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9 of the week’s best Zionist reads from Bev

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Bev Goldman

OPINION AND ANALYSIS

 

Week Ending 3 September 2014

 

1. A different sort of dangerous: the new jihadi threat from Syria

Mitch Ginsberg, The Times of Israel, 1 September 2014

A very wary Israel watches as an al-Qaeda offshoot wrests control of the Quneitra crossing area from Assad’s forces

 

2. Time for a brand new site for Israel-Palestinian peace talks

Bhaskar Chakravorti, The Huffingon Post, 1 September 2014

Experts remind us that a key ingredient to a formula for sustained peace is that it must draw upon a convergence of mutual interests. Economic security is surely an issue on which Israelis and Palestinians can agree even if there will always be disagreement over history, religion and politics. So why not move the peace process away from the historical, religious and political centres? Why not bring Israel’s entrepreneurial firepower to Palestine?

 

 

3. IS (formerly ISIS) threatens to march on Jerusalem and massacre Jews

ICEJ News, 1 September 2014

 

The Islamic State (IS, formally ISIS) terror militia issued a statement on Sunday in its English language publication, Dabiq that it “will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path towards Palestine… its  actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews.”

  

 

4. Gaza inquiry’s bias against Israel is already clear

Robert Blitt, Haaretz, 1 September 2014

The UN inquiry’s chair has said he will ‘park’ his personal views about Israel at the door. But what about the track record of a fellow commission member, Doudou Diene, in shaping facts and the law for his own political agenda?

 

5. Israel’s decision to declare 988 acres of West Bank territory State Land

Editorial, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, 1 September 2014

 

There is considerable confusion about the recent action of Israel’s civil administration declaring 988 acres of West Bank territory as state land. In general, West Bank territory may be divided into three legal categories: state land, private land, and land whose status is to be determined. The territory in question had the status of territory whose status is to be determined. Before the declaration of the land as state land, an investigation had to be undertaken by Israel’s civil administration that took several years in order to ascertain its exact status.

 

6. On the ground in Israel and Gaza

Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times Magazine, 29 August 2014

Two photographers capture scenes from the most recent outbreak of war.

 

7. Saudi Arabia ups pressure on Qatar

Simon Henderson, The Washington Institute, 27 August 2014

The Saudi list of problems with Qatar is long, predating Sheikh Tamim’s succession last year of his father, Sheikh Hamad, who has taken on the title “Father Emir” and seems to act as his son’s closest advisor. Riyadh had disapproved of Hamad’s sidelining of his own father in 1995 and sponsored a coup plot attempting to reverse the change. For many years, an apparent key editorial purpose of Qatar’s Aljazeera satellite television service was to annoy Riyadh. The latest sore appears to be Tamim’s support for Muslim Brotherhood elements in the member states of the GCC, which have notionally pledged non-interference in one another’s internal affairs. But Saudi Arabia is also concerned about Qatari support for Libyan Islamists and Hamas in Gaza. Overall, the issues distract the GCC from trying to form a common front against Iranian adventurism.

  

8. The keys to the Gaza Strip

Shmuel Even, INSS InSIght, 25 August 2014

 

The blockade of the Gaza Strip, labelled by the Palestinians as a “siege,” is ostensibly one of the fundamental reasons behind Hamas’ barrage of rockets that led to Operation Protective Edge. Yet while the Palestinians claim that Israel’s purpose in imposing the “siege” is to overpower Gaza economically, this charge has no basis in reality. Rather, the terrorism emanating from the Gaza Strip is the root cause of Gaza’s abject economic state, and until it is eradicated from the area, the prospects for economic growth and development are slim. Insofar as the situation in Gaza returns to what it was or improves, it will become increasingly difficult to realize the notion of “reconstruction for demilitarization,” a vested interest of Israel, the PA, Egypt, and other Arab states, and also supported by the United States and EU member nations. Hamas’ continued rule of the Gaza Strip reduces the possibility of restoring the PA to full control there.

 

 

9. Where the black flags fly

Daniel Greenfield, The Sultan Knish blog, 25 August 2014

 

It’s been a while since Westerners lived in a society in which human life was truly worthless, in which no one trusted anyone else and it was easier to kill than not to kill. But when life is worthless, everyone has a gun and a grudge.  It’s easier to kill than not to kill. You can see that phenomenon as readily in Chicago as in Iraq. Why not shoot the guy next door because he owes you money, because your daughter looked at him twice, because he’s on your turf or because he’s a Kurd.

Or because it’s Thursday.

