SARAH HONIG: TURKISH TUMULT Much as the zeal to compare entices, it would be wrong to liken the disturbances in Turkey to those of the misnamed Arab Spring. Foremost, they don’t spring from the same source. Although the Islamist government headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan is nowhere near as tyrannical as Iran’s ayatollahs, the protesters in Istanbul have […]

MARILYN PENN; EVALUATING THE EVALUATORS So the state has imposed a new evaluation system for NYC teachers in which 20% will depend on their students’ test scores. If a teacher happens to work in a marginal neighborhood where students start school already years behind in their vocabulary, their grasp of basic concepts, their attention levels, their ability to sit […]

U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret By Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Foreign Staff

U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret By Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Foreign Staff TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s military fumed Monday over the discovery that the U.S. government had revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military installation in published bid requests. The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a […]

THE MUSLIM CIVIL WAR: BRET STEPHENS The Muslim Civil War by Bret Stephens Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the prominent Sunni cleric, said Friday that Hezbollah and Iran are “more infidel than Jews and Christians.” Coming from the guy who once lauded Hitler for exacting “divine punishment” on the Jews, that really is saying something. That the war in Syria is sectarian was […]


Alicia Keys will be singing in Tel Aviv on July 3, 2013, despite pressure on her to withdraw. Helene Fragman Abramson has been a careful observer of events in the Middle East for as long as she can remember. Most of the time, Abramson grinds her teeth about the raw deal that Israel gets […]


Nothing recedes like success. That’s the oldest and most unforgiving rule of politics, and Barack Obama is living proof.

His stunning re-election last year erased all the fears that public adoration for him had cooled. Now, we were told, the romance would be as hot as ever. The Democrats would have a permanent majority; the pitiless application of state power would destroy the hated conservatives once and for all, with their pathetic obsessions with God, the Constitution and the traditional family, and it would be smooth sailing to an American welfare state, with everybody dependent on a government run by Democratic liberals, radicals and opportunists.

But that was before success began to recede. The president is not out of the game; presidents, with all the trappings and opportunities of power, never are, particularly a president with years left to control and manipulate the government. But this president is weakened to the point of ineffectiveness and his gloomy media chorus, if not yet silenced by cold reality, must now sing a different song.

No one, except for the vicious sopranos in that chorus, will be tempted now to accuse quite so loudly the president’s critics of racism, bigotry and intolerance just for pointing out the flaws in his agenda or taking note of his personal and presidential shortcomings. That dog, in the telling bucolic cliché, won’t hunt now. That dog is dead (and dead dogs smell bad).

Emile Zola’s open letter published on the front page of L’Aurore on 13 January 1898 has become the epitomic expression for denouncing State lies. This expression fits perfectly to denounce the French Republic for sacrificing truth in the name of raison d’État in the Al-Dura Affair. In February 2004, French President Jacques Chirac sent a letter to Charles Enderlin, the author of the Al-Dura report, praising his faithfulness to truth. In 2008, French journalists published an open letter to express their support for Charles Enderlin. In 2009, President Sarkozy granted Enderlin the légion d’honneur, France’s highest decoration. The French State has behaved in the Al-Dura Affair the way it behaved in the Dreyfus Affair –except for the fact that in the Dreyfus Affair, the State eventually admitted that it had orchestrated a lie. And during the Dreyfus Affair, many French “intellectuels” (the word was coined at the time) took personal risks in the name of truth


Trashing Israel Daily:”Israel, on the other hand, is, alas, not yet beyond existential threats. And for those who wish its destruction, Haaretz has made itself a source not only of ready ammunition but also of encouragement and even justification.”

On April 2, an Israeli court convicted a member of the Palestinian security forces of the murder of 25-year-old Asher Palmer and his one-year-old son, Yonatan. The assailant had thrown a large stone through the windshield of Asher’s car, causing a fatal crash. By chance, that same day the West Bank settlement Yakir honored an Arab medic who had saved the life of a two-year-old girl after her mother’s car crashed in a similar stoning incident. The following morning, an Israeli newspaper carried a column by one of its star journalists implying that of the two Arabs connected to the crimes, the killer was the one who had acted properly while the medic was a sell-out.

According to the column, “throwing stones [at Israelis] is the birthright and duty” of Palestinians. This right, although perhaps not the duty, belonged not only to Palestinians living “in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza, but also within Israel’s recognized borders.” Fulfillment of the Palestinian “right and duty” was lagging, the columnist lamented, because it was insufficiently encouraged by Palestinian officials due to “inertia, laziness, flawed reasoning, misunderstanding and…personal gains.”

The newspaper that carried this column was Israel’s most prestigious: Haaretz. Like the New York Times or Le Monde or the prestige newspapers of many other Western countries, it is left-of-center. But Haaretz is more politically engaged than any of them. The New Yorker’s editor, David Remnick, approvingly calls it “easily the most liberal newspaper in Israel and arguably the most important liberal institution in [the] country.”

That Haaretz is critical of the government is an old story: “Golda Meir once said that the only government that Haaretz ever supported was the British Mandate,” Remnick wrote. But since the early 1990s, when management of the paper was assumed by Amos Schocken, it has moved further to the left—so much so that it has made itself a liability to the ceaseless struggle for survival of “the land” that its name evokes.

The author of the column exhorting stone-throwing was Haaretz’s leading correspondent in the Palestinian territories, Amira Hass. Her writings, together with those of two other reporter-columnists, Gideon Levy and Akiva Eldar, constitute the paper’s signature. Hass has chosen to make her home among the Palestinians for the better part of two decades; three years in Gaza, the balance in Ramallah. In a profile in the Independent, the sharply anti-Israel Robert Fisk adulated: “Amira Hass is among the bravest of reporters, her daily column in Haaretz ablaze with indignation at the way her own country, Israel, is mistreating and killing the Palestinians. Only when you meet her, however, do you realize the intensity—the passion—of her work.”

Church of Scotland Shreds Bible Canonizes Palestinian “Scripture,” Flunks Exams by Malcolm Lowe The Kirk has committed theological suicide in order to promote political inanities. The former Church of Scotland is defunct; the Church of Latter Day Scots has taken over the premises. At its recent General Assembly (May 18-24, 2013), the Church of Scotland adopted a pro-Palestinian tract entitled The Inheritance of Abraham? Its Preface […]

Soeren Kern: Britain: Islamic Temporary Marriages on the Rise The proliferation of “temporary marriages” shows how Muslims in Britain are using Islamic Sharia Law to establish parallel forms of marriage that are otherwise illegal. An increasing number of Muslims in Britain are reviving the Islamic practice of temporary marriage, according to a recent BBC television documentary focusing on the “taboo subject.” Temporary marriage […]