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February 1, 2012

Must Read, February 1, 2012

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/must_read_americas_ironclad_ties_to_israel_hamas_and_the_muslim_world_and_a/

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(Photo: Reuters)

The Monitor, Merrimac, and Middle East

Writing in Foreign Policy, Robert Satloff looks at American presidential use of ironclad to describe its commitment to Israel – and what it really means.

“If presidents want to signal the strength of American’s commitment to Israel, they should consider scuttling the word “ironclad” and its has-been, so-last-century connotation and instead use timeless terms that emphasize the ends, not the means, of a policy.”

Iran’s Changing Calculus: Will It Strike Inside the United States?

Eli Lake in the Daily Beast evaluates the likelihood of an Iranian decision to strike on American soil in the wake of the assassinations and explosions targeting the country’s nuclear program.

’“The Iranians feel - and they have said this already - that they are under attack via economic pressure and things blowing up in their country,” says Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security for counterterrorism who served under President Bush. “The Iranians seem to be responding by trying to attack the United States and its allies abroad.”’


Can Egypt Make Democracy Work?

As the new parliament is sworn in, Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Volkhard Windfuhr of Der Spiegel take a first-hand look Egypt’s bumpy road to democracy.

“It is a double experiment, and the outcome will have an impact throughout the entire Arab world. Can a country, and an Islamic one at that, find its way to democracy through free elections alone? Or does it need a second revolution to sweep aside all corrupt institutions, including the police, state-run television and government agencies that still operate according to the old rules?”

Meshaal’s and King Abdullah’s Historic Moment -– If They Seize It

Writing for Agence Global, Rami G. Khouri casts a cynical eye over the latest reconciliation between Arab leaders, and urges them to put their new-old friendship to the people.

“This is not a shallow criticism of Meshaal and King Abdullah II, but rather a sincere plea to them to recognize before it is too late that they have both the legitimacy and the opportunity to adjust their decision-making styles on this important reconciliation in order to conform with the wave of reform that millions of ordinary citizens have forced upon their leaders across the region.”

What does Hamas bring to Turkey, what does it take away?

Mehmet Ali Birand of Hurriyet looks at the pros and cons of Hamas up residence in Turkey.

“Let’s not forget that Hamas is a controversial party. It is a “savior” for Palestinians in Gaza; it is Fatah’s enemy for Palestinians in the West Bank. For many countries that are pro-Israel, it is considered a terror organization that kills civilians. For Turkey, Hamas is a “legal” party that has won elections in Gaza, representing the Palestinian people.”


Jewish scholars dare to bridge religious divide

Jeremy Lott of the Washington Times looks at a scholarly Jewish take on the New Testament that sparked controversy among Jews and Christians.

“As its title indicates, “The Jewish Annotated New Testament” is an annotation, not a translation, of the New Revised Standard Version of the New Testament. The NRSV is a relatively new translation and is not terribly popular with many Christians (for reasons unrelated to this project), so any annotated version starts with a strike against it.”

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