Incitement watch: popular Egyptian comedy show

Incitement watch: popular Egyptian comedy show, “I hate the Jews to death!”

July 24, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

In his book The Flight of The Intellectuals, Paul Berman noted a pivotal point in Arab antisemitism during the WWII-era alliance between Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Palestine. One of Husseini’s greatest “achievements” was to take Nazi anti-Jewish tropes and not only translate them into Arabic, but to put them in terms that made sense to the Muslim Arab population in the Middle East.

Decades later and the depth and degree of antisemitism in mainstream Arab discourse has become extremely confronting. A quick glance over all of our posts tagged with “antisemitism” will show how common this phenomenon really is, and for those of us who watch constantly see this material, the volume is unfortunately enough that we become a little desensitised to it.

That said, there will be times when anyone will be jolted out of their complacency. For this writer, the below video did the job…

A new phase of the Syrian civil war?/ Countering Iran's "3D"s

A new phase of the Syrian civil war?/ Countering Iran’s “3D”s

July 20, 2012

This Update features some additional material on the changing situation in Syria following the bomb blast there on Wednesday which killed and wounded several leading regime figures.

First up is noted Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami, who looks at the ethnic reality of the Syrian state behind the recent killings and the current stage of the civil war. Ajami stresses that the Assad regime remains rooted in the Alawite minority, and the latest killing of some key regime players – two important Alawite commanders, and the much-less important Christian defence minister –  illustrates how this regime has brought this minority both spoils and peril.

Libya

Libya, Post-Election/ Tide Turning in Syria?

July 19, 2012

This Update focuses primarily on the aftermath of the election in Libya earlier this month, but also looks at the apparent turn of battle in Syria, with rebel forces now engaging in extended battles with the regime in Damascus and a suicide bombing overnight killing several key regime figures – including the Defence Minister and President Assad’s brother-in-law – and wounding others, including the Intelligence Chief and Interior Minister.

Media Week - Remembering Shamir; Grave doubts; Over the top

Media Week – Remembering Shamir; Grave doubts; Over the top

July 19, 2012 | Allon Lee

Ruth Pollard in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald (2/7) asserted that former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir’s “most criticised decision…was to undermine the 1987 agreement on Palestine reached by his foreign minister Shimon Peres and Jordan’s King Hussein”.

Contrary to Pollard’s implication, the agreement would not have created an independent Palestine but seen a resumption of Jordanian rule over the West Bank.

Pew Survey of Middle East reveals complex and sometimes conflicted feelings about democracy

Pew Survey of Middle East reveals complex and sometimes conflicted feelings about democracy

July 18, 2012 | Andrea Nadel

The Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project has just released the results of surveys it conducted throughout the Middle East in the wake of the “Arab Spring.” The surveys reveal some interesting insights about attitudes in the Middle East in the wake of the recent uprisings, including how Middle Easterners weigh democracy, Islamism, economic strength and political stability in their own societies.

The seriously deadly fun of Palestinian summer camps

The seriously deadly fun of Palestinian summer camps

July 18, 2012 | Allon Lee

Hamas and its rival Fatah-run Palestinian Authority (PA) have learnt well the old dictum “Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”, with both groups running annual summer camps that prime the next generation of Palestinians to hate Israel and become desensitised to terrorism.

UNESCO funds Hamas’ antisemitic pro-terror university

UNESCO funds Hamas’ antisemitic pro-terror university

July 13, 2012 | Allon Lee

Israel has slammed a UNESCO decision to endow a science chair at a university in Gaza which is a Hamas stronghold involved in weapons production and storage, terrorist training and vile anti-Israel and antisemitic indoctrination.

Sanctions and Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Sanctions and Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

July 13, 2012

Today’s Update features some new, valuable pieces on various aspects of the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

First up, Michael Makovsky and Blaise Misztal of the Bipartisan Policy Institute, a US thinktank, strongly argue against meeting Iran’s demand in the negotiations that its “right to enrich uranium” should be acknowledged. Looking at the text of the Nuclear Non-Proiliferation Treaty, they document that the treaty grants no such right, and moreover, Iran has violate  the conditions the treaty sets out in order to receive “the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy”.

The Levy Committee

The Levy Committee, “Occupation” and Settlements

July 12, 2012

This Update deals with the implications of the Levy Committee report into settlements and outposts set up by Israel’s Netanyahu Government. Its three legal expert members, led by a retired Israeli Supreme Court judge, found that the law of belligerent occupation “as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to the West Bank” and that therefore settlements are not illegal, as is so often claimed in international discourse. The report has sparked some controversy both in Israel and internationally. (A translation of the conclusions and recommendations of the committee can be downloaded here.)

Media Week - Delusional on Damascus; Major doubts; Holey claptrap

Media Week – Delusional on Damascus; Major doubts; Holey claptrap

July 11, 2012 | Allon Lee

Joseph Wakim revealed on ABC “Unleashed” (27/6) the true cause of internecine violence that has roiled Syria since February 2011 and blackened the good name of the Assad dictatorship:

There is nothing civil about the war in Syria – it is a proxy war to protect Israel from a nuclear Iran. This was confirmed when Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak declared that toppling Assad ‘will be a major blow to the radical axis [Iran] … It’s the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the Arab world … and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza’.

But this hardly amounts to a smoking gun for proving Israel is fomenting civil war in which more than 13,000 people have been killed; more a desperation to blame shift onto the usual scapegoat.

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