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Bev Goldman

A bakers’ dozen top reads from Bev

It’s a round thirteen items from Bev for your Shabbos reading this week. Be sure to print the ones you want beforehand

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OPINION AND ANALYSIS

 

Week Ending 18 March 2015

 


1. Israel, Europe and the converging terror threat

Amichai Magen, Fathom, Winter 2015

By the beginning of 2015, the security ecosystem affecting Israelis and Europeans had converged dramatically and negatively. In the coming years, possibly decades, making sure that Europeans can go about their normal business in safety will necessitate a concerted effort to understand the ideology and modus operandi of jihadist terrorism, to contain and ultimately reduce the capacity and motivation of terrorists to attack, and to strengthen resilience in European societies. Indeed, the counter-terrorism posture required to protect civilians, whether in European or Israeli cities, while not identical, will depend on the intelligent and determined application of common guiding tenets and so will greatly benefit from intimate European-Israeli dialogue, cooperation, and learning.


2. The resurgence of neo-traditionalism

Asher Susser, Fathom, Winter 2015

If you want to talk about real political organisation, it is invariably of an Islamist character, these days. The rise of Hamas to power in Palestine was not an exceptional development – it was the rule.  When you have free elections, the Islamists either do extremely well or they win. When Jordan had relatively free elections in 1989, the Islamists of various brands got around 40 per cent of the seats in Parliament. The Jordanians have since then cheated in the elections systematically to keep the Islamists out. They changed the election law, fraud, violence – whatever you like – anything but allowing the Islamists to cash in on a free election.


3. Israelis prepare to vote: Palestinians prepare to fight

Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, 16 March 2015

For some Palestinians, the election is not about removing Netanyahu from power. Rather, it is about removing Israel from the face of the earth and replacing it with an Islamist empire.  Kerry’s statement about the revival of the peace process shows that he remains oblivious to the reality in the Middle East, particularly with regards to the Palestinians.  Kerry is ignoring the fact that the Palestinians are today divided into two camps; one that wants to destroy Israel through terrorism and jihad and another that is working hard to delegitimize and isolate Israel with the hope of forcing it to its knees. 


4. The evolution of Israeli politics     

Editorial, The Economist, 15 March 2015

http://world.einnews.com/article/255001270/KFgrvpQVg4E7g6uc

The latest opinion polls suggest that a parliamentary election on March 17th may leave the Knesset as fractured as ever. Eleven parties are likely to gain seats. Even a grand coalition of the rivals Likud and Zionist Union, the two largest factions, would be unable to secure a majority. How did Israeli politics become so tangled?  One obvious explanation is the ideological, religious and ethnic diversity of a country made up of Jews from many corners of the world.


5. Israel’s gilded age

Paul Krugman, NY Times, 16 March 2015

While Israel’s economy has grown, this growth has been accompanied by a disturbing transformation in the country’s income distribution and society. Once upon a time, Israel was a country of egalitarian ideals — the kibbutz population was always a small minority, but it had a large impact on the nation’s self-perception. And it was a fairly equal society in reality, too, right up to the early 1990s.  Since then, however, Israel has experienced a dramatic widening of income disparities. Key measures of inequality have soared; Israel is now right up there with America as one of the most unequal societies in the advanced world. And Israel’s experience shows that this matters, that extreme inequality has a corrosive effect on social and political life.


6. Russia flexes its muscle in the Middle East

Herbert London and Radek Lakomy, The Washington Post, 15 March 2015

With tension arising in the relationship between Mr. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian presence in Syria represents an enhanced threat to Israel. The Shia axis of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah under the protection of Russia is a daunting prospect. Russian nuclear power plants in Syria could lead to enriched uranium and the possibility of nuclear weapons, even though Syria signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Moreover, Iran could transfer fissile material to its neighbour and vassal state should an agreement emerge in June that gives Iran a green light on further uranium enrichment.


7. Can Benjamin Netanyahu win again?

Editorial, The Economist, 14 March 2015

In Israeli politics, left and right are not defined primarily by economic policy, nor religion, nor ethnicity, though these all matter. The central dispute is, as it has been since Zionism’s early days, over land. The leftists are the heirs of Ben-Gurion’s pragmatic Labour Zionists, who were willing to accept less than the whole British mandate of Palestine, in the hope of gaining international acceptance, if not Arab agreement. The rightists are descendants of territorial maximalists, the “revisionists” of Zeev Jabotinsky, who argued that no concession could appease the Arabs; only an unbreachable “iron wall” would persuade them to live with the Jewish state.


8. Southern Syria: A New Front for Israel?

Michael Herzog, Washington Institute, 9 March 2015

In early February, an alliance of Iran, the Syrian regime, and Hezbollah launched a major military offensive against rebel groups in Syria’s south, close to the borders of Israel and Jordan. This campaign bears potential strategic consequences for Israel and the Syrian theatre, and calls for close U.S. and international attention. 


