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Fatah torn over potential end to dispute between Abbas and Dahlan - Middle East - Jerusalem Post

Sisi attempts to facilitate reunion of political rivals.
Fatah leaders are divided over Egypt’s latest efforts to end the long-standing dispute between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his political rival Mohamed Dahlan.

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The ISIS ‘Storm’ and policy implications

ISIS attacks in Paris, Beirut, Iraq, in the past weeks, and about two weeks ago against a Russian airliner in the Sinai are all spectacular attacks against regional countries and international powers under the guise of ISIS’s “Storm” operation.

Is there a movement against Iran's intervention in Syria?

In the past couple of weeks, tens of Iranians have been killed in Syria and buried in Iran.
More than 45 Iranian soldiers have been killed, mainly near the city of Aleppo. A dozen of them were IRGC commanders and generals - including General Hosein Hamedani, Colonel Farshad Hasounizadeh, Brigadier Hamid Mokhtarband, and the commander of the Fatemiyyun brigade, Ibrahim Yaqubi.

Will Rouhani and Zarif defy Khamenei by holding direct talks with US on Syria? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Despite Ayatollah Khamenei's public prohibition of dialogue with the United States on regional issues, it appears that Iran and the United States are bound to engage on Syria.

Many Syrians in US fear they are no longer welcome - U.S. - Stripes

Viewed with sympathy this summer as thousands tried to reach Europe in unseaworthy boats, many of the more than 1,600 Syrian refugees who have won asylum in the U.S. now worry that the country that had seemed their best hope may not be prepared to welcome them.

We can get this Syrian refugee situation right - Chicago Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner made a reasonable decision in attempting to temporarily halt Syrian refugees' entrance. Illinois, in cooperation with the federal government, should review how refugees are selected. Refugees who come to America have been referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees before coming here and are far less likely to be terrorists.

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BREAKING: Abbas Admits For the First Time That He Turned Down Peace Offer in 2008 | The Tower

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly confirmed for the first time that he turned down a peace offer in 2008 that would have provided for an independent Palestinian state containing all of the Gaza Strip, much of the West Bank (with land swaps), and a tunnel connecting the two areas.

How Kurdistan bypassed Iraq's central govt and sold oil on global market

LONDON,— Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has for the first time detailed its secretive oil exports operations and said it plans to sell more, whether Baghdad likes it or not, as it needs money to survive and fight Islamic State. The region’s minister for natural resources, Ashti Hawrami, said that to avoid detection oil was often …

The world can't choose which terrorists it gets to support

There are no good terrorists. The Hamas terrorists who killed Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son Natanel last Friday, near Otniel in the Hebron Hills, are bad terrorists. They’re just as bad as the Islamic State terrorists responsible for the carnage in Paris later the same day.

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Egypt economic recovery remains fragile: Report

Egypt’s economic recovery is still fragile as some factors may continue to weigh on private sector growth in the medium-term such as high budget deficit, wide external gap, poor infrastructure, microeconomic distortions and low competitiveness, stated a report prepared by France-based research firm Coface.

Are German IHH and Turkish IHH related?

Today we saw many news stories about the German government banning the IHH - the Internationale Humanitäre Hilfsorganisation - "charity" organization because of its ties with Hamas: Germany's government has banned an organization it accuses of collecting donations that are sent to Hamas-related welfare projects. The Islamist movement is included on the European Union's terror group blacklist. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement that the International Humanitarian Relief Organization was banned Monday because it has used donations to support projects in Gaza that are related to Hamas – while presenting their activities to donors as humanitarian help.

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The U.S. plan to counter Russia in Syria | Brookings Institution

The U.S. response to Russia’s bold move into Syria, according to critics and even many allies, has been dangerously listless. However, a closer look at U.S. policy reveals, for better or for worse, a subtle but more assertive U.S. reaction to confront what Washington perceives as a challenge from Russia.

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Syrian Refugees Are Not A Threat - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Nearly five years into the war in Syria, the diplomats have been brought back into service. The talks launched last month and continuing yesterday in Vienna, when Iran joined the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to discuss the Syrian conflict, are the first glimmer of political light in years. There is not a moment to lose — as the terrible events in Paris show.

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5 Obstacles That We Must Overcome in Syria -- Starting with Assad

It is naïve to expect that after four and a half years of fighting for political survival, Assad and the leaders of his security agencies will negotiate their way out of Syria. They will leave only if pressured militarily and if their patrons (Russia and Iran) abandon them.

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President Obama's Cynical Refugee Ploy - The American Interest

The debate we are having over the acceptance of Syrian refugees is not the conversation the country needs.

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The Paris Response: Answering Urgent Questions in the Anti-ISIS Fight - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

As the United States and its allies search for the most effective responses to the latest ISIS atrocity, four Washington Institute experts weigh in on key questions concerning refugee policy, increased Turkish participation in the war, the Islamic State's tactical shift toward international terrorism, and Russia's poor fit as an ally against the group.

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Building an army for Syria's future | Brookings Institution

As the conflict in Syria has claimed more than 250,000 lives and spilled into neighboring states—and now Europe—the United States should create an opposition army capable of stabilizing the conflict and, ultimately, producing a negotiated peace.

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With Attacks, ISIS Now a Global Worry - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In an interview with the Harvard Gazette, the project's Faculty Director, R. Nicholas Burns, and former assistant secretary of intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and lecturer in public policy, Juliette Kayyem, discuss the implications of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut and weigh in on counterterrorism strategies that the U.S. and European countries should take to offset and deter the threat of future homeland attack by ISIS.

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The numbers prove the AKP cheated in Turkey's elections - AEI | Foreign and Defense Policy Blog » AEIdeas

It seems AKP supporters were registered at multiple sites, in effect voting multiple times. The numbers don’t lie. President Erdoğan stole Turkey's election.

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Yachad poll of UK Jews and Israel compromised by loaded questions | UK Media Watch

The key way to get a totally biased survey outcome matching the message you really want to put across is this: is feed your respondents a whole set of statements that embody the political views you...

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KSA emerges as a major player on world stage | Arab News

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is a major player in the global economy, a senior economist following the G-20 summit, which concluded in Antalya on Monday, observed.

Seven arrested for 'media Jihad' | Tunisialive

By Zeineb Marzouk | Nov 17 2015 Seven Tunisian women have been arrested on suspicion of providing online support to the Islamic State, the Interior Ministry announced today. An investigation by the National Unit for Research in Crimes of Terrorism led to the arrest of the unnamed women in Tunis yesterday. The seven are accused of operating an online media cell termed, the Soldiers of the Caliphate, which is believed to have been supervised by the fugitive militant Saifeddine Jmali, also known as Abu Qaqaa.

France's Politically Correct War on Islamic Terror

+French leaders consistently act in ways that undermine their stated goal of eradicating Islamic terror.
+Critics of the policy say "Daesh" is a politically correct linguistic device that allows Western leaders to claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic -- and thus ignore the root cause of Islamic terror and militant jihad.
+French leaders have also been consistently antagonistic toward Israel, a country facing Islamic terror on a daily basis. France is leading international diplomatic efforts to push for a UN resolution that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within a period of two years. The move effectively whitewashes Palestinian terror.
+French critics of Islam are routinely harassed with strategic lawsuits that seek to censor, intimidate and silence them. In a recent case, Sébastien Jallamion, a 43-year-old policeman from Lyon was suspended from his job and fined 5,000 euros after he condemned the death of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel, who was beheaded by jihadists in Algeria.
+"Those who denounce the illegal behavior of fundamentalists are more likely to be sued than the fundamentalists who behave illegally." — Marine Le Pen, leader of France's Front National.

