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JewishJournal.com

May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012

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

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A man runs to offer help following a bombing in Damascus, May 10, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Palestinians Short of Ideas, Not Guns

Mahmoud Abbas should start talking with Israel instead ‎of trying again to bring international pressure to force ‎Netanyahu’s hand, writes Jonathan S. Tobin of ‎Commentary Magazine.‎

Abbas may harbor hopes a re-elected Obama will return to the pattern of his ‎first three years in office and again seek to pressure Netanyahu to give in to ‎Palestinian demands. But even if that comes to pass, there is only so much ‎his foreign friends can do for him if he isn’t willing to talk to the Israelis. ‎Abbas has demonstrated time and again that he isn’t willing or capable of ‎signing a peace agreement that would recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish ‎state no matter where its borders are drawn.‎


The BBC and “The Jews”‎

Walter Russell Mead of the American Interest calls into question the BBC’s choice of ‎the phrase “the Jewish lobby” in an interview with Norman Finkelstein. ‎

To speak of “the Jews” in the aggregate, as though they form a monolithic super-entity with ‎a single view and agenda, is exactly the kind of thinking that gutter anti-Semitism embraces ‎in every age. To talk of an all-powerful “Jewish lobby” which controls American foreign ‎policy is to embrace the paranoid fantasies of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion.‎


Vigilante Justice and the Jews

Matthew Shaer of the Forward takes a look at the Shomrim, a group of ultra-‎Orthodox men whose anti-crime patrols have sometimes caused friction in their ‎local neighborhoods, and occasionally with the police. ‎

History suggests that the most effective Shomrim patrols are the ones that ‎maintain an active and friendly relationship with the local police. This is the case, ‎for instance, in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Boro Park, where ‎police often speak approvingly of the Shomrim patrols, and in Crown Heights, ‎where the local precinct house has cleared a room for members to congregate. In ‎exchange, the Shomrim patrols keep the NYPD informed of their activities, and up ‎to date on happenings inside the community. And they seem increasingly less likely ‎to operate outside the bounds of the law.‎


Kofi Annan’s Syrian peace plan has ‎been blown out of the water

Writing in the Guardian, Abdel Bari Atwan warns that a third party has entered Syria ‎with the express intent of heightening the already problematic sectarian tensions in ‎the country. ‎

If the extremist groups manage to hasten the fall of the regime, their agenda is unlikely ‎to end there. In post-Saddam Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaida offshoot fanned the ‎flames of a Sunni-Shia sectarian war that was only extinguished by the US army’s ‎‎“surge” and General Petraeus’s “Awakening” campaign, which overwhelmed the jihadis ‎temporarily. But in Syria there are no US forces, no Petraeus in sight.‎


Drawing Focuses on Iran’s Nuke Work

George Jahn of the Associated Press obtains a computer-generated drawing said to ‎prove that Iran has a facility that would enable nuclear weapons tests. ‎

That official said the image is based on information from a person who had seen the ‎chamber at the Parchin military site, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of ‎that informant. The official comes from an IAEA member country that is severely critical of ‎Iran’s assertions that its nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a springboard for ‎making atomic arms. ‎

 

 

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