9. Obama, Netanyahu’s speech and American leadership

Tzvi Kahn. National Review, 9 March 2015

The controversy isn’t just about Iran. It’s also about America’s role in the world. The White House, quite obviously, did not stand with Netanyahu’s Israel. And it is the reality of this divide, not merely the substantive disagreements that fill it, that ultimately lies at the heart of this controversy.


10. Netanyahu comments cause doubt on stance toward Palestinians

Jodi Rudoren, New York Times, 9 March 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party released a statement on Sunday saying that a 2009 speech the premier had delivered, which expressed support for a Palestinian state, was “simply not relevant” any longer. Netanyahu’s office issued another statement late Sunday night denying that the prime minister had renounced his previous tentative support for a two-state solution.


11. The Danger of a Failed Iran Deal

Gary Sick, Politico Magazine, 8 March 2015

If you want a nuclear Middle East, there’s no better way than to let Tehran walk away.


12. Iran’s nuclear sunset: a strategically fatal deal

Majid Rafizadeh, Al Arabiya News, 6 March 2015

The marathon nuclear negotiations are approaching a “historic” stage of potentially entering into a strategically-catastrophic agreement, as the six world powers (known as the P5+1; the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China) and Iran are shaping the final nuclear deal with reports of adding a “sunset” clause.


13. Israel is a colonial power that commits crimes daily

Zwelenzima Vavi, 6 March 2015

COSATU General Secretary says Palestinians have the right to resist when provoked and subjected to the most cruel and barbaric forms of occupation



MORE OF BEV’S PICKS OF THE TOP ZIONIST READS AROUND



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Bev Goldman

OPINION & ANALYSIS, February 2015

Latest Zionist reads from around the world

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OPINION AND ANALYSIS

February 2015

 

1. How UN mixes, anti-Semitism, Holocaust & Israeli war crimes

Anne Bayefsky, JCPA, January/February 2015

While focusing on anti-Semitism has been studiously avoided by the United Nations, the subject of the Holocaust has served as the consolation prize.   The UN does not want to deal with anti-Semitism because the organization would be exposed as the global platform for anti-Semitism. The foreign policy of the majority of nations today condones and even promotes anti-Semitism.  Five of all the ten emergency sessions of the General Assembly in its history attacked Israel. The Assembly did not hold one emergency session about genocide in Rwanda or Sudan.  The most insidious argument is the ignorant and twisted claim that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exacerbates anti-Semitism. At the root of this assertion is the idea that the victims of anti-Semitism have a responsibility to ameliorate the pathology of their enemies.  How is it possible that in a matter of days the UN apparatus went from discussing anti-Semitism, to the Holocaust, to Israeli war crimes?

 

2. Islam and appeasement

G Murphy Donovan, American Thinker

Europe and America are impaled on the horns of a strategic dilemma. On the one hand, the world is besieged by jihadi religious terror, barbarity, and serial wars with jihadists.  Concurrently, most of the civilized world defends the very religious cultures, Sunni and Shia Islam especially, where the problems originate.  To be clear at the outset; with Islam today, there seems to be less and less daylight between secular and religious imperatives.

 

3. Defeating Islamic State requires comprehensive strategy

Paul McHale, Stars and Stripes

Speaking before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, Secretary of State John Kerry described global terrorism as “nothing more than criminal anarchy, a nihilism which illegitimately claims an ideological and religious foundation.” Is he serious? A de facto Islamic caliphate has now been established in the heart of the Middle East and Kerry sees it as nothing more than a criminal conspiracy. Quick, call the cops.

 

 

4. Egypt’s war in Sinai: a struggle that goes beyond Egypt

Yoram Schweitzer, INSS

Egypt is in the midst of a war that can be categorized as a low-intensity conflict. This category represents a common pattern of military campaigns in the early twenty-first century: sub-conventional wars fought by armies and security services belonging to states against armies of terrorilla- fully armed and hierarchical organizations that operate among civilian populations, combining guerilla and terror warfare tactics with the logic of terrorism. Egypt’s campaign in Sinai has tremendous significance for Israel.

 

5. Anti-Semitism is once more on the march in Europe

Richard Cohen, Washington Post

Anti-Semitism is the most durable and pliable of all conspiracy theories. It supposedly accounts for the death of Christ and the Jewish dominance of the liberal media. It carefully noted the disproportionate number of Jews in the communist movement and in the capitalist movement. Anti-Semitism can account for the wealth of the Jews and their scientific and artistic achievements. They are – we are – a most nimble people. We’ve had to be.

 

6. Obama’s secret Iran strategy

Michael Doran, Mosaic

The president has long been criticized for his lack of strategic vision. But what if a strategy, centred on Iran, has been in place from the start and consistently followed to this day?  And how eager is the president to see Iran break through its isolation and become a very successful regional power? Very eager.

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Bev Goldman

11 Reads for week of 28 January 2015

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OPINION AND ANALYSIS

Week Ending 28 January 2015

 

1. Christians in the Holy Land: don’t call us Arabs

Aryeh Tepper, The Tower, January 2015

Long identified as part of the country’s minority Arab population, Israel’s Christian community has recently begun asserting its own unique identity—one that is deeply tied to the Jewish State of Israel. Meet the Arameans.

 

2. The delirium of anti-Zionism

Tom Wilson, Commentary Magazine, 25 January 2015

Last week many were quick to hail the United Nations conference on anti-Semitism as a hopeful step forward. The fact that just 37 of the 193 UN member states even bothered to send delegates should be demonstration enough of just how little many countries care about the modern-day revival of global Jew hatred.

 

3. Obama’s slap of Israel is shameful and dangerous

Editorial, Savannah Now, 25 January 2015

Mr. Obama’s leadership in the Middle East has been abysmal. Maybe he’s not openly hostile to Israel. Yet he’s not doing that nation — or, his own — any favours by snubbing Mr. Netanyahu or going soft on nukes. The only beneficiary is the country that’s gaining strength — Iran.

 

4. Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons

Shoshana Bryen, American Thinker, 24 January 2015

In his State of the Union address, President Obama forcefully announced he would not accept “a nuclear-armed Iran.” This reflects his view that the only objectionable element of Iran’s behaviour would be acquisition and possible use of such weapons. This is conveniently narrow.

 

5. Time to take it to Iran

Dennis Ross, Eric Edelman & Ray Takeyh, Politico Magazine, 23 January 2015

It is time to acknowledge that we need a revamped coercive strategy, one that threatens what the Islamic Republic values the most – its influence in the Middle East and its standing at home. And the pattern of concessions at the negotiating table must stop if there is to be an acceptable agreement. Iranian officials must come to understand that there will be no further concessions to reach an accord and that time is running out for negotiations.

 

6. Islamic State deepens its grip in a future Palestine

Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, 23 January 2015

Hamas cannot afford a situation where another Islamist terror group poses a challenge to its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip. Since seizing control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has successfully suppressed the emergence of rival forces, first and foremost the secular Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas.  But if until recently it was Fatah that posed a challenge and threat to Hamas’s rule, now it is the Islamic State and its supporters in the Gaza Strip are openly defying the Islamist movement’s regime. 

 

7. Iran’s new terror base against Israel

Yaakov Lappin, Gatestone Institute, 22 January 2015

The new base in Syria gives Hezbollah the option of attacking Israel and drawing Israel’s return fire away from Lebanon, where its most precious assets are hidden: well over 100,000 rockets and missiles that might be saved for a future battle over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

 

8. Response to UN’s Ban Ki-moon from Amb. Alan Baker

Ambassador Alan Baker, JCPA, 21 January 2015

The ICC is rapidly and unjustifiably, – and doubtless against its own better interests – being manipulated to become a politicized “Israel-bashing” body, at the initiative of the Palestinian leadership which wrongfully perceives, and widely represents the Court as being their own private judicial tribunal, in order to conduct their political campaign against Israel.

 

9. The media take us for a walk

Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak, Jerusalem Post, 21 January 2015

The duty of the Israeli government is to safeguard Jews wherever they are. Netanyahu feels that the most effective way to implement this basic tenet of Zionism is by advocating aliya to Israel. It is easier to safeguard people here than in the Diaspora. France’s political leadership did not like this call, but the Jews of France showered Netanyahu with praise and appreciation. The Israeli media, however, preferred to be negative.

 

10. Netanyahu can win re-election by fighting corruption

Daniel Doron, Weekly Standard, 19 January 2015

Coming on the heels of a spate of revelations regarding corruption in the Israeli government – as well as worrisome signs of dysfunction in Israeli governance, exposed during last summer’s unresolved campaign against Hamas – the Israeli public was shocked again recently by yet more revelations of pervasive corruption in high places. Now a dark cloud on the political horizon, corruption (as well as its neglect by the authorities) shows signs of developing into a major political storm. It could deeply affect the upcoming March elections, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to defend his seat against a still fragmented – but very determined – opposition that will run on the slogan “anyone but Bibi.”

 

11. Hypocrisy after the Paris terror attacks

Deborah Lipstadt, Tablet Magazine, 16 January 2015

World leaders, including our own, have been decidedly reluctant to identify this problem. What needs to be said is that there is a problem in a segment of the Muslim world. It is extremism that justifies and celebrates killing individuals for angering them and Jews just for being Jews. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, however, insisted that the attacks had nothing to do with religion, characterizing them as “criminality.” If it was just criminality, then what happened at the Hyper Cacher supermarket was a hold-up, and not anti-Semitism.

 

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