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How to Beat ISIS: The President Is Partly Right - The American Interest

In a contentious press conference, President Obama vowed to stay the course regarding his ISIS policy in the wake of the Paris attacks. The AP reports: President Barack Obama on Monday conceded that the Paris terror attacks were a “terrible and sickening setback” in the fight against the Islamic State, but forcefully dismissed critics who have called for the U.S. to change or expand its military campaign against the extremists. “The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately is going to work,” Obama said during a news conference at the close of two days of talks with world leaders. “It’s going to take time.”

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Why ISIS might regret the decision to go global | Brookings Institution

Initial reports about the Paris attacks suggest a disturbing possibility: that ISIS is changing its strategy and going global. Although this might seem like a no-brainer—hasn’t it always hated America?—in reality, ISIS has long focused its energies locally and regionally. It is worth looking at the benefits and risks to ISIS of going global.

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How to Destroy Rather Than Just Contain ISIS

Is the phony war over at last? That is the most immediate question we face in the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Paris, which killed...

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Europe Must Deal With the Breeding of Terrorism Within Its Borders - NYTimes.com

Restricting migration would do nothing to address the cause of such attacks: radicalization of the marginalized within the E.U., many of them citizens.

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Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state? | Informed Comment

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | - - Some analysts trying to understand Daesh (ISIL, ISIS) had suggested that …

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A look at the policy options in war-torn Syria | Brookings Institution

On November 16, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and the Center for Middle East Policy will host an event focused on standing up a better and newly formed Syrian opposition army, working harder to contain the violence there with regional states and partners, and pursuing an “ink spot” approach aiming to create a confederal Syria with multiple autonomous zones.

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What terrorists mean when they condemn terror

Bashar Assad, Ayatollah Khamenei, Khaled Mashal, Hassan Nasrallah and the dread Dormamu, the leaders of Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Dark Dimension all agree that they should condemn the attack on Paris and there are some very good reasons for this. All of these leaders have cults of personality that can get away with treating their followers as mindless ones who murder innocents on command but that magic requires their hordes of dolts to believe they are exclusively on the side of “good.”  Condemning the obvious but very similar evil of others simply makes it easier for these hoary hordes of haggoth to enjoy the truthiness of their comparative moral superiority through the magical joys and wonders of hypocrisy. These wizards of woe cannot turn lead into gold but they carefully turn cold blooded murder into saintliness all the time. Cynical condemnations such as the the condemnations of the Paris attacks simply provide rhetorical cover. These people just want to kill Jews and politicla opponents, so condemning the deaths of non Jews suggests they have such a sophisticated moral point of view that we ought not to question it. 

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What France and Europe Might Learn

By constantly endorsing pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli policies, France has obviously been seeking to appease Islamic countries. France seems convinced that such policies will keep Muslim terrorists from targeting French nationals and interests. The French are now in grave danger of mistakenly believing that the November 13 attacks occurred because France did not appease the Muslim terrorists enough.

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Church destroyed by MB rebuilt by Egyptian army | wataninet.com

Yesterday, Saturday 14 November, saw the official opening of the newly rebuilt church of Amir Tadros (St Theodore) in Minya.…

Paris & the ISIS Razzle Dazzle

The latest attacks in Paris took place in a trendy part of town near the offices of Charlie Hebdo where Al Qaeda had attacked and while the “soft targets” were more in the style of ISIS but the multiple attacks and locations suggest the attackers had logistical support of some kind from Al Qaeda. ISIS needs all the help it can get.  This assist might have been simply personal that switched organizations or somehow work for both or higher levels of agreement could have been reached between the increasingly marginalized Al Qaeda organization the increasingly bruised Caliphate -- perhaps they cooperated because they both needed to make a big kill to impress their world. Al Qaeda needs breathing room and it believes attacking the West at home will make us pull out of the Middle East where they can fester freely despite the opposite that terror draws an attack always being true and a more logical expectation. ISIS is chopping off the heads of defectors rather than gaining camaraderie and more importantly the so called caliphate itself is shrinking and slowly being bisected by Kurdish forces and the American air force while also facing a Russian, Iranian and Syrian terror alliance.

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ISIS's Global Strategy: A Wargame | Institute for the Study of War

The United States currently faces multiple national security threats in an environment of growing disorder. ISIS is executing a sophisticated global strategy that involves simultaneous efforts in Iraq

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Paris, ISIS, and the Long War Against Extremism | Center for Strategic and International Studies

It is one of the grim ironies of the terrorist attacks in Paris that only a few hours earlier, the media had been calling to ask if the reported killing of “Jihadi John” had somehow marked a “turning point” in the war against terrorism. The tragedy in Paris has now led to the other side of this routine: focusing on the immediate risk of future disasters while losing interest in the victories against the Islamic State in Sinjar.

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Five things to know about the Paris attack | Brookings Institution

What does the Paris attack tell us about ISIS? What does it tell us about Syrian refugees in Europe? And will the United States be next?

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Telling Mideast Negotiators, ‘Have a Nice Life’

The Israelis and Palestinians need America to be blunt about reality if they are to break the paralysis in their internal politics.

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Meditations in States of Emergency like France

Paris has had what will likely be the worst acts of terror on Paris since the occupation. My heart and grief go out to the French people, who do not deserve this. The Middle East is a burning building. Put out the fire of regional turmoil and the smoke of terrorism in Europe and America will slowdown and cease rather than see the fire spread here, as firemen we have to stop treating the present map of the Middle East as though it were a building worth saving. The fire has burned too long, spread too easily and the building was too poorly made to be saved. The West needs to rethink its strategy in the Middle East.

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Hollande blames IS armed group for Paris terror attacks

FRANCE - French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State Armed Group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead, calling them...

A quiet comeback for the Free Syrian Army?

Despite repeated defeats and write-offs, Syria’s moderate rebels were never fully eliminated, and have recently been on the front foot. The loose coalition of non-jihadist Syrian rebels often dubbed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has not had an easy time of the past two years.


Iran's Rouhani brands Paris attacks 'crimes against humanity'

Rouhani had been due to hold talks in Rome on Saturday with Pope Francis as well as Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before tr

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NATO's Turn to Attack | Foreign Policy

There’s a time for soft power and playing the long game. But the attacks in Paris prove the Islamic State is overdue for eradication.

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Kerry says he has been told Assad means to enter real negotiation | Reuters

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to enter meaningful negotiations as part of a political solution to his country's civil war outlined at peace talks on Saturday, according to intermediaries, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Around the Halls: What is ISIS' Strategy? | Brookings Institution

As ISIS (also known as ISIL and the Islamic State) continues to dominate world headlines, Brookings experts exchanged a candid discussion via email of the group’s motivations and the U.S. response.

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Why Jihadi John's 'assassination' is nowhere near as important as you think | Voices | The Independent

The assassination of Mohammed Emwazi by a US drone is a symbolic success for the US and Britain in a war that is full of symbols. The ritual murders of journalists and aid workers carried out by Emwazi were themselves intended to symbolise the ruthlessness and determination of Islamic State (Isis) and create fear among its enemies.

