Middle East

Trump shuts down PLO office in D.C.

Featured image Yesterday, the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, saying that the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” That’s for sure. The Washington Post’s account of the story is here. You can almost see the tears Karen DeYoung shed writing it. In the paper edition, the story’s subtitle is “another blow to Palentinians.” Perhaps. »

U.S. slashes aid to West Bank and Gaza

Featured image The Trump administration has cut more than $200 million in aid for the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza. This decision followed a review by the State Department “to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer.” According to the Washington Post, the cut “effectively means the United States is giving no money to the Palestinians.” I’m not sure that’s the »

Why Does the Islamic World Lag Behind?

Featured image The passing of Bernard Lewis last week at the age of 101 recalls to mind perhaps his most famous book title about the Muslim world, What Went Wrong?  But maybe a successor of sorts has been found in Duke University economist Timur Kuran, who has a long article forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature that paints a pretty bleak picture of the economic and social structure of Islamic nations. »

The emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime

Featured image Several sources report an Israeli attack on a military airport in central Syria, an area where Hezbollah militias are located. There are conflicting reports about whether the attack was successful. Syria claims that its air defense system thwarted the attack. Syrian rebels say Israeli missiles destroyed that air defense system. The Israeli government has yet to comment. Jonathan Spyer, writing in the Jerusalem Post, provides context for the growing number »

Trump terminates U.S. participation in Iran nuclear deal

Featured image President Trump announced today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—“JCPOA”). Here are talking points sent out by the White House. President Trump is terminating United States participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests. · The JCPOA enriched the Iranian regime and enabled its malign behavior, while at best delaying its ability to pursue »

The horror! Trump congratulates Egyptian leader. . .just as Obama did

Featured image Fresh from attacking President Trump for congratulating Vladimir Putin over his re-election, the mainstream media now tut-tuts Trump for congratulating Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. For example, the Washington Post’s story notes, pointedly, that “Barack Obama declined to invite Sissi to the White House because of concerns about his human rights record.” However one views Trump’s call to Putin ( this was my take), Sissi stands in a very different position. »

The Big News Of the Day…

Featured image …comes from Saudi Arabia. Shiite rebels in Yemen fired an Iranian-manufactured missile at the royal palace in Riyadh. It was intercepted, reportedly, just seconds before it reached its target. This follows a similar attack last month, where Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for a missile that was aimed at Riyadh’s airport but was also shot down. These incidents highlight the fact that the Gulf’s Sunni countries no longer care much about »

Rallying cry of Jerusalem may have lost force in Arab world

Featured image That’s the headline of an article in the New York Times. To which I say, “ya think.” The point is so obvious that it took three Times reporters — Anne Barnard, Ben Hubbard, and Declan Walsh — to make it. They write: [A]s Arab and Muslim leaders raised their voices to condemn [Trump’s decision on Jerusalem], many across the Middle East wondered if so much had changed in recent years »

Jared Kushner’s shopworn “wisdom” about the Middle East

Featured image John Roche, who served as an aide to President Johnson, once described Johnson’s reaction when a Democratic Senator on the Foreign Relations Committee (Roche withheld the name, and I won’t speculate) broke with LBJ on the war in Vietnam. According to Roche, Johnson said something close to this: It’s my own fault. Some years ago, the good people of ______, in their wisdom, elected the village idiot to the Senate. »

David Horowitz: Why the Middle East Is a Disaster

Featured image In recent years, one catastrophe has followed upon another in the Middle East. In a bracing essay authored for Power Line, David Horowitz lays blame where it belongs, at the feet of the Obama administration: During the eight years of the Obama administration, half a million Christians, Yazidis and Muslims were slaughtered in the Middle East by ISIS and other Islamic jihadists, in a genocidal campaign waged in the name »

Washington Post peddles Palestinian propaganda, Part Two

Featured image Last week, the Washington Post dedicated an entire section of the paper to airing Palestinian grievances and talking points. The section was called “Occupied: Year 50.” This week, the Post was back with more, turning the first five pages of its Sunday “Outlook” over to Dan Ephron so he could whine about Israeli settlements. I don’t recall anyone ever getting five pages in “Outlook” to write, or in this case »

Washington Post peddles Palestinian propaganda

Featured image Today, the Washington Post dedicated an entire section of the paper to airing Palestinian grievances and talking points. The section is called “Occupied: Year 50.” One of the stories is about a Palestinian cancer patient whose children can’t get into Israel to visit her. Another shills for a Palestinian real estate developer who is building a planned city on the West Bank but fears the Israel Defense Force will thwart »

Is Rex Tillerson clueless?

Featured image No, not as a general matter. But when it comes to Middle East, he may be. Consider this statement by the Secretary of State: We solve the Israeli Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region. We’ve been railing against this sort of nonsense for almost the entire 15 years (as of this weekend) of Power Line’s existence. Tillerson’s statement is a »

Trump’s Saudi Arabia speech — a good day for the president and the U.S.

Featured image Here is the text of President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia to heads of dozens of Muslim-majority states. The speech is excellent. Trump’s approach to the Muslim world in this speech aligns, in general terms, with his approach to other less than friendly world actors. As with China, to name one, Trump eschews past hostile rhetoric and assumes (or pretends to) the best in the hope of securing assistance in »

A Yemen dilemma

Featured image Michael Ledeen wonders whether President Trump has “a strategy to win the global war.” Michael discerns none. Instead, he sees our enemies and adversaries making inroads, while the U.S. counters mostly with words and, in the case of Russia, “the usual sanctions.” What is our policy? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. We say we want Iran out of Syria, but we’re in league with the Iranians in some »

Kerry’s speech on Middle East is unacceptable. . .to the Palestinians

Featured image Today, John Kerry delivered his “much anticipated” (by the media) oration on the Middle East. It was long and it was timeworn. Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post reports: What a tired-looking, hoarse Kerry did for more than an hour was pretty much compile the “greatest hits” from numerous speeches he and US President Barack Obama have given over the last number of years on the Mideast. He talked about »

It’s Official: Obama Is Way Worse Than Jimmy Carter

Featured image Obama had barely lowered his hand after being sworn in back in 2009 that Glenn Reynolds proposed that a re-run of the Carter presidency was likely a best case scenario for the lightworker, and while this has been manifestly true for quite a while now, yesterday’s UN vote seals the deal. I dimly recalled that Carter made a similar move in his last year in office, voting to abstain on »