Bumper 31 Top Zionist reads from Bev

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We are catching up 4 weeks’ worth of Bev Goldman’s Picks of the Week. There are 31 great reads to pick from and Jewish Report Online publishes the dates, authors, titles and a synopsis of each item for the convenience of our users. There is also a live link to each item for those who want to read more completely now, or print out as a great Shabbos read. Bev searches the web for the best Zionism reads every week.
by BEV GOLDMAN | Apr 15, 2015

Bev Goldman has been the top pro-Israel commentator and educator in South Africa for the past 15 years.

Jewish Report Online is publishing four weeks’ worth of Bev Goldman’s picks of the top Zionist reads of the week. For the convenience of our users, we are [publ.ishing them in descending order:

Week Ending 15 April 2015

1. The resurgence of neo-traditionalism

Asher Susser, Fathom, Winter 2015

There never really has been a separation between religion and state in the Middle East. No matter how far the reforms went in the Ottoman Empire or Egypt, there was always a place for Islamic religion and law in the state. In the last 20 or 30 years, this space has increased.

Bev Goldman - LONG2. The Revolution lives!

David Brooks, NY Times, 13 April 2015

Beyond all the talk of centrifuges and enrichment capacities, President Obama’s deal with Iran is really a giant gamble on the nature of the Iranian regime. The core question is: Are the men who control that country more like Lenin or are they more like Gorbachev? Do they still fervently believe in their revolution and would they use their post-sanctions wealth to export it and destabilize their region?

3. A coalition against anti-Semitism

Yitzhak Eldan, Israel Hayom, 13 April 2015

This year marks 70 years since the Second World War, and, as if symbolically, anti-Semitism has returned and soared to new heights, especially in Europe. Jews have been murdered in the streets in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen.

4. Who’d be an Arab? Apparently not Palestinians

Karl Sabbagh, al-Araby al-Jadeed, 13 April 2015

As long as Arab countries quarrel among themselves, and pay only lip service to the extraordinary actions of an alien essentially European country in their midst, the longer will Palestinian suffering continue. And Israel is alien, by its own choosing, looking west to Europe and the US, rather than east to seek rapprochement with its neighbours.

5. The Middle East turmoil and Israel’s security

Efraim Inbar, Middle East Forum, 13 April 2015

Washington's efforts to strike a deal with Iran that basically legitimizes its nuclear breakout status and awards Tehran the role of the regional policeman will be viewed by Cairo, Riyadh and Jerusalem as a colossal strategic mistake. The inevitable result will be further nuclear proliferation as none of these countries are likely to want to stay behind in uranium enrichment capabilities.

6. Sanitising Iran, demonising Israel

Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, 13 April 2015

Obama the so-called “peacemaker” is creating a situation that will generate war and conflict for future generations inside and outside the Middle East. Ultimately, we oppose this deal because it condemns our children to growing up in a world where democracies are in retreat, at the same time as totalitarian regimes (like North Korea and, yes, Iran) possess weapons of mass destruction.

7. Yarmouk exposes callous double standards of ugly Israel bashers

Brendan O’Neill, Jewish News, 11 April 2015

Even on the question of Palestinian suffering, anti-Israel activists only care some of the time. If you’re a Palestinian whose life is made harder by Israeli forces, they’ll share pictures of you, march in the streets for you, write tear-drenched tweets about you. But if you’re a Palestinian under threat from a non-Israeli force, forget about it. You’re on your own.

Week Ending 8 April 2015

1. The 20th Knesset – parliament of a splintered, tribal Israel

Haviv Rettig Gur, The Times of Israel, 6 April 2015

Two weeks after the elections, a searing look at the cultural discord that continues to characterize the Jewish state, motivated and mobilized voters, and has produced a new legislature of alienated, antagonistic factions.

2. Iran funds the building of new terror tunnels for Hamas

Jonathan Tobin, Commentary Magazine, 6 April 2015

Now comes news that makes President Obama’s hopes for a more moderate Iran seem even more ludicrous: the Islamist regime is funnelling money to Hamas in Gaza to help it rebuild the tunnels it hopes to use to launch new terror raids inside Israel.  It is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighbourhoods in Israel during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

3. The West’s romance with Iran and Islamists

Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, 6 April 2015

The West seems to have lost the capacity and the will to criticize political Islam.  While "peace-loving" liberals in the West show support and sympathy for Hamas, and have removed Hamas from Europe's terror list, Hamas leaders have been busy expressing their support and sympathy for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Why then, for Europeans, is Hamas a "more acceptable" terrorist group than ISIS? Because it targets Jews?  If these Islamic jihadist groups cannot carry out their mission right away, it is not because they do not want to. It is because they do not have enough power to -- at least for now.