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Turkey's path to dictatorship - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Erdogan’s renewed ambitions to install an authoritarian presidential system in Turkey are raising concerns he might further restrict freedom of the press and open a path for a dictatorship.

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No conciliation between Amreya Copts and Muslims | wataninet.com

 The Coptic Makanouti clan of the village of al-Ula in Amreya south west Alexandris has denied rumours circulated by the…

The Enemies of the Leader

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How Proxy Wars Work in Syria | Foreign Affairs

Proxy wars do not end without bottom-up attempts to make peace among local fighters or a fundamental shift in the conflict’s balance of power on the ground.

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From Turkey to Myanmar

Within a week, Turkey and Myanmar have both had elections at what amount to opposite ends of the Old World. While they may be seen as examples of democracy in

Is Assad's Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Paying Off? :: Middle East Forum

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi Syria Deeply November 11, 2015 Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, government forces and allied militias fighting to support Bashar al-Assad have launched a series of coordinated ground offensives across northwestern Syria since the beginning of October. The hope is to regain territory lost to rebels over the past year and to shore up areas vital to Assad's survival. But while state-run Syrian and Russian media highlight success after success, the results may not be as promising as Assad and his backers would have liked.

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The Antisemite Behind the Settlement Boycotts by Guest Poster | Israellycool

Further proof BDS and antisemitism go hand-in-hand. With the EU labeling products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and boycotts already in the offing, it is important to look at where this idea came from in the first place.
It should come as no surprise that this idea comes from the BDS movement and one BDS-hole in particular: Fayyad Sbaihat, a former National Spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Movement:

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ISIS in Libya fights to emulate Iraq, Syria success | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

The attack bore all the traits of ISIS in Iraq. A small unit of militants, armed with Kalashnikov rifles and suicide belts, hit the Tripoli prison just before sunrise.

Egypt's woes erode el-Sissi's image of invincibility

CAIRO (AP) — The criticism was blunt — and startling, since it came from a TV presenter on a state-owned station that, like most other media in Egypt, usually has nothing but praise for Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the country's general-turned-president.

Kerry's counterproductive Syria strategy (with addendum) | Brookings Institution

As Secretary Kerry prepares to leave for Vienna for another round of peace talks with outside powers focused on that forsaken land, Michael O'Hanlon worries that the simple act of trying may do more harm than good. Tragically, Syria is not ripe for peace. [Editors' Note: This post has been updated in the wake of the Paris attacks.]

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How a statuette dashed hopes for Turkish-Egyptian reconciliation - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

While a visit to Egypt by representatives of Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges initially sparked hopes of a reconciliation between Ankara and Cairo, things seem unlikely to change anytime soon.

The Coming Crackdown in Iran | The National Interest Blog

The heart of the current fight is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s campaign against foreign influence, or nafooz in Persian.

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Turkey, ya can't rig an election ya didn't win!

I’m proudly from Chicago, a one party government disguised as a democracy and I am proud to see that Turkey joined our club. I congratulate President Erdogan on his stunning victory, people may decide there were voting irregularities, rigging, fake votes and all of that is as true as it is unimportant; Chicago knows a deeper truth, ‘ya can’t rig an election ya didn’t win.’ Supposedly the AKP gained 5 million votes in five months by not allowing a coalition government to form, cracking down on journalism, two major terrorist bombings amid rumors of false flag operations, dragging Turkey into what will become a civil war while the economy is declining and only not collapsing based on US interest rates remaining flat. Every poll in Turkey from June through October showed the AKP in steady decline losing between 8 and 9 points just before the election with all other parties gaining a couple of points. Anyone can see Turkey won those votes, they just not win them from actual voters there’s no reason to complain. The more important truth is the AKP did not lose a lot of votes in consideration of its behavior, they won enough to be a majority party but the margins were adjusted to keep Turkish a one party state. There was not enough opposition to make ridiculous AKP manipulations of the election. 

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Middle East News For The Perplexed: Russia's Pyrrhic Diplomacy

Sometimes a “police action” is a war in disguise such as America in Vietnam and Russia in the Ukraine to make the odium of war more palatable and other times “war” is a police action such as the war in Grenada or the Falkand islands but are called war to bolster nationalism. Russia has split the difference between the two versions with its military projection in Syria.  If war is merely “the continuation of diplomacy by other means” as Carl von Clausewitz described war, Russia has gained far less than the bombast or bomb blast of Russia projecting force into the Middle East would appear to give. Russia is looking for a Russian Grenada moment, a “we’re back” moment that the Reagan administration was able to leverage to bolster nationalism after the Iran hostage crisis. For a good 72 hours, Russia enjoyed this internationally but Russia has probably failed to save the Assad regime, failed to find a way to fight ISIS well, failed to demonstrate the Russian War machine is a machine anyone but Russia needs except for the occasional bargain and Russia seems incapable of implementing a long term strategy that would either lead to stability or a higher profile for the Russian federation. Russia has been further exposed as being in an alliance with Iran and Hezbollah which will harm both nations over the long term as they will be increasing seen as an adversary worth marginalizing. The only bigger loser in Syria is the Obama administration that seems to forget when Washington does nothing, someone will do something terrible. Russia’s message to the world was supposed to be, “if you don’t negotiate with us diplomatically then you’ll have to negotiate with our military” but the real message has become don’t worry if Russia fights some mass murdering Sunni terrorists but supports Shia terrorism because Russia handles both poorly. Russia believes it has brought the din of war to Syria, Russia is printing “Support Assad” t-shirts like a third world country facing inflation prints currency but Syria involvement could be the “dim” of war leads to and ultimately ends Putin’s Russia as thoroughly as Word War I ended Czarist Russia.  

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Middle East News For The Perplexed: Satan breaks 9 year Hajj losing streak

King Salmon, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is going to need a big mop this year. During the part of the Hajj where “Satan” is stoned by the Muslim faithful, stones and curses are thrown at a stone walls meant to represent Satan and usually he loses and most people would expect without arms or legs he could never win. Any Satanic victory in Mecca must be very embarrassing. The stampeding that has so far killed over 700 pilgrims is the worst in 25 years according to AP and the worst disaster since the 2006 loss of just under 350 people. So, how is it that the worse angel prevails? The Saudi Kingdom has been knocking down and paving over anything that is UNESCO worthy to build shopping malls and five star hotels, perhaps in the hopes of renaming the place Mecca Disney but it seems they may be lacking in crowd control. Perhaps, the Saudis should consider building more hospitals. There’s no reason why Islam’s holiest place has to seem more like an oversized European football/soccer stadium. There is only one good way to reduce the problems during the Hajj and that is to reduce the number of people. There are only three ways to reduce the number of people, either charge more and make everything more expensive, decide on a manageable number and limit visits to that number or let people trample each other to death. Option three is getting ugly.  I wish my Jewish readers l’shana tova and my Muslim readers an easy, reflective fast – Eid mubarak.

