,” »

Saudi Arabia Sees the Handwriting on the Wall

Featured image The Obama administration insists that it is negotiating an agreement with Iran that will prevent that country from acquiring nuclear weapons–for a while, anyway. Critics of the negotiations, as reflected in the interim agreement already reached and in news reports of the discussions in progress, suspect that the deal Obama has in mind will facilitate, not prevent, a nuclear Iran. As reported, the deal will sunset in ten years, leaving »

Christians Fight Back Against ISIS

Featured image The Telegraph has a good article about Syria’s Christians, who are trying to defend themselves against the depredations of ISIS. (What’s more, it’s the beginning of the month, so you can actually read it–the Telegraph has a bizarre business model that causes articles published early in the month to have 10 to 20 times as many readers–I’m guessing here–as articles published at the end of the month. But that’s a »

Obama isn’t just giving Iran the store; he’s giving it the neighborhood

Featured image The Washington Post’s editors present three major concerns with the U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations — concerns that they say need to be highlighted now, before President Obama presents the world with a fait accompli. The three concerns are: (1) that a process began with the goal of eliminating Iran’s potential to produce nuclear weapons has evolved into a plan to tolerate and temporarily restrict that capacity; (2) during the negotiations, Obama »

Why does Obama crave a grand bargain with Iran?

Featured image Michael Ledeen notes that important commentators have come around to the view that he (and I) have long expressed — that President Obama is in thrall to Iran and that the nuclear negotiations aren’t really about curbing Iran’s nuclear capacity, but rather about striking a grand bargain with the mullahs. Michael Doran’s excellent essay in Mosaic, which was one of our Power Line “picks,” is a good example of recent »

State Department funded group working to defeat Netanyahu

Featured image John has written about how President Obama’s campaign team is working to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s upcoming elections. To make matters worse, the anti-Netanyahu campaign is benefiting from U.S. taxpayer money. As John noted, the organization “One Voice” wants to help take down Netanyahu’s party in the March 2015 Knesset elections that will ultimately determine the next Israeli Prime Minister. “One Voice” claims to be non-partisan, but it is »

Living In a World Gone Mad

Featured image HarperCollins has produced at atlas for use in English-speaking schools in the Middle East that features a conspicuous omission. There’s Gaza, and there’s the West Bank. Jordan and Lebanon are accounted for. But…where is Israel? I naively would have expected HarperCollins to say we weren’t looking hard enough, or attribute the omission to a lack of space. But no: Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specialises in maps, told »

Oil, Oil, Toil and Trouble (Update 4)

Featured image There’s a mountain of economic research that suggests predatory pricing, the alleged sin of Standard Oil way back in the Rockefeller “robber baron” days more than a century ago, really doesn’t work, as the predator won’t recoup monopoly gains to make up the loss of profit during the period of predation—the more so the longer the period of price cutting takes. The Saudis likely know this, which suggests their decision »

Breaking: U.S. Hostage Killed in Failed Raid

Featured image News is coming over the wires right now that Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie, held hostage in Yemen by al-Qaeda terrorists, were killed during an attempted rescue raid by American special forces yesterday. Here’s some of the BBC account up in just the last few minutes: UK-born US journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie have been killed by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen during a failed »

Tom Friedman Gets One Right

Featured image Maybe this needs to be filed under the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” department, but Tom Friedman actually wrote an interesting and probative column a couple days ago about what’s going on with the falling price of oil, and I’m still picking myself up off the floor in amazement. Here are the three key paragraphs: Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil »

Ex-Presidents and Class

Featured image Just about the entire Democratic Party is lining up to dump on Obama at the moment, including former President Jimmy Carter, who is obviously relieved that he’s no longer everyone’s go-to model for the worst president in modern memory.  But he’s taking no chances.  So he said recently about Obama’s Middle East policy: First of all we waited too long.  We let the Islamic State build up money, capability, and »

“International Community” Rewards Hamas. Why?

Featured image In Cairo, a one-day “donor conference” for Gaza has just wrapped up. Various nations pledged $5.4 billion to reconstruct Gaza and help cement Hamas’s cruel and corrupt rule. That was more than the $4 billion that Mahmoud Abbas asked for, so it was a good day’s work for the terrorists. Qatar, which may have replaced Saudi Arabia as the best argument for fracking, pledged $1 billion to lead all donors. »

Hamas forced Gazans to remain in harm’s way

Featured image Mudran Zahran is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan who now resides in the UK as a political refugee. In the aftermath of the latest war between Israel and Hamas, he interviewed Gazans to find out what they had to say about the conflict. His report appears on the website of the Gatestone Institute. According to Zahran, Gazans told him of atrocities and war crimes committed by Hamas. Their »

Hamas’ famous victory

Featured image Hamas claims that it won a famous victory over Israel in the recent war in Gaza. But what are the fruits of that “victory”? According to the U.N., as reported in the Washington Post, they are: (1) approximately 108,000 residents of Gaza left homeless, (2) more than 60,000 displaced residents living at schools run by the U.N., and (3) almost half a million residents without access to municipal water. Even »

Arab states not eager to follow feckless Obama

Featured image So now President Obama wants to organize a coalition to take on ISIS, the group whose rise he ignored on the theory that it was the terrorist “jayvee.” Arab states — notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan — and Turkey are to be key members of the coalition. Obama assigns these states primary responsibility for mobilizing Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Presumably, Obama »

Obama’s “organizing” fantasy

Featured image President Obama has improved upon his statement of the American objective regarding ISIS. He now says that he intends to “degrade and destroy” this barbaric outfit, not merely to convert it into a “manageable problem.” However, Obama has not retracted, or even “walked back,” his statement about how to deal with ISIS. He has consistently taken the position that “what we’ve got to do is make sure that we are »

Hamas’ popularity surges in aftermath of its great “victory”

Featured image Hamas has once again precipitated mass destruction, almost entirely of its own structures and people, and has achieved nothing concrete unless you count a few more miles of fishing rights. The upshot? Hamas’ popularity has surged, at least according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. The survey finds that 61 percent of Arab residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza would pick Hamas leader Ismail »