Assad's carte blanche is hurting Syrians

Assad’s carte blanche is hurting Syrians

July 8, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

While ruminating yesterday on the US’s decision to intervene in Libya, Middle East scholar Barry Rubin gave several insights as to why the West would choose Libya to attack rather than Syria. The assessement, unfortunately, is not particularly flattering for our leaders:

I would suggest that the actual main reasons revolve around ideology. The administration is now obsessed with…

The lie of the land in Lebanon

The lie of the land in Lebanon

July 8, 2011 | Allon Lee

The news that Lebanon’s government has hired a Norwegian firm to “conduct a seismic survey on the border of Israel’s exclusive economic zone” in the Mediterranean Sea has the worrying potential to trigger new confrontation between the two countries

Cold hard facts on Hezbollah and Hariri assassination

Cold hard facts on Hezbollah and Hariri assassination

July 8, 2011 | Or Avi Guy

Hezbollah has been going into overdrive this week as it tries to stop implementation of the indictment of four of its members by the special UN tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Media Week – Threatened Journalists?; Who’s a Goose?

July 7, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

In the lead up to the flotilla’s proposed departure, Israel’s Government Press Office wrote to journalists warning that any who sailed on it would be subject to exclusion from Israel for up to ten years, as is anyone who enters Israel or its territorial waters illegally. A June 28 Age editorial, however, made it seem journalists were singled out. It stated, “it is most disappointing that the Israeli government is threatening journalists with reprisals” and referred to it as a “threat to punish journalists.” At least the following day, when Israeli PM Netanyahu intervened to ensure that journalists would be exempted from this routine policy, a Jason Koutsoukis article made it clear that was the case. However, the Israeli letter to the journalists should never have been misrepresented as it was, and had Netanyahu not intervened, Age readers may well have remained unaware of the true situation.

Scratching Egypt's surface: radical Islam

Scratching Egypt’s surface: radical Islam, Holocaust denial and 9/11 “truthers”

July 7, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

In an unprecedented interview that would not have been possible until very recently, MSNBC’s Richard Engel has spoken to Aboud al-Zomor, a man who has been locked away tightly in the depths of Egypt’s penal system since he was convicted of orchestrating the assassination of then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Zomor was one of the founders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), a militant offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. His number two and successor was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who later brought EIJ under the umbrella of al-Qaeda and has recently gone on to replace bin Laden…

Internal strife in Iran - time for more tyrants to fall?

Internal strife in Iran – time for more tyrants to fall?

July 7, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Whether it was slaughter of innocents in its strong ally, Syria, or proxy attacks on US and allied forces in Iraq, Iran has been making its presence felt throughout the Middle East in recent weeks. What is, perhaps, less widely reported is that the Islamic Republic has been seeing a significant amount of strife itself. One example of almost completely unreported violence inside Iran is the recent suppression of an emerging resistance movement in the Southern region of Ahwaz…

Europe’s Israel obsession/Egypt’s culture of hate

July 7, 2011

Today’s Update looks at the worrying phenomenon of European efforts and involvement in a range of anti-Israel activities and movements, including the second Gaza flotilla. First up, University of Paris Professor Guy Milliere writes on the efforts of Britain and European countries and citizenry to support boycotts of Israel, fund NGOs that work to delegitimise Israel, and are encouraging the Palestinian push to have the United Nations Security Council recognise a State of Palestine on 1967 borders. Milliere argues that Israel’s positive story clashes with the resentment filled British/European psyche that has become warped by moral relativism.

PA struggles to keep its head above water as aid donations stop flowing

July 6, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Fayyad

As we reported last week, the fragile Palestinian unity agreement has been looking like ending before it even begins. Fatah and Hamas have not been able to come to an agreement on an interim government and, as it stands, the upcoming UN bid seems to be the only point of agreement remaining between the two factions.

Meanwhile, a crisis seems to have hit the Palestinian Authority due to an inability to secure funding that had been pledged to the PA leadership….

Is Iran really not at war with the West?

Is Iran really not at war with the West?

July 6, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Since the bulk of US forces in Iraq have been withdrawn, the country has been seeing an increasingly worrying spike in violence. What is especially concerning is the alleged source of this renewed upsurge in the conflict. As reported in The Washington Post last week:

BAGHDAD – Three U.S. soldiers were killed this week in a rocket attack at a U.S. base near the Iranian border, the military said Thursday, bringing June’s death toll to 15 and marking the bloodiest month for U.S. troops in Iraq in two years….

Déjà vu in Hama and Across Syria

Déjà vu in Hama and Across Syria

July 6, 2011 | Geoffrey Levin

In February 1982, over 29 years ago, Syria’s President Hafez Assad sent his younger brother to ‘deal with’ an uprising in a Sunni-majority city called Hama. Between 10,000 and 30,000 civilians died, killed for attempting to topple the Alawite dictator that reigned for over a decade.

Today history appears to be repeating itself, in the same city but with a different Assad. Reports today that 16 civilians in Hama were killed by President Bashar Assad’s forces can be added to the already 1,300 dead since the current Syrian uprising began in March, 130 in Hama alone. These numbers are much smaller than the estimates from 1982, which numbered in the tens of thousands. Today, rather than President Hafez Assad, it is his son Bashar who presides over the current massacre in Hama, where his current victims are quite literally the children of those killed by Hafez.

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