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Middle East News For The Perplexed: Abbas Stubs His Toe With Jerusalem "Dirty Feet" Comment

Quick, what’s the second holiest site in Islam? The malls outside of Mecca, after that it’s Medina. What’s the third holiest site in Islam, if you thought the answer is Jerusalem, you’d be wrong. There are several reasons why, "And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.' And when the last warning will come to pass, We will gather you together in a mingled crowd." (Qur'an, Sura 17:104, "The Night Journey")   This is significant, because Islam’s prophet not only said that Israel belongs to the Jews, he did so as part of his “Night Journey” where he dreamed his soul had come to Jerusalem. While Jerusalem should be and is a sight that Muslims find holy, it is not an Islamic holy place as the rise of Islam did not confer holiness on this sight but recognized what predated the Muslim religion and the holiness of the people who had built and lost two temples there. Such a statement may seem extreme and against Islam but considering the controversy at the holy site there is no equitable solution while ignoring inequity. To simply be kind to a narrative supported by people who defy the Qur'an makes no sense. Later, the Ottoman’s in a fit of war against the Crusaders built the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque complex in ironic defiance of the Qur'an.  There’s no need to see the Ottomans as any better or worse than the European crusaders who would likely build a Church over the ruins of the Temple and whom the Ottoman’s were competing with, but to Jews they were ultimately a pair of nest stealers. So fast-forward several hundred years of Ottoman, British, and Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem and there’s quite a mess. For hundreds of years Muslims have prevented the free access of Jews to Jerusalem and Israel. Allowing the Waqf to administer the holy site has continued much of that failure. The Waqf could be replaced or reformed but Jews need to exercise their rights, right now.   

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After the Iran Deal: Obama, Netanyahu, and the Future of Israel - The Atlantic

Will Israel’s prime minister recognize that his country faces more than one threat to its existence? A congregational rabbi, an acquaintance of mine, called the other day in search of sermon advice in advance of Rosh Hashanah. This particular rabbi leans right ritually and left politically. His question: How do I explain to younger congregants that the cause of Israel remains just, given their distaste for the reactionary Benjamin Netanyahu; their incomprehension of Israel’s settlement policy; and their intuitive sympathy for Netanyahu’s adversary, Barack Obama, and the liberal politics Obama represent

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Can Turkey pull back from brink of civil conflict? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

"Turkey is on the brink of a civil war.” This is how Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish bloc in the Turkish parliament, the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), chillingly described the spiraling violence that has engulfed Turkey after a two-year cease-fire between rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish army ended in July.
While both sides continue to blame the other for the demise of what promised to be the most hopeful attempt yet at ending the 31-year conflict, the news coming out of Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeastern region suggests that Demirtas’ rhetoric may not be entirely overblown. Eric S. Edelman, the former US ambassador to Turkey, went as far as to predict in an interview with Al-Monitor that Turkey might even “be sucked into the vortex swirling around Iraq and Syria,” unless the prevailing political dynamics are reversed.

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PKK terrorism and moral clarity - İbrahim Kalın - Daily Sabah

The PKK is probably the only terrorist organization in the world that carries out bloody terrorist attacks but the government instead is blamed for the violence. It is the only terror group that shamelessly says ‘peace while blowing up people with roadside bombs and murdering people on the streets

GÖKHAN BACIK - Turkey and Israel: Does ‘bribing’ help?

Bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel have not been good for years. In the beginning, it was certain events -- such as the Davos case or the Mavi Marmara flotilla -- that provoked the deterioration. However, there are simple symptoms of deep change both in Turkey and in Israel. It is not true that those events caused the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations.

'The rupture strategy' of Israeli diplomacy | i24news - See beyond

One recalls that upon accepting her duties as vice-foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely presented to astonished diplomats the strategy that she intended for them to henceforth implement. Let us invoke the security sector: she told them, in essence, that we have a right to this land that God gave to us, it is written in Rashi, the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh. The day the "world" will accept this, it will understand our position. Just explain it to them …

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After tumultuous history, what's next for Turkish-Iranian relations? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

For Turkey and Iran, preventing differences over regional issues from spilling into their bilateral relations will — now more than ever — be a balancing act. TEHRAN, Iran — For the past 35 years, political and economic development in Iran and Turkey have experienced a virtually inverse relationship. As one country has seen improvement, the other has gone into decline. In the 1980s, Turgut Ozal developed Turkey’s economy while Iran was fighting a devastating eight-year war with Iraq. Then, with the end of Ozal's era, successive unstable administrations came to dominate Turkish politics during the 1990s. Meanwhile, Presidents Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami improved Iran’s economy. The Iranian inflation rate, which topped 29% in 1998, had dropped to 13% by 2005.

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Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Teacher passed UNRWA course in ethics - and posts terror pics on Facebook

In 2010, UNRWA put out a 52-page Request for Proposal seeking development of an e-learning course in Ethics and UNRWA Standards of Conduct. Muhannad Alshatarat, an UNRWA teacher in Jordan, took this course in 2013. And he passed with flying colors! The course impressed him so much that he posts pictures of Islamic Jihad terrorists on Facebook: That course must be super-effective in teaching UNRWA employees how to think ethically. Any journalists want to ask more than superficial questions about how UNRWA conducts itself when staffers show that they support violence and murder?

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The Iran charade on Capitol Hill - The Washington Post

President Obama has executed a successful runaround of Congress to push through the Iran nuclear deal. Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the United Nations, President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation — in advance of any congressional action.

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Turkey's 'Good' and 'Bad' Terrorists :: Middle East Forum

by Burak Bekdil The Gatestone Institute September 10, 2015 In a high-level meeting about fifteen years ago, a young foreign official accompanied the visiting Turkish land forces commander and his wife. The official, now a high-level foreign diplomat, still recalls the good memories from that visit, including the Turkish coffee cup they brought as a gift -- a fine coffee cup still used every morning. "Daesh [Islamic State] will commit more and more acts of terror against Turkey and the West," the diplomat says today. "Salafist ideology lures people -- people with a worm in their brains. It offers adventures for young people. This is jihad tourism, and people do not understand this is a one-way tour."

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Abbas big loser in Palestinian National Council postponement - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The decision to postpone a planned emergency meeting of the Palestinian National Council signals an impending transition of power within the Palestinian movement.

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CENTCOM's Manipulated Intelligence

50 intelligence analysts for Centcom have formally complained that reports on Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria and ISIS have been “altered” to show the UN winning the war. In context of the last two administrations, this is huge problem. We now have two administrations from two different parties with very different views on how to deal with the Middle East pressing intelligence into supporting policy initiatives with favorable intelligence. The Obama administration is cultivating yes men like the previous Bush administration did and there will be consequences. If the US public is surprised by a sudden display of strength of either ISIS or Al Qaeda (Nursa Front) then the US public will be reminded of Vietnam which will deeply complicate US security and regional stability going forward. More importantly, US intelligence now has a bipartisan and therefore systemic problem. The office of the President can now be seen as untrustworthy with intelligence, therefore some new form of congressional oversight will be necessary.  The Eric Snowden story centered on leaking state secrets, suggesting the government was withholding information from the world, the CENTCOM issue is that of a government lying to itself and the public. In addition, Congress is reviewing the nuclear agreement with Iran which at its core relies on US expertise and US intelligence to make certain the treaty will prevent Iran from having a nuclear bomb and now the public will have to wonder if that too is the product of senior level yes men. While there will always be a certain amount of spin and pandering in public reports based on intelligence by the party in power, government must have a way to get the most objective facts possible and the public cannot tolerate institutionalized self-deception in the executive branch, especially when that intelligence can affect US forces under fire. 

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What’s Next for Turkey’s HDP Party? | Middle East Institute

Despite enduring a contentious campaign in its fight to get the ten percent of the national vote necessary to enter parliament, Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)—part of the same political movement as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—ran on a fundamentally optimistic platform. It articulated democratic hopes for the so-called “peace process,” that is, the Turkish government-led, long-stuttering negotiations to end the PKK insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people since 1984. Wi...

