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Tony Badran of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies writes that the strategy of the Obama Administration on Syria is becoming clear: Take no direct action and put all our eggs in the Russian mediation basket. This stance, he argues, puts us in conflict with NATO allies and other countries in the region:
Before Erdogan arrived in Washington, the Turks made it known that the prime minister intended to urge the US to take more assertive action. Ankara also kept highlighting the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, conducting tests and gathering evidence to bring to Obama, in the hope that he would act on his professed ‘red line’. Unsurprisingly, Erdogan got nothing from the US president.
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Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Stand For Israel
Itamar Rabinovich, writing at the Institute for National Security Studies, relays the history of Israeli opinion about the best outcome for the Jewish state of the Syrian civil war – is it better for Bashar al-Assad to remain in power or to be toppled and, possibly, replaced by jihadi elements now fighting among the rebels?
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Indeed, there is a debate within the Israeli defense establishment as to the desirable outcome of the Syrian civil war. Some argue, in line of what was said to the London Times, that at the end of the day is it better for Israel that Assad remain in power, probably as a weakened ruler over part of the country … Others argue that the continuation of Assad’s regime in the service of Iran and in close partnership with Hezbollah presents a graver threat to Israel’s national security. They further argue that it is of course not desirable that jihadi groups take over Syria of parts of Syria, but that Syria is not the Sinai and Israel would be able to act if confronted with terrorist threats from Syria.
Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 8:45 AM | Stand For Israel
“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3).Comments (0) »
Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Stand For Israel
A few days ago, a video surfaced on YouTube showing a rebel fighter in Syria cutting out the organs of a Syrian regime soldier and eating them. Since that savage video came to light, the perpetrator, a Syrian whose nom de guerre is Abu Sakkar, has become something of a hero in the Muslim world. Kim Senguptam of the UK Independent tracked him down and has this story about him and those around him.
In his public pronouncements since the video appeared Abu Sakkar, while correcting early reports that he ate a piece of heart, pointing out it was lungs, also claimed that the dead soldier’s cellphone contained a film clip “ of a woman and her two daughters fully naked and he was humiliating them and sticking a stick here and there…. You are not seeing what we are seeing and you are not living what we are living. Where are my brothers, my friends, the girls of my neighbourhood who were raped? May God bless them all.”
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Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 9:47 AM | Stand For Israel
Yonah Jeremy Bob, writing at the Jerusalem Post, says that Israel may not have very much to worry about from the recent criminal charges filed against the Jewish State by a Turkish law firm at the International Criminal Court based on the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident. In fact, rather than being a serious legal issue, the goal might be to scuttle the nascent Israeli-Turkish détente.
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So four years after starting a still-unsuccessful campaign to bring Israel before the ICC – including achieving statehood recognition from the UN General Assembly – the Palestinians and their supporters may have found an unlikely end-run to give Israel legal headaches. How worried should Israel be? Well, Comoros’s filing gets past the statehood threshold problem that has been holding up the Palestinians so far; no one says Comoros is not a state. But the statehood issue is only one of several jurisdictional- threshold questions that can stop a case from going from a preliminary examination to a full investigation, an on to an indictment.
Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 9:23 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with Russia’s president this week to talk about Syria. Of greatest concern is the possible sale of advanced weapons to Syria — a sale the Israelis want stopped. Russia has been a key ally of Syrian President Assad.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• The Israeli army is closely watching the Syrian border checkpoint in the Golan Heights.
• Stray mortar shells from Syria hit an empty ski slope on Mount Hermon, a popular Israeli tourist site.
• Syria may be a no-show at U.S. and Russia-hosted peace talks aimed at finding a solution to its war.
• Iran has been named to head the U.N.’s nuclear disarmament council, despite running an illicit nuclear program.
• U.S. Senator John McCain is urging the Obama administration to do more to end the violence in Syria.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s David Kuner on the questionable logic of Stephen Hawking to support an academic boycott of Israel.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 5:00 PM | firstname.lastname@example.org
We haven’t spent much time talking about the decision of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking to join in an academic boycott of Israel, but this piece by David Pryce-Jones, writing at National Review, was too good to pass up. Pryce-Jones notes the connection between Hawking and anti-Israel/anti-American “academic” Noam Chomsky, as well as a few other nuggets.
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Politics is not his line. He happily visited China and Iran without making statements about civil rights. He couldn’t communicate at all without a machine containing a chip designed in Israel — so will he boycott himself? His decision seemed more and more inexplicable until it was revealed that as many as 20 academics had lobbied him to stay away from Israel and one of them was Noam Chomsky.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Stand For Israel
Elliott Abrams, National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush, writes at the Council on Foreign Relations that there is some recent good news out of Egypt. For starters, the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government is losing popularity. And second, as Abrams notes, the opposition isn’t in as bad a shape as has been reported.
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We should not be supporting the opposition, but we should be supporting democracy and human rights in Egypt far more actively than we have been. Permanent Muslim Brotherhood control of Egypt and a steady decline in respect for civil liberties are not inevitable, but we help make them so if we abandon our role in supporting the principles of liberal democracy.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 8:54 AM | Stand For Israel
In honor of International Museum Day (which is celebrated tomorrow, May 16th), Israel21c has released a list of the top 13 must-see museums in Israel, along with the fact that there are more museums per capita in Israel than anywhere in the world! Included in this list are classics like Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem, and the ultra modern Tel Aviv Museum of Art, of which they write:
Featuring works from Reuven Rubin to Yigal Tumarkin to Gal Weinstein and Michal Rovner, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art houses the best of Israeli art. Founded in 1932, it is one of Israel’s leading art and culture institutions.
These are just two of many; the entire list is below:
1. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2. Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv
3. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
4. MadaTech, Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology and Space, Haifa
5. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
6. Design Museum Holon, Holon
7. Tikotin — The Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa
8. L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem
9. Museum of Art, Ein Harod
10. Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem
11. The Negev Museum of Art, Beersheva
12. Israeli Children’s Museum, Holon
13. Olympic Experience Museum, Tel Aviv
And even if you’re not visiting an Israeli museum this week, International Museum Day is a great excuse to indulge in some of your city’s own cultural offerings. Enjoy!Comments (2) »
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Stand For Israel
Michael J. Totten, one of the best-respected experts on Syria and Lebanon, writes at World Affairs that the conflict in Syria – whatever its possible regional and global repercussions – reminds him of another intractable conflict that took many years and a lot of deaths to come to a conclusion: Northern Ireland.
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Once you see how deeply this sectarian identity works, you can start to understand why this war is so static. In urban sectarian warfare, most fights are about the neighborhood, keeping the neighborhood in your sect’s hands, away from the heretics two streets over. You grow up fighting the kids from over there, first with words, then with rocks, then with whatever firearms you can borrow from your cousins. For Anglos, the paradigm for this kind of war is Belfast and Derry. The war there started with neighborhood defenders in places like the Short Strand trying to hold their little block of row houses against the other sect.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Stand For Israel