The Sinai "Badlands"

The Sinai “Badlands”

August 15, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer and Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

This blog has been following events in Egypt over the past few weeks, as the Islamist groups seem to have been becoming far more assertive, resulting in increased weapons smuggling to Hamas in Gaza and, potentially, a cosier relationship between Egypt and Iran.

The Sinai Peninsula, inhabited mostly by various Bedouin tribes, sits between the Egyptian heartland and the Israeli border, and has long been an area which the central Egyptian government has struggled to fully control. Smuggling from Sinai into Gaza has been a constant source of Israeli-Egyptian disagreement over recent years, with Israel urging Egypt to make greater efforts to prevent this, and Egyptian efforts in this regard fluctuating.

Unfortunately, as Alex Joffe has observed in Jewish Ideas Daily, recent events in Sinai following the Egyptian  have been far from encouraging…

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Antisemitism goes viral

Antisemitism goes viral

August 12, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The internet, and especially social media, have been galvanising political action and allowing dissenters in dictatorial regimes to connect with each other in ways that were never before possible. However, one unfortunate by-product of the absolute “anything goes” forum that is the internet is that those who would preach hate and violence now have a new place in which to do so anonymously and more effectively. For instance, this post on Wednesday exposed some rather confronting antisemitism on Youtube coming out of the London riots.

In a similar vein, it seems that a new antisemitic meme has “gone viral” in the Arab “Twittersphere” in response to the ongoing “tent protests” in Israel. As reported in Global Voices…

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H is for hate. H is for Hamas

H is for hate. H is for Hamas

August 12, 2011 | Allon Lee

Anyone naïve enough to divine any signs of Hamas moderation in its quest for Israel’s elimination or that it will play nice for the Palestinian Authority’s September UN statehood bid, needs the services of a top ophthalmologist (although preferably not Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad, who is a little busy at the moment anyhow).

According to an August 4 briefing paper from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, Hamas’ top echelon repeated in different forums their opposition to Israel’s existence or compromise in late July.

 

Palestinian Society and September UN plans

Palestinian Society and September UN plans

August 12, 2011

There are reports that the Palestinian leadership is again sending out mixed signals about how determined they are to press ahead with controversial plans to seek to have a Palestinian state recognised by the UN next month.

This Update features some additional pieces on those Palestinian plans – with a special focus on analysis of the possible meaning and implications of those plans for Palestinian society.

 

Libya joins in "tit-for-tat" on UK riots as Israel offers advice

Libya joins in “tit-for-tat” on UK riots as Israel offers advice

August 11, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Perhaps taking their cue from Iran yesterday, the Libyan Government has released the following statement regarding the London riots (via Reuters):

“Cameron has lost his legitimacy and must go… after the massive popular protests that reject him and his government, especially after the violent police repression unleashed by his government against peaceful protesters… to force the British people to accept a government it rejects… The international community (should) not stand with arms folded in the face of this gross aggression against the rights of the British people, who are demanding their right to rule their country.”

If this statement sounds a little familiar, that may be because…

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Media Week: Bitter Chocolate; Unsettling introductions; Chill It

Media Week: Bitter Chocolate; Unsettling introductions; Chill It

August 11, 2011 | Allon Lee

The Daily Telegraph‘s Tim Blair commented in the Spectator (July 30) on the motivation of Leftist activists directing their rage at Israeli-owned chocolate shop Max Brenner.

Blair suggested they are obsessed with the chocolatier as a rallying cause in lieu of criticising federal Labor policies identical to those they noisily attacked when the Coalition was in power.

A stunt that should make you smile

A stunt that should make you smile

August 11, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Here’s a good news story it would be difficult not to smile at.

At a neo-Nazi concert in Germany, organisers were anonymously given souvenir t-shirts sporting the slogan “hardcore rebels” with a skull and nationalist flags. The t-shirts were given out to the 250 attendees at the concert in Gera.

However, when the t-shirts were washed, the original slogan and images disappeared. In its place appeared “If your t-shirt can do it, you can do it too – we’ll help you get away from right-wing extremism” and contact information for a group called Exit, which helps neo-Nazis escape from the far-right scene…

 

Indonesia's backlash against Saudi-style Islam

Indonesia’s backlash against Saudi-style Islam

August 10, 2011 | Michael Shannon

The beheading of Ruyati binti Satubi – an Indonesian maid executed by Saudi authorities in June for the killing of an allegedly abusive Saudi employer – has stirred such revulsion in Indonesia that Islamic leaders there are openly challenging the harsh, Wahhabist creed of Islam that has gained a footing in Indonesia via the funding of religious schools.

A story by the Washington Post‘s Indonesia correspondent illustrates the depth of this backlash.

“Some Indonesians began to think that Wahhabism is the true teaching of Islam, but thanks to God, there has been a change of thinking,” said Siraj, who heads Nahdlatul Ulama, an organization with about 50 million members and 28,000 Islamic boarding schools.

The Trial of Mubarak… and some Pitfalls

The Trial of Mubarak… and some Pitfalls

August 10, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

The trial of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, which began last week, is certainly attracting a great deal of attention in Egypt. And it is a dramatic event – a symbol of the success of the Egyptian people in toppling a seemingly entrenched autocrat who had been in power for almost 35 years, and their desire to escape from the corruption and lack of freedom which characterised his rule. And yet a number of pieces have appeared arguing that the trial, the attention it is receiving, the way it is conducted, the outcome, and the reception in the streets may have potentially ominous consequences for the future of the Egyptian revolution.

London Riots: Iran champions Human Rights while British Antisemitism Rears Ugly Head

London Riots: Iran champions Human Rights while British Antisemitism Rears Ugly Head

August 10, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As violent riots spread throughout Britain, with hordes of young men robbing and looting everything in sight, an unexpected champion has emerged for Britain’s aggrieved underclass. A call for Britain to restrain violence against their own people has come from none other than the Iranian Foreign Ministry. As reported by Iran’s state-controlled Press TV:

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged the British government to order the police to stop their violent confrontation with the people, IRNA reported in the early hours of Tuesday…

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