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Must Read, January 6, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

February 6, 2012 | 3:01 am

A Syrian soldier who defected to join the Free Syrian Army. (Photo: Reuters)

The Lesson of the Arab Spring

In the wake of a year of turmoil, and ongoing uncertainty, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal makes the case in the Wall Street Journal for evolution not revolution in the Arab world.

If there is a lesson to be learned from the Arab Spring, it is that the winds of change that are now blowing in the Middle East will eventually reach every Arab state. Now is therefore an opportune time, particularly for the Arab monarchical regimes, which still enjoy a considerable measure of public goodwill and legitimacy, to begin adopting measures that will bring about greater participation of the citizenry in their countries’ political life.


Stand with Syrian people, and strike a blow against Iran
In an article for Philly.com, Charles Krauthammer makes the case that the demise of Syrian President Bashar Assad would deal a powerful blow to Iran’s drive for regional hegemony.

No surprise that the Arab League, many of whose members are no tenderhearted humanitarians, is pressing hard for Assad’s departure. His fall would deprive Iran of an intra-Arab staging area and sever its corridor to the Mediterranean. Syria would return to the Sunni fold. Hezbollah, Tehran’s agent in Lebanon, could be next, withering on the vine without Syrian support and Iranian materiel. And Hamas would revert to Egyptian patronage.


New Proposed Knesset bills and Israeli democracy

Writing for the Jewish People Policy Institute, Dr. Alexander Yakobson, Arielle Kandel and Prof. Suzanne Last Stone outline the bills submitted to the Knesset over the past year that have sparked cries of threat to Israel’s democracy.

It is extremely unlikely, however, that the current assault on liberal rights and freedoms will succeed, and that Israeli democracy will suffer substantial erosion. Israel’s liberal democratic system emerged and developed under extremely adverse conditions, which is remarkable in itself, and is a strong counter-indication to the demise of democracy today. The claims of the imminent collapse of Israeli democracy are not new, and assaults on democratic and liberal values have been successfully repelled in the past.


Russia’s Line in the Sand on Syria

In an article for Foreign Affairs, Dmitri Trenin explores the motivation for Russia’s caution on Syria, and it what it means for Moscow.

For all their outward coolness, Russia’s foreign policy strategists continue to be preoccupied with the United States, watching its every move. They were unpleasantly surprised when the United States decided to intervene in Libya and are now suspicious of U.S. plans for Syria. The Kremlin is concerned about a war between the United States and Iran, which is visibly drawing closer.


Why No Peace? Because the PA Tells Its People that Murdering Israeli Civilians Makes You a Hero

Barry Rubin writes on PJ Media that the actions of the Palestinian media, in particular its praise for the murderer of the Fogel family, illustrates why the peace process is stagnating.

When you understand the official nature and intensity of PA and Fatah incitement to kill Israelis and destroy Israel, does Israel-Palestinian peace seem so easy to achieve or does it seem impossible until these attitudes, and the policy based on them, changes? Pointing this out is not an attempt to score propaganda points. It is a factor in the political situation.

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