Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attending Friday prayers at Tehran University, February 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
The Arab Spring facilitates an Arab-Israeli settlement
The rise of Turkish-style democracy in the Arab world will put an end to cries for the Israel’s destruction, writes Sadegh Zibakalam in the Daily Star.
The Islam that has come out of the Arab Spring is more inclined toward a Turkish than an Iranian model. It is true that Islamists in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt have emerged as the biggest winners in free and fair elections. But it is also true that the Islam they broadly represent is a moderate Islam. It is neither anti-Western nor anti-American. It is not even explicitly anti-Israel. The Islamists are of course critical of Israel’s conduct toward Palestinians, in much the same way that many non-Zionists and secular and non-orthodox Israelis are critical of their government, but they have not raised the banner of the destruction of the Jewish state.
Ultra-Orthodox Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
Sharon Otterman and Ray Rivera of the New York Times look at a long-standing culture of silence over child abuse in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community, a tradition which may be coming to an end.
Abuse victims and their families have been expelled from religious schools and synagogues, shunned by fellow ultra-Orthodox Jews and targeted for harassment intended to destroy their businesses. Some victims’ families have been offered money, ostensibly to help pay for therapy for the victims, but also to stop pursuing charges, victims and victims’ advocates said.
Overrated: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Con Coughlin of Standpoint Magazine offers his own hypothesis on what motivates the Iranian Supreme Leader.
[F]or most of his 22 or so years as Supreme Leader, Khamenei’s main preoccupation has been to overcome the nagging doubts that, as a minor cleric, he does not enjoy the legitimacy to occupy such an exalted position. One way of answering his critics has been to adopt an increasingly combative approach towards the West, particularly with regard to the vexed issue of Iran’s nuclear programme.
Egyptians’ Views of the United States and Israel
The Pew Global Attitudes Project finds that a majority of Egyptians take a dim view of the United States, and wish to end the peace treaty with Israel.
The tremendous political changes that have taken place in Egypt since the end of the Mubarak era have not led to a major shift in perceptions of the U.S. Roughly eight-in-ten Egyptians (79%) express unfavorable attitudes toward the U.S… Most Egyptians favor overturning the 1979 peace treaty in which Egypt became the first Arab country to formally recognize Israel. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) want to annul the treaty, up slightly from last year (54%). Just under a third (32%) want to maintain it.
A Jewish Soldier of the Hair Salons
Vidal Sassoon owed his success to the determination he acquired on the battlefield as an Israeli soldier, writes Benjamin Ivry of the Forward in his eulogy to the world’s most famous hairdresser.
Sassoon’s feisty descriptions in his autobiography of Israeli battlefield experiences make the book read in parts like the memoirs of a retired foot soldier, not anyone involved in the arts world. Although Sassoon returned to England to help support his mother, his experiences in the Holy Land remained an indelible part of his existence, inspiring his creative life.