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IranWire | "20 percent of Iranian journalists have been tortured"

  Iranian journalists are exposed to severe stress because of their work, which is affecting their emotional wellbeing, according to new research. In the second of a two-part interview with Journalism Is Not A Crime, Dr. Anthony Feinstein, who is behind the research, explains why PTSD might affect the ability of journalists to work, and how his new research can be used to help journalists who are suffering from PTSD or depression.   Read part one of ...

Sweida Escapes Regime Control

False rumors of Druze attacking Alawites in Sweida have spread rapidly. No such incident has taken place yet. As some feared, Wahid al-Balous, a prominent anti-regime Druze sheikh, was assassinated on the morning of Friday, September 4. A professionally prepared car bomb was powerful enough to kill the leader of the “Karama sheikhs” (clerics of dignity), a religious youth group independent from the Assad regime. A few days previously, Balous had vowed not to allow regime forces to arrest any of the protestors on the streets of the town of Sweida as they were demanding essential services such as electricity and fuel; none was thus arrested thanks to Karama sheikhs under Balous’ leadership, who protected the protestors.

Israeli Man Goes Missing In Yemen, Family Fears Islamic State Abduction

JNS.org – A 64-year-old Israeli man who left Israel to visit Yemen three months ago is missing amid concerns he may have been captured by the Islamic State terror group. The man—a Yemenite Jew living in Ashkelon whose name has not been revealed—made aliyah 20 years ago after he had been imprisoned back in Yemen for hanging an Israeli flag outside his home. Since then, he has visited Yemen four times using a foreign passport. His family in Israel is concerned […]

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King’s Visit Heralds Evolving U.S.-Saudi Strategic Alliance

The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington is an independent, non-profit think tank dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of the social, economic and political diversity of the Arab Gulf states.

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What will US-Saudi summit mean for Iranian policy in the Middle East? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

In a meeting Sept. 4 with US President Barack Obama, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was assured that the nuclear deal prevents Iran — whose influence in the region the kingdom is eager to counter — from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

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HDP official: anti-Kurd attacks a step to civil war

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An official from the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) has accused Turkey on Tuesday of waging a war against the Kurds, claiming that 128 of the pro-Kurdish party's buildings were attacked Monday.   HDP Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag said in a press...

The Syrians between a Rock and a Hard Place

The only real solution to ending the Syrian refugee crisis is removing the source of the problem—Assad. Eyad Abu Shakra writes in today's Opinion

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The Iran deal’s shelf life is far shorter than advertised | New York Post

What’s the Iran deal’s shelf life? Are we really guaranteed 15 years of peace, prosperity and no Iranian nukes? Perhaps the better question is, who’ll tear up the deal first, us or the Iranians? On...

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Benjamin Netanyahu faces a stark dilemma in the Iran nuclear deal - The Washington Post

Will the Israeli leader try to rebuild bipartisan relations in Washington or cozy up to Republican candidates?

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ANALYSIS: Obama will not push Israel on peace process

U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to make any moves toward renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the AP reported on Tuesday.

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Boycotting Elections in Morocco: a Matter of Choice or a Matter of Trust? - The Moroccan Times

Agourai, Morocco-As the communal and regional elections are lurking around the corner, Moroccans’ opinions are split up between voting or not. For the ones who will make it to the ballot, they face the difficult choice as to whom they should vote for, the most competent candidate that has convinced them during the election …

Marib is symbolic of the fight to free Yemen | The National

A complex mix of alliances is unified by the goal of restoring the Hadi government. Marib province, on the edge of the desert east of Yemen’s capital, might not seem to be the inevitable route to drive the Houthi-led rebels from Sanaa. But it is essential to the goal of the coalition of Gulf States and Yemeni forces loyal to president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to restore the internationally recognised government.
Marib is strategically important. A predominantly Sunni region, it has successfully repelled the rebels’ attempts to take control of the oil- and gas-rich province. By the estimate of two of the tribal leaders in Marib, there is an 8,000-strong force of Yemeni fighters and tribal militia members.

‘Arab nation’ only in name | Opinion , Editorial | THE DAILY STAR

As thousands more Syrian refugees pour into Europe every day, some of the more inhospitable responses are gradually being replaced with more welcoming gestures and initiatives.

Gulf intervention in Yemen and the concept of deterrence

The painful loss of 45 Emirati, 10 Saudi and five Bahraini soldiers in Yemen last week confirmed the seriousness of the commitment to jointly confront the region’s dangerous circumstances, which are becoming more difficult for everyone. The importance of Gulf political and military cooperation is not only in winning wars, but more so to solidify the concept of deterrence. The cost is very high for the other party against a joint force.

The new pulse of Gulf security - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The Iran nuclear deal and the summit between US President Barack Obama and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud could signal a turning point in Gulf security.

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Israel News - Analysis: Jordan’s king could fall - JerusalemOnline

Aug 17, 2015 - A member of Jordan’s Opposition Coalition that recently fled to Germany explained why he believes that it is only a matter of time before the Hashemite dynasty will collapse. He urged ... Watch Now on JerusalemOnline.com

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Fathom – Making Sense of ISIS: an interview with Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss is the co-author with Hassan Hassan of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. He is the Senior Editor at The Daily Beast and Editor of The Interpreter. Shirin Lotfi was an editorial assistant at Fathom.

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Iran Forms New Battalions in Hama

Two battalions are stationed in Ethraiya, and two others led by Hezbollah guard the road to the city of Homs
In an attempt to strengthen its military influence in western Syria, Iran has established subsidiary military battalions in central Syria, specifically in the province of Hama.
Activists reported to Al Jazeera Net that the Iranian forces have formed six battalions stationed at the headquarters of the 47th Brigade (Tank Division) which is located between Homs and Hama, in addition to the 45th Brigade Commando Unit in ​​Ethraiya in the northern countryside of Hama.

US-Israel spat over Iran may sideline Palestinians | The Times of Israel

With nuclear deal behind it and an election looming, White House unlikely to tackle peace talks in Obama’s final months

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King Salmon’s “Honeymoon” in Washington

Hopefully King Salmon packed a decent after shave and some breath mints as he jetted off to Washington. Salman Aldosary knows a man on a honey moon when he sees one, “By choosing the United States to be the destination of his first visit since acceding to the Saudi throne, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has dismissed speculation that the honeymoon between Washington and Riyadh was coming to an end.” This sounds like the official Saudi line, perhaps to keep that old flame Iran at bay in article “King Salman in Washington” appearing in Asharq Al-Awsat. A message of stability is important when the parents are fighting and considering the changes and disruption caused by Iran in the Persian Gulf there’s a lot of fighting. Yemen has become a Saudi war right in their own backdoor, Iran is about to become an even greater force for destabilization as the sanctions peel off with no replacement policy to keep Iran at bay. Meanwhile, the Saudis have a plan to starve Iran, Russian and those fracking US frackers of money by keeping the price of oil low. Meanwhile, Tom Friedman reminds the world of Saudi Arabia’s radical underbelly but the truth is that Saudi Arabia may be in a bit of midlife crisis, women can’t drive but they can no vote. What you vote for in an absolute monarchy is unclear to me but at least Women are on equal footing the men on this problem and I do mean equal footing.

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King Salman in Washington

King Salman’s visit to Washington drives home the message that the winds of change have not affected the US-Saudi relations.