4. Iran nuclear agreement risks projecting the weakness of the USA

Dan Perry, The Times of Israel, 5 April 2015

Critics in Israel and elsewhere cannot understand why world powers, who could afford to play for time, did not squeeze Iran by presenting it with a mind-clearing choice between having a nuclear program and having an economy. They never believed Iran’s claims that - with oil in generous supply - it was investing such effort for nuclear energy and research. They expect Iran’s energies to now focus on fooling the inspectors and developing a bomb.

5. A new chapter in the Sunni;Shi’ite war

Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, 4 April 2015

The assembling of a Sunni alliance to challenge the advancement of an Iranian proxy in Yemen, and the subsequent announcement in Sharm e-Sheikh of the formation of a 40,000 strong Arab rapid reaction force, are the latest moves in a war that has already been under way in the Middle East for some time.  This is a war between Sunni and Shi’ite forces over the ruins of the regional order. It is a war that is unlikely to end in the wholesale victory of one side. Rather, it will end when the two forces exhaust themselves. What the region will look like when this storm passes is anyone’s guess.

6. The flawed underpinnings of the new nuclear understanding with Iran

Dore Gold, JCPA, 3 April 2015

The underlying flaw in the new nuclear understandings between the P5+1 and Iran is the fact that it leaves Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure intact. Indeed, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif boasted, after the understandings were announced, that  Iran did not have to close down a single nuclear facility, it will continue to engage in uranium enrichment, and it can engage in research and development (meaning it can develop new generations of centrifuges that operate at 10  or 20 times the speed of the first-generation centrifuges that have been installed in uranium enrichment plants like Natanz and Fordow).

7. Who are the principal violators of International Law?

Lawrence Franklin, British Israel Group, 3 April 2015

The UN's own international agreements, signed by all parties under international law, state that the Israel-Palestinian dispute is to be resolved only by face-to-face negotiations.  The decades-old failure of the UN to abide by its own diplomatic agreements has created an opportunity for Palestinians to manufacture a false narrative. Furthermore, the UN has arrogated to itself the entirely false air of legitimacy for establishing yet another Arab state.

Week Ending 31 March 2015

1. Israel’s drive towards self-destruction

Dennis Ross, David Makovsky & Ghaith Al-Omari, Politico Magazine, 30 March 2015

The prime minister is surely right about the profound danger that a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel, but Israel’s next government also needs to treat the de-legitimization movement as threat to Israel’s existence. It is, after all, about trying to deny Israel’s right to exist.  One problem with the White House’s reaction to Netanyahu’s comments is that it will feed not just the de-legitimization momentum but it will make the Palestinians feel free of any obligations. The onus will be on Israel, Palestinians can push the campaign against Israel at the International Criminal Court and other international fora, and nothing will be expected of them.

2. Can Saudi Arabia Feed Its People?

Yossi Mann, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2015

An examination of the wheat industry that flourished in the kingdom between 1980 and 2007, its achievements and failures, as well as the influence of the agricultural sector on the local economy and on water resources may prove a cautionary tale, reconfirming the truths behind the law of unintended consequences.

3. A bad deal

Editorial, The Times, 30 March 2015

If a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is clinched in the coming days, it will be hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough. It will be nothing of the kind. Judging by leaks from the negotiating table, Tehran has not done enough to allay suspicions that it intends eventually to produce nuclear weapons. Worse, if the framework agreement is signed on the basis of current drafts it will contribute to a reckless recasting of the US position in the Middle East.

4. Obama’s next earthquake

Jackson Diehl, Washington Post, 29 March 2015

Why go forward with a text that both sides would spurn? Obama’s hope would be that his initiative could win unanimous support from the Security Council and thus set the terms of reference for a future settlement, presumably under different Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He could eventually become the grandfather of Middle East peace; at a minimum, diplomats who now talk of the “Clinton parameters” from 2000 would henceforth speak of the “Obama framework.”

5. The bravery of those many Jews who fight for a fairer Israel

Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent, 29 March 2015

It took a perceptive and reflective Jew to articulate what millions felt around the world. He will, by now, have felt the slings and arrows of outraged zealots. Hamas is a wicked and dangerous force in the Middle East. But Israel is now more wicked and dangerous. Jewish thinkers and writers in the US, UK and Israel are now questioning how the Holocaust has been cheapened and used to justify inhumane policies and actions.

6. A reward for Iran’s non-compliance

Editorial, Washington Post, 27 March 2015

As the Obama administration pushes to complete an agreement-in-principle with Iran on its nuclear program by Tuesday, it has done little to soothe concerns that it is rushing too quickly to settle, offering too many concessions and ignoring glaring warning signs that Tehran won’t abide by any accord. One story incorporates all three of those worries: Iran’s failure to deliver on multiple pledges to answer questions about its suspected research on nuclear warheads.

