January 28, 2021

Voice of Israel Interview: Jonathan Spyer on Gaza, Syria, and ISIS

GLORIA's Jonathan Spyer live with Eve Harrow:  in-depth Voice of Israel interview.

Just before leaving for Syria, Jerusalem reporter Jonathan Spyer tells VOI's Eve Harow why a local said to him, 'Suria Rach,' or 'Syria is gone.' These two video interviews are a must-watch for anyone interested in the current chaotic state of the Levant. On ISIS:  "I was actually personally acquainted with Steven Sotloff, one of the two journalists who were murdered by IS," Spyer says in this in-depth interview with Voice of Israel that sheds light on the current chaotic situation. … [Read more...]

“A Compelling and Somber Insight”: Middle East Quarterly Reviews Nazis, Islamists

From the Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2014 issue. Reprinted with permission from the Middle East Forum site. With Islamist groups taking advantage of uprisings across the Middle East, notably in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded for a time in gaining power and is still widely viewed as the democratically elected government of Egypt, the publication of this richly researched book, a joint production of two leading Middle East scholars, could not be timelier. While many analysts … [Read more...]

Qatar, Hamas and the Gaza War

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Al Arriya in Washington, April 2014.

Tower Magazine, August 2014. One of the most notable aspects of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is the prominent role being played by the Emirate of Qatar in supporting the terrorist organization, whose genocidal charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, the leader of the Emirate of Qatar, is acting as Hamas’ “channel of communication” to the international community. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is now … [Read more...]

Voices on Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Here's a roundup of four pieces which have appeared in the the media recently about the book Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (click for full preview), by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, now available through Amazon.com. As of this week, we are pleased to report that, as of May 11, this book is ranking #80 for sales in two categories on Amazon.com:     Number #80 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & … [Read more...]

Why the Arab/Muslim World Is Trapped

While we see few occasions of consciousness–and certainly few publicly expressed–from Arab and Muslim intellectuals of what is really going on, they still do take place. For example, in a December 30, 2013, interview that aired on CBC TV, Egyptian novelist Youssef Ziedan said: "We should reconsider our notions regarding the Jewish question. We are not even aware how much this affects us. [Antisemitism] has become a common trade, benefiting all our politicians. Any politician who wants to … [Read more...]

Imagine All the People Living in Islamist Hegemony: Why Lennon and Dylan Know All About Islamist Hegemony

If you want to understand Arab and Muslim politics, read Constantine Zurayk's article published shortly after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Zurayk was a frustrated Arab moderate trying to understand how Middle East politics worked. He realized that as long as Israel was only perceived as a high mountain to Arab ambitions, Israel would always stand in the way of Arab political development. When Zionism or Israel is made to be the focus, this conflict will justify all Arab and Muslim anti-Israel, … [Read more...]

Diplomacy and International Relations Are Mostly About “Harb” (War) and “Salaam” (Peace)

Last week on CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked Fareed Zakaria a question: Did Zakaria think the death of Nelson Mandela might make international statesmen turn pacifistic and more concerned with people's welfare.  Zakaria said in a polite way, of course not. This exchange was extremely significant. Blitzer apparently thinks that the purpose of diplomacy is to avoid conflict. Zakaria knew that the world is run by power politics. I think that's the view of post-Cold War naivety–that the post-Cold War … [Read more...]

The Arab Spring” Is Now Officially Over

barry-rubin

The "Arab Spring” is now officially over. Basically it accomplished nothing. Will anyone speak these honest, obvious words? It is officially over because Tunisia, whose revolution started the whole thing, has fallen apart. Tunisia's electoral democracy was as much a failure as Egypt’s. The governing Islamist party failed. --The crisis paralyzed the country. --Two moderate politicians were assassinated with Islamist involvement. --The opposition walked out of parliament … [Read more...]

Foreign Policy Farce: U.S. Conduct of Israel = Palestinian Peace Process

barry-rubin

Let's consider what has just happened. A farce.    What is shocking is the lack of outrage by mainstream journalists and foreign policy opinion-makers. This has required the slanderous consignment of normal and proper and competent foreign policy practices--as would have been demanded and done at any time in U.S. history--to silly partisanship that isn't even worth discussing.   The United States of America officially announced the resumption of negotiations when they are nowhere near … [Read more...]

How Much Did U.S. Policy Makers Learn about the Middle East in Forty Years? Some Proof

barry-rubin

Consider this quotation: “Israeli pessimism seems largely if not entirely unwarranted. It seems based on an extraordinary lack of understanding of what happened in the Arab world in the last year and a half. Rather than girding their loins for the fifth, sixth, seventh Israeli-Arab wars. The Israelis might examine more carefully than they seem to have done so far the alternative of a peaceful accommodation with the Arabs.” This is not a reference to the “Arab Spring.” No, it’s … [Read more...]