Unpaid Peshmerga forces sign of economic woes in Iraqi Kurdistan

ERBIL-Hewler, Kurdistan region 'Iraq',— He said his name was "Freedom." Left hand on the wheel of his sand-colored taxi, he reached up with his right to

Yemen to appoint new PM, reduce ministries: official - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Yemen’s exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is set to appoint a new prime minister and reduce the number of ministries.

Iran’s destabilizing role in focus at US talks | Arab News

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is holding historic talks here with American President Barack Obama that would ensure significant headway in bringing peace to the troubled Middle

Putting Syria refugee crisis in context

Syria humanitarian situation by the numbers. Three-year old Aylan Kurdi, photographed drowned off the coast of Turkey, has become a tragic symbol for the deepening migrant crisis in Syria and the surrounding countries (read more here). The boy's family was attempting to reach Greece in a small, overloaded boat. The boat flipped, and Aylan, his 5-year-old brother and mother drowned.

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Palestinian Headline News, literally

Photo from Ma'an's article   Five American students, mistaken for settlers were attacked in Hebron with a petrol bomb and rocks. A Palestinian man provided shelter until police arrived. The two young men were given first aid for light wounds. The vehicle was torched. I would have loved to know if the man who provided shelter also thought the two young men were settlers. According to Ma’an it was five students and the person who assisted was Fayez Abu Hamdiyeh and that he understood they were settlers. Bravo Abu Hamdiyeh, you are a hero. The headlines tell the real story of the Middle East, Agence France Presse was responsible for the article in The Daily Star of Lebanon, “Palestinians attack US tourists mistaken as settlers” and Ma’an’s headline is “Palestinian local rescues, shelters US tourists attacked in Hebron.”  The Palestinians have always wanted to paint the settlers as aggressors and Palestinians as just minding their own business in Judea and Samaria but the fact is there are good and bad actors on both sides. Also overlooked in this story is that the students were attacked for looking Jewish, the presumption is they were mistaken for being settlers because they are Jewish but the attackers may simply have wanted to pressure Jews of any type from visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs and their status as settlers may have been irrelevant despire Abu Hamdiyeh mistaking them for settlers. Abu Hamdiyeh  has probably risked his life or at least his safety by helping these tourists and so far all he has to show for it is a cheap headline from Ma’an so they can avoid mentioning the attack by Palestinians in the headline. 

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Free Rides to the Polls | Crossroads Arabia

Ahmed Omran — known to long-term readers as “Saudi Jeans” and now a correspondent for The Wall St. Journal — used a tweet to nudge Uber and Careem — the alternative taxi services — to provide free transportation for women to the polls. Saudi women have complained that it’s proving difficult for them to even register to vote in the municipal elections as (quelle surprise!) they’re not allowed to drive. Not all Saudi women have drivers, either. Nor are they all rich enough to spend money on taxis. Stepping up to provide free rides is extremely helpful, not to mention its being good PR for the companies.

Nuclear Ayatollah is Shy a Backbone

Wide reports of the world’s second most unsupreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is pushing the deal to a parliament that is a big rubber stamp outside the President’s jurisdiction. To put this in a venn diagram, imagine parliament facing away from the President and Rouhani facing away from Parliament and then imagine they are both helpless in the groping embrace of  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and you’ve got a perfect picture of how Iranian “democracy” works. Yet, the Supreme leader is a big believer in representative democracy but not a fan as his actions demonstrate.

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Iran's Khamenei backs parliamentary vote on nuclear deal with powers - Middle East - Jerusalem Post

"Our officials only discuss the nuclear deal with America ... We will never support America's policies on Syria and Iraq," Iranian supreme leader says.

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NATO Allies Making It Easier for Iran to Attack Israel :: Middle East Forum

by Burak Bekdil The Gatestone Institute September 3, 2015 In early 2013, NATO supposedly came to its ally's help: As Turkey was under threat from Syrian missiles -- potentially with biological/chemical warheads -- the alliance would build a mini anti-missile defense architecture on Turkish soil. Six U.S.-made Patriot missile batteries would be deployed in three Turkish cities and protect a vast area where about 3.5 million Turks lived.
The Patriot batteries that would protect Turkey from Syrian missiles belonged to the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. In early 2015, the Dutch mission ended and was replaced by Spanish Patriots. Recently, the German government said that it would withdraw its Patriot batteries and 250 troops at the beginning of 2016. Almost simultaneously, the U.S. government informed Turkey that its Patriot mission, expiring in October, would not be renewed. Washington cited "critical modernization upgrades" for the withdrawal.

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The Race to Replace Mahmoud Abbas | Foundation for Defense of Democracies

New Report Details Options for the U.S. to Shape Palestinian Succession after Mahmoud AbbasThe Palestinian national project is at a crossroads. Mahmoud Abbas—the aging president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and leader of Fatah—is 10 years into a four-year term as PA president and shows no signs of stepping down. Not only has he consolidated his grip on power in Ramallah, he has made no clear move toward naming a successor or preparing for elections. A crisis is looming.

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GÖKHAN BACIK - Turkey’s critical two months

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu failed to form a coalition within 45 days, so Turkey has an interim government. However, despite a constitutional provision, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have declined to take part in it. Ironically, the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has two ministers in that government.

Israpundit -AIPAC official: PM’s Congress speech hurt Iran deal opposition

T. Belman. I disagree with this official. Had Bibi done what the Democrats wanted the result would have been the same.Read more

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Comment: How Israel prevented ISIS from going nuclear - Opinion - Jerusalem Post

Instead of constantly smacking Israel with criticism, the Obama administration and its European comrades should be praising the Jewish state.

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King Salman’s visit to US — alliance or separation? | Arab News

The first official visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Washington beginning on Thursday comes at a crucial time in the history of Saudi-US relations.

How will Israel deal with Palestinians in post-Abbas period?

The Palestinian political scene has been preoccupied since the end of July with the succession of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the subsequent concerns and worrying speculations about the future of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank in Abbas’ potential absence. There are concerns among Palestinians that the PA will be emptied of its political content, and that it will gradually be transformed into expanded municipal councils that fulfill service roles, like before the establishment of the PA in 1994

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American bombs, other people's wars

Comment: The US continues to ship weapons of death to unscrupulous regimes intent on using them against civilians, writes Vijay Prashad.
The United States remains the world's largest arms dealer.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the US share of the volume of international arms exports was thirty-one per cent in 2010-14.
The trend line goes upwards. Saudi Arabia, which spent more than $80 billion on weapons last year, is the largest importer of US arms.

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Support for BDS drops significantly among Palestinians

The Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, an Arab research group, has released a poll that shows a significant drop in support for boycotting Israel among Palestinian Arabs. It was clear from the poll that there has been a distinct setback in the level of support for and practice of boycott campaigns of Israeli products in general. The percentage of those who support the boycott of all Israeli projects dropped from 59.2% last March to 49.1% this August. Moreover, the percentage of those who support the boycott of Israeli settlement products only rose from 7.6% last March to 9.4% this August.

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Our Radical Islamic BFF, Saudi Arabia - The New York Times

The greatest purveyors of radical Islam aren’t the Iranians, as a general says. The Saudis win that title hands down.

