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One our favorite Israeli bloggers, Paula Stern at A Soldier’s Mother, has a nice post today about life in Israel. She explains that the threat of war (specifically, in this case, war with Syria), doesn’t change much about the daily goings on in the Jewish state – everyone’s used to it. Israelis are accustomed to attack and prepared for defense. They are resilient and rooted; their faith lies in God and in God’s Holy Land.
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Israel this morning – every morning – isn’t depressed about the news and what our neighbors are doing. We are moving, driving, working, playing, living. It’s Thursday – that means tomorrow brings a day off work, our weekend. The Sabbath for those who observe – family time.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 3:54 PM | Stand For Israel
A volatile political environment, massive shortages of food staples, and rampant unemployment and lack of opportunity have all led to plummeting foreign investment and tourism in Egypt writes Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. And, as none of these difficulties appear anywhere near solution, this could be a very hot summer in Egypt.
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This polarization will significantly inhibit Egypt’s economic recovery for the foreseeable future. Morsi’s apparent focus on consolidating the Brotherhood’s power is contrary to the IMF’s insistence on more inclusive governance, which the agency views as necessary for ensuring broad political support for any loan. In addition, persistent political tension and civil strife will deter foreign investment and keep tourists away, leaving Egypt reliant on petrodollar infusions (e.g., from Qatar and Libya) that are unlikely to continue flowing indefinitely.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Stand For Israel
Amidst all the bad news from the Middle East, we don’t get to feature a lot of stories about the extraordinary technological innovation originating in Israel. This story from Walter Russell Mead is important for two reasons: it highlights that Israel is a fierce market economy on the cutting edge of technology that could improve everyone’s lives.
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Though Mobileye is still only capable of driving in a single lane on the highway, its material costs are measured in hundreds of dollars rather than Google’s tens of thousands. In that sense, the Israeli company seems like a better harbinger of the driverless future than the hyper-expensive (and, admittedly, much sexier) Google car.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Stand For Israel
Barry Rubin demolishes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s most recent peace plan – a $4 billion investment in the utterly nonexistent Palestinian tourism industry – by doing something too few Western experts ever really bother to do: looking at the reality on the ground. Because the reality is, a $4 billion investment will be a $4 billion waste.
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Kerry has chosen the worst possible plan — investment in an industry that is incredibly sensitive to political unrest. Are Palestinians going to become hotel managers, waiters, lifeguards at swimming pools, and so on? What will Hamas think about the influx of massive numbers of Western tourists? The sale of alcohol? Western women coming in wearing whatever they want? What would happen to this investment if there was a single terrorist attack in the West Bank, much less one against tourists? Might events in nearby Egypt and Syria affect Western tourism.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Stand For Israel
We want to thank and congratulate Roger Strickland for being our May Supporter of the Month. Because we love our supporters, each month we pick someone who has gone above and beyond to support Israel, raising awareness of our work through thoughtful comments and sharing posts. Next month, it could be you!Comments (0) »
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
In this video from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commends the delegates of the Fourth Annual Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism and shares myths and truths of anti-Semitism and the state of Israel. It’s well worth a watch:Comments (5) »
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Stand For Israel
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, writing in the Wall Street Journal, raises a few good points regarding the Muslim leadership’s response to violence in the name of radical Islam. She explains that it is appropriate to denounce fringe followers, but extreme Islamists are being indoctrinated on basic Islamic scripture and the faith’s “leaders” ought to recognize and address this.
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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Woolwich murder, it was good to hear expressions of horror and sympathy from Islamic spokesmen, but something more is desperately required: genuine recognition of the problem with Islam. Muslim leaders should ask themselves what exactly their relationship is to a political movement that encourages young men to kill and maim on religious grounds.
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 12:58 PM | Stand For Israel
Elliott Abrams has a terrific piece comparing Hezbollah’s recently announced decision to ramp up its pro-Assad military activity in Syria with the Cold War-era Soviet “Brezhnev Doctrine” whereby the Soviet Union would not permit a country that had allied itself to the Warsaw Pact to extricate itself – all of this, of course, with Iran holding Hezbollah’s leash.
The key question now is whether we are willing to accept a Khamenei Doctrine, whereby no state that is part of the Iran/Hezbollah security system is permitted to leave it. Of course, the Brezhnev Doctrine was that of a global superpower armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons; the Khamenei Doctrine is that of a third world state, Iran, of only 75 million people and so far without a nuclear arsenal. And this is what makes the American position to date so incomprehensible, and so dangerous. Nasrallah and Khamenei are taking a gamble based on their assessment of us–that we will do nothing even in the face of their sending expeditionary forces to Syria. So far they have been proved right.
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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 10:42 AM | Stand For Israel
Dr. Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, writes in the Washington Post that, with all the attention being paid to the Middle East, the world is ignoring the quietest but most important encroaching danger in an already dangerous part of the world: the gathering storm cloud of the Iranian nuclear threat.
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While the Middle East roils, the Iranians have amassed some 182 kilograms of uranium enriched to a level easily enhanced to weapons grade. This stockpile stops short of the red line drawn by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the Iranians are quietly preparing to cross it.
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Stand For Israel