7. Free fall in the Middle East

Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 27 March 2015

Over at the New York Times, writers are doing their tortured best to say something other than that a catastrophic breakdown of the President’s foreign policy is taking place in the Middle East - but the defence is less than effective. What can you do, the world is just a mess, seems to be their take.

8. Our Shakespeare: A tribute to Yehuda Avner

Isi Leibler, Word from Jerusalem, 24 March 2015

When Yehuda Avner passed away Tuesday, aged 86, Israel lost a noble citizen whose entire life was devoted to serving the Jewish state and the Jewish people. 

Week Ending 25 March 2015

1. Dimmed prospects for Israel Palestine peace

Editorial, Daily Trust (Nigeria), 23 March 2015

In spite of his triumph, indications are that Netanyahu’s victory is likely to carry significant political and diplomatic costs for Israel. His election eve rhetoric disavowing his previous support for a two-state solution may have set Israel on a collision course with the Palestinians and the international community.  His incendiary remarks regarding Israel’s controversial assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity that is at variance with that of the United States, also set alarm bells ringing in world capitals that he might be planning a first-strike option at Iran, as Israel did to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq Osirak facility in 1981.  Netanyahu’s return to power likely will spell trouble for the Middle East peace efforts and could further escalate the developing tension with the United States.

2. Bibi: Bad news for Israel or Palestine?

Harry Hagiopian, AlJazeera, 23 March 2015

Today, I would merely like to argue why the outcome in my opinion is not such an awful thing for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For someone who was involved with second-track negotiations during the Oslo years and who subsequently became disillusioned with this dud process, the re-election of Benyamin Netanyahu will magnify the sharply contrasting facets of the conflict and perhaps coerce the Palestinian Authority, the USA and the EU to undertake some hard choices.

3. Vindictive Obama punishing Israel for re-electing Netanyahu

Isi Leibler, Candidly speaking from Jerusalem, 23 March 2015

Netanyahu was condemned as a racist because, in an effort to jolt his supporters to vote, he drew attention to the massive effort funded from overseas to transport Arab voters to vote for the Joint Arab List, which includes supporters of Hamas and terrorism. It was a clumsy statement and a blunder but he hastily clarified his remark, noting that he used similar arguments about the Left in his efforts to encourage a maximum turnout of Likud voters. He stressed that he was proud that Arabs enjoyed equal voting rights to Jews, but that he was no less entitled to be critical of their political party than any other opposing party.

4. Ashamed of Netanyahu, infuriated with Obama

David Horovitz, The Times of Israel, 22 March 2015

Why the PM must urgently seek to fix the damage he’s caused to relations with Israel’s Arabs, and why the president should internalize how widely Israelis share Netanyahu’s concerns on the Palestinians and Iran

5. It’s Obama, not Netanyahu, who has killed the two-state solution

Mario Loyola, National Review, 22 March 2015

Compared with 2009, when he came to office, Obama has not only done nothing to make the two-state solution possible, he has done a great deal to make it even more unlikely. It’s not just the capitulation to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program  - it’s everything he’s doing in the Middle East: the catastrophic withdrawal from Iraq, the failure to do anything about Syria, the mistreatment of the Israeli government, all of it. Yet Obama gets angry at the government of Israel, which has no power to change any of those strategic factors, and threatens to punish it for merely pointing out the abundantly obvious fact that the two-state solution has become a pie in the sky.

6. Will Obama and Bibi kiss and make up?

Ashish Kumar Sen, Newsweek, 20 March 2015

The Obama administration may refuse to protect Israel at the United Nations Security Council if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a narrow right-wing coalition government. But the White House would find it much harder to do so if the prime minister includes partners from the centre-left, especially his chief rival, says Gil Tamary, Washington Bureau Chief for Israel’s Channel 10 News.

7. Netanyahu sank into the moral gutter – and there will be consequences

Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian, 20 March 2015

Israel’s prime minister won re-election with a combination of belligerence and bigotry. His opposition to a Palestinian state is a stance the world should not accept.

8. Obama's statement on the deterioration of democracy in Israel carries heavy price

Michael Oren, Jerusalem Post, 22 March 2015

The former Israeli Ambassador to the US said that the United States and Israel must put their differences aside and focus on rehabilitating their relationship, and come to the understanding that each serves as a vital, strategical asset for the other.

9. Manchester’s new Jewish ghetto?

Josh Glancy, Tablet Magazine, 18 March 2015

Even when anti-Israel sentiment is at a low ebb there is still a thuggish element in Manchester that can make life uncomfortable for the visibly Orthodox; it is always there. But also many in this community are never fully present in the country where their actual home is. They inhabit a Jerusalem of the mind where persecution never goes away for long.


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