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Jordan, Qatar agree closer security cooperation | Main News | Ammon News

AMMONNEWS - Interior Minister Salamah Hammad, Monday held talks in Doha with Qatar's Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, with a focu,Jordan, Qatar agree closer security cooperation

Egypt: Banning Salafist Nour Party may backfire - Opinion - Ahram Online

A popular campaign in Egypt has been launched advocating the disbanding of religiously oriented parties. The campaign started generating support and has already gathered 4,000 signatures.

King Salman’s visit to US — alliance or separation? | Arab News

The first official visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Washington beginning on Thursday comes at a crucial time in the history of Saudi-US relations.

An American Scenario for Taming the Mullahs of Tehran

‘Taking on Iran’ by former US State Department Iran adviser argues successive US administrations’ Iran policies were largely based on wishful thinking. Book review by Amir Taheri

Ryan Crocker on Iraq, and on whether we are seeing the Arab state system fragment | Foreign Policy

Best Defense is in summer reruns. This item originally appeared on May 26, 2015.
Over the weekend I did a quick interview with Ryan Crocker, the veteran American diplomat. Here it is:
Was the current situation in Iraq inevitable?
No. Actions have consequences to the 60th order and beyond. The consequences of what we set in motion were beyond imagination. But inaction also has consequences. Our inaction since 2011 — and I mean political inaction more than military — leads us to today. The two things I learned in the Middle East over 40 years are 1) be careful what you get into, and 2) be just as careful what you propose to get out of – you don’t end a war by withdrawing from the battlefield. You just give the ground to your enemies — IS and Iran.

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IranWire | Iranian Dissidents Send Pro-Deal Letter To US Congress

In the run-up to the divisive US Congressional vote on the Iran deal on September 17, both camps in support and opposed to the nuclear agreement are sending the US legislature letters expressing their position. From former Congressmen to military generals and rabbis, both sides are putting up a fierce fight to ensure their voices are heard before the final vote. Latest to join the fray are 74 Iranian dissidents living in the US who have ...

‘I want a blue-eyed Yazidi:’ Teen describes ISIS slave market

Kidnapped, beaten, sold and raped: ISIS is running an international market in Iraq where Christian and Yazidi women are sold as sexual slaves, a teenager who escaped told AFP on Tuesday.
Jinan, 18, a Yazidi, was captured in early 2014 and held by ISIS militants for three months before she managed to flee, she said on a visit to Paris ahead of the publication Friday of a book about her ordeal.
Seized as ISIS fighters swept through northern regions inhabited by the Yazidi religious minority, Jinan was moved around between several locations before being bought by two men, a former policeman and an imam

Iran Deal Done as Barbara Mikulski Backs White House

Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said on Wednesday she will support the Iran nuclear deal, giving President Barack Obama the 34 Senate votes needed to sustain a veto of any congressional resolution disapproving of the deal.Thirty-two Senate Democrats and two independents who vote with the Democrats now back the agreement.

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Moderate Islamism: the West’s unrequited love affair

About a decade ago, the (politically) Western hemisphere enthusiastically volunteered for a political experiment based on generous euphemism for “moderate” Islamism, unable to see that there is only Islamism and there are only physically more violent forms of Islamism. The West had fallen in love with something that did not exist. The laboratory room the experiment would take place was called Turkey.

Or, in President Barack Obama’s words in 2009, Turkey, “the great Islamic democracy.” He and many others hoped it would be so. In that fairy tale, Turkey’s Islamists would build a beacon of democracy that would create the French Revolution effect on all other Muslim nations in one of the world’s most turbulent neighborhoods. Since 2009, President Obama has left us wondering why he has never called Britain “a great Christian democracy,” Israel “a great Jewish democracy,” or Japan “a great Shintoist democracy.” Nor has he explained why “democracy” should need a religious prefix.

Now it looks it is payback time. Read this:

Turkey’s protracted PKK problem - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Although many Kurds do not like the leftist and secular agenda of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the PKK has shown great resilience, in part as the result of the fragmented Iraqi and Syrian states and political missteps by Turkey.

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Iran Deal Filibuster Would Undercut Democratic Arguments for Congressional Review | The Tower

There has been continued talk of a possible Democratic filibuster of the vote on the Iran deal as the congressional recess comes to an end. A filibuster would go against the spirit of the Corkin-Cardin bill, formally known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which passed the Senate 98-1 in May and called for a congressional review of the Iran deal. Several senators, including Democrats, gave statements expressing the importance of the bill. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), upon its passage...

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The State is not providence to face oil crisis in Algeria, says expert

The ball is still in the government’s court in spite of financial crisis premises which may hit the Public Treasury soon. A plan can be adopted to settle situation by opening markets to businessmen, relaunching 12 frozen sectors and exploiting 500,000 higher degrees, according to experts. The Treasury does not have enough money to continue subsidy Although the Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said the government will never stop subsidy, former State Secretary in charge of Prospective and Statistics Bachir Msitpha expected that it would be frozen by 2018.

American Jews and Iran: Preparing for The Day After

It’s not too early to be talking about The Day After. Or The Week After. Or whatever comes next......

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Israel’s top diplomat singing Turkey’s new FM’s praises

Israel’s top diplomat has highly commended Turkey’s new Foreign Minister, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, as a chance for Turkey to have a high-skill diplomat as foreign minister, while seeming convinced of a positive change in the dynamics of Israel-Turkey relations, despite the fact of more visible differences in the last few years.
According to Dore Gold, the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, there are reasons for being hopeful when an increasing convergence of interests between the two countries offers a chance to the two once-close allies for turning the Middle East into a much more productive and peaceful area

New Palestinian city welcomes first 'Rawabians' - Israel News, Ynetnews

After years of delays and disputes with Israel over water provisions, the first Palestinian planned city opens its gates to the West Bank's middle class. Felice Friedson, The Media Line Published: 09.01.15, 18:36 / Israel News Tweet

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The President, King Salman, and the Gulf between Them | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Meetings between allied heads of state rarely risk any form of confrontation. They usually are carefully prepared beforehand to produce some kind of positive result rather than used to actually negotiate, and almost inevitably end in some kind of public statement that puts as positive a spin as possible on the meeting. The meeting between President Obama and King Salman of Saudi Arabia is unlikely to be an exception. Both nations are close strategic partners in spite of their differences, and bo...

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Iran vs Israel: Nuclear Beauty Contest Part III

Israel seemingly doesn’t want nations to know for certain whether it has nuclear weapons so that it is not pressured to join the NPT, this called nuclear ambiguity perhaps it should be called nuclear flirtation. Israel still faces the possibility of being wiped out by the combined conventional forces of all of its neighbors, diminished by 1979 peace accord with Egypt and the 1994 accord with Jordan is not eliminated. While Israel is gaining some integration into the larger Middle East as necessitated by Iran and ISIS, the pendulum could swing the other way if local populations do not learn to embrace their Jewish neighbor in the Levant. NATO faced a similar problem in Europe against the numerically superior Soviets. Nuclear deterrence, perhaps the greatest of Asymmetric warfare tactics was first established by Western Allies against the Soviets, only later by the Israelis against Arab States. Despite the similarities with deterrence, nuclear ambiguity harms the idea of nuclear deterrent policy as lampooned in Dr. Stangelove, “Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?”

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Sign of a deeper ‘rot’ in Lebanon | Jordan Times

It was a stroke of genius that Lebanon’s young protesters named their movement “You stink.” In just two words, they captured both the essence of their country’s immediate crisis over uncollected garbage and its longer-term structural problems.

