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Friday 14. January 2011

The failure of governance in the Arab world

Protests in Tunisia and Algeria are part of a rising tide of popular dissatisfaction with illiberal, unreformed Arab rule. Experts deplored a general trend towards "authoritarian retrenchment" as Arab leaders used the west's preoccupation with terrorism, its energy dependence and the Palestine stalemate to deflect external and internal reform pressures.

Category: Press
Monday 03. January 2011

Feb. 10,2011, Berlin: The United Nations against Israel: Demonizing and Delegitimization. Lecure and discussion with Jörg Rensmann (MFFB)

Feb. 10, 2011 | 7.30 pm Jüdisches Gemeindehaus Kleiner Saal Fasanenstr. 79–80 | 10623 Berlin Admission: 5,– | 3,– (reduced)

Category: News
Thursday 16. December 2010

Raid on Islamic Groups in Germany

The German Interior Ministry ordered simultaneous raids in three states on Tuesday against what it called Salafist networks suspected of seeking the imposition of an Islamic state. The action signaled growing concern over the radical messages of some Islamic groups. The ministry statement said the raids were directed at two groups: Invitation to Paradise in the cities of Brunswick and Mönchengladbach, and the Islamic Culture Center of Bremen, on the North Sea coast. The two groups work closely together and share the same ideology. The authorities are seeking to outlaw both groups.

Category: Press
Tuesday 30. November 2010

Deadly Fictions - Lee Smith about Wikileaks

What comes through most strongly from the Wikileaks documents, however, is that U.S. Middle East policy is premised on a web of self-justifying fictions that are flatly contradicted by the assessments of American diplomats and allies in the region. Starting with Bush’s second term and continuing through the Obama Administration, Washington has ignored the strong and repeated pleas of its regional allies—from Jerusalem to Riyadh—to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the documents is the extent to which both the Bush and Obama Administrations have concealed Iran’s war against the United States and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and the Arab Gulf states.

Category: Press
Friday 12. November 2010

Bernard Lewis: "Turkey and Iran may change places"

"The signs so far are alarming," said Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, speaking Thursday before the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. "It looks as though the present rulers of Turkey have decided to reverse the processes which began with the creation of the Turkish republic and to turn in another direction." Mr. Lewis said he could envision "a not-impossible situation in which Turkey and Iran may change places, in which Turkey becomes the Islamic republic and Iran becomes the Western democracy."

Category: Press
Wednesday 10. November 2010

Sunni Hamas and Shiite Iran Form a Common Political Theology

For the last few months, a forty-three-page Arabic-language booklet has been emailed to Hamas activists in the Gaza Strip and to select members of the group in the West Bank and elsewhere. Titled The Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Revolution in Iran, this new publication represents the most important attempt to date to connect the growing cooperation between Hamas and its Iranian mentors to religious affinities, rather than political expediency. The argument, in essence, is that the Muslim Brotherhood -- with Hamas as its Palestinian branch -- is a natural partner of Iran, with which it shares a common set of values and a joint vision of the revival of the caliphate, despite the divide that historically separates Sunnis from Shiites and often sets them against each other.

Category: Press
Saturday 06. November 2010

Hamas and the social Islamization of Gaza

Hamas' strategy is to Islamize the Gaza Strip step by step to avoid provoking neighboring Arab countries and the international community. Hamas has always denied accusations of turning Gaza into an Islamic emirate, but in a very recent interview with Reuters, top Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar asked: "Is it a crime to Islamize the people? I am a Muslim living here according to our tradition. Why should I live under [western] tradition?" Al-Zahar defended Hamas laws and efforts, but declined to say how far it would go with Islamization.

Category: Press
Saturday 06. November 2010

Open Letter of the chief rabbi of South Africa to Desmond Tutu

Dear Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I write to you with a heavy heart.

You are a revered leader in South Africa, but recently have added your iconic voice to the campaign for sanctions against Israel.

Archbishop, I believe you are making a terrible mistake. Without truth there can be no justice, and without justice there can be no peace. The Talmud says: “The world stands on three things: justice, truth and peace.” These three values are inseparable. Archbishop, I am convinced that the sanctions campaign against Israel is morally repugnant because it is based on horrific and grotesquely false accusations against the Jewish people. The truth, archbishop, is that Israel is simply not an apartheid state. In the State of Israel all citizens – Jew and Arab – are equal before the law. Israel has no Population Registration Act, no Group Areas Act, no Mixed Marriages and Immorality Act, no Separate Representation of Voters Act, no Separate Amenities Act, no pass laws or any of the myriad apartheid laws.

Category: Press
Friday 05. November 2010

The foiled Yemeni bomb plot shows why anti-Semitism isn’t only about Jews

We have accustomed ourselves to acts of terror against Jews by rationalizing them. After all, since Israel “occupies” Muslim lands in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Shebaa Farms—and since many people see all of pre-1967 Israel itself as occupied land—it’s not surprising if Jews around the world are going to have their blood spilled because of boundary disputes in the Holy Land.

Category: Press