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Must Read, January 20, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

January 20, 2012 | 2:18 am

An Egyptian protester holds up a copy of the Koran during a rally at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters).

Groups that demonize Israel place themselves outside the tent

Writing for jweekly.com, Natan Nestel takes aim at J Street, claiming that its stance on Israel should make it unwelcome in Jewish circles.

“What’s common to J Street U events is not a balanced, thoughtful discussion of Israel - it is the defamation of Israel, spreading of falsehoods and one-sided attacks.”


The Embargo That Can’t Wait
Emanuele Ottolenghi in the Wall Street Journal argues that an embargo on Iranian oil must be implemented as quickly as possible, in order to avoid war.

“Don’t believe Iran’s hype. The fierce rhetoric is a reflection of the regime’s impotence as a Western-led oil embargo looms. The bluff is an implicit admission of how much the regime fears the ultimate weapon in the Western sanctions toolkit.”


Think Again: Intelligence

In a feature for Foreign Policy, CIA veteran Paul R. Pillar takes apart common criticisms of the work by the American intelligence community.

“On major foreign-policy decisions… whether going to war or broadly rethinking U.S. strategy in the Arab world (as President Barack Obama is likely doing now), intelligence is not the decisive factor.”


The rise of Islamists sets up a surprising stance on Israel

In a piece for The National of Abu Dhabi, Ahmad Jamil Azem says that the ascendancy of Islamist parties does not pose a de facto threat to Israel.

“Although Islamists use anti-Israel rhetoric in their popular propaganda, their policies clearly indicate that a confrontation is not high in their priorities. Egyptian Islamists will not work to rescind the peace treaty with Israel. Even Hamas, as the major Islamist Palestinian group, is showing more flexibility toward considering a compromise with Israel.”

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