Tasnim News Agency - IRGC Chief: Iran’s Might, Not Nuclear Deal, Deters War

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari dismissed the notion that conclusion of the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) is something that has guaranteed the Islamic Republic’s security.

The awakening and comeback of the Arab Spring

The Iraqi people restored the image of the Arab Spring after it faded beneath the rubble and victims of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran’s barrel-bombs, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the war on the Muslim Brotherhood. The Arab Spring embodies the right to live decently. This is what the people of Iraq have called for clearly.

Palestinian National Council gets new life in Amman - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for an emergency meeting of the Palestinian National Council to shuffle the PLO’s Executive Committee has met with opposition.

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Is Turkey heading to partition? - AEI | Foreign and Defense Policy

It’s no longer a question of secularism vs. Islamism. It may take a decade, but it is time to begin the countdown to the partition of Turkey.

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Middle East News For The Perplexed: The blockage is internal, Dr. Ibish

In his August 29th column, “The Road to statehood is blocked in all directions” which appeared in the Abu Dhabi paper the National, Dr. Ibish manages to ignore nearly all the paths that are and have been open to the Palestinian Authority for statehood.  He starts with a screed against Danny Danon, claiming Danon’s appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the UN means the sky is falling on a two state solution. While Danon is no advocate for a two state solution, he's less against giving up land to an Arab State than Menachem Begin was.  An article that starts with flogging Danon is not going dig up the PA intransigence for the last 10 plus years of Abbas fruit on the bottom rule. I find it hard to imagine that Danon would have a job in government if Abbas negotiated with the Israelis or was willing to make the compromises necessary for peace. Instead, Abbas has led the PA away from the Oslo accords to seek recognition unilaterally leaving Dr. Ibish to complain the Israelis are somehow not two state enough after all these years of zero progress.

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'Terrorism will hit all its supporters one day' - Mehr News Agency

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – Iranian President reiterated that supporters of terrorism will be affected by same event one day.

TUNISIA BARES ITS SUFI SOUL & ANXIETY ABOUT ISIL’S IMPRINT

If there can be any measure of Tunisia’s anxiety about the extremist imprint, it came at Sidi Bou Said’s celebration of itself. Last Sunday, the beautiful blue and white village in the Tunisian capital bared its Sufi soul.
Two Sufi groups gathered to sing to praise God, love and life.
“Do you understand what you’re watching?” an older lady stopped and asked us.
We nodded but she continued with urgent emphasis: “This is not Daesh, you know that I hope?”
We were taken aback by her reference to the Arabic acronym for ISIL. And her need to assure us that all Tunisians were not persuaded by the extremist group’s brutal agenda.

IS mints gold coins as only legal currency in 'caliphate' | i24news - See beyond

Coins designed to save Muslims from 'satanic' US banks and reconstruct glory of Prophet's empire - gold, Islamic State, coins, printers

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The many reasons why Lebanese are in the street - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

home | events calendar | site index | subscribe | contact us | print   Belfer Center Home > Publications > Articles and Op-Eds > Op-Eds > The many reasons why Lebanese are in the street A man throws out his garbage on piles of rubbish on the street in Beirut on July 28, 2015, as the Lebanese capital and the surrounding region continue to live in a trash crisis.Getty Images Author: Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Middle East Initiative

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Israel's Least Bad Options the Day After the Iran Deal - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

home | events calendar | site index | subscribe | contact us | print   Belfer Center Home > Publications > Articles and Op-Eds > Op-Eds > Israel's Least Bad Options the Day After the Iran Deal Radical Islamist organizations, such as Hezbollah and the Islamic State, not only seek Israel's demise, but a transformation of the entire Middle East, threatening what remains of the regional state system. Op-Ed, World Politics Review Author: Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

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The Archivist: Critical Analysis of the Islamic State’s Health Department

The Islamic State’s [IS] health department (Diwan al-Siha) is probably most familiar to UK readers, who will recognize the ‘ISHS’ (Islamic State Health Service) branding as a spin-off of the ‘NHS’ (National Health Service). The ISHS was promoted in an official Raqqa province video featuring two muhajireen medical personnel, the first of whom (originally from Australia) urges Muslim medical personnel from around the world to join IS, saying: “Muslims here are really suffering from not necessarily...

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After HDP, AKP sets eyes on MHP votes

President Tayyip Erdoğan approved Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s cabinet for Turkey’s first “interim election government” on Aug. 28, 2015.
The government was accepted by Erdoğan after his announcement of the re-election (also a first) date as Nov. 1, after Davutoğlu failed to form a coalition government following the June election, when his Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) lost its parliamentary majority. Although such a move has never been implemented by any president before Erdoğan, it was constitutional. Anyway, Erdoğan wanted a fresh vote as he was deeply disappointed by the June 7 result, which complicated his aim of using extensive de facto executive powers under an AK Parti government. Nov. 1 will mark a second chance for both the AK Parti to regain power and for Erdoğan to continue his project.

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Egypt's Gas Find Upends Israeli Energy Plans | HonestReporting

Today's Top Stories 1. The "largest Mediterranean gas field" found off Egypt's coast could meet the country's natural gas needs for decades. The Zohr gas field's estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas is double the amount held in Israel's Leviathan off...

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Erbil's Delicate Balancing Act

Paul Iddon - Turkey's late former President Turgut Ozal once said the following about the prospect of an Iraqi Kurdish state. “Let's say there's a Kurdish

Egypt's Nubians refuse to allow heritage to fall through cracks of history - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Faced with threats from damming projects, Arabization and marginalization, Nubian communities in Egypt and abroad are exerting efforts to preserve their language and unique cultural heritage.

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My brother, my enemy: Christian ambiguity toward Sunnis is real and risky

Amid reports that Hezbollah may seek to impose Michel Aoun’s presidency on Lebanon’s political class, a subtext of this is the Christians’ relationship with the Sunni community in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Bashar al-Assad’s fate: Is a ‘face-saving’ deal in play?

Recent meetings of key international and regional players have contributed to an emerging sense that the Syrian war is finally on track for resolution after almost five years. A well-informed Syrian opposition source told me that a framework for a political and mutually acceptable solution to the crisis is in the making. On the fate of President Bashar al-Assad, the source said: “A face-saving formula is being drafted.”

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Turkey sends first delegation to Israel since Mavi Marmara

From Hurriyet Daily News: A delegation of Turkish economic officials is set to hold talks this week with their Israeli counterparts to discuss establishing a new industrial zone for Palestinians in the West Bank, in the first visit after the deadly Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 which caused serious tension between Turkey and Israel. “The main focus is the new industrial zone in collaboration with the U.S., emphasizing the Turks’ obligation to the Palestinian economy. We believe it is one of the keys to strengthening the area and this kind of collaboration,” Israeli diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News on Aug. 31.

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Adherence to Anti-Israeli narrative is a sure sign of confusion

Deepest cut? Et tu Israel? This biased description misses some key elements. Erdogan’s interest in interceding between Israel and Syria was to show Turkey as a diplomatic power at the expense of US prestige and Israeli security. Syria was sponsoring with Iran proxy operations against Israel in the form of rocket launches against civilians and Israel’s response was limited to Hamas. A justifiable attack on Syria during negotiations might have been bad form and Israel showed self-restraint. If fingers need to be pointed, why didn’t Erdogan blame the Syrians for the attacks or at least demand the Syrians sponsor a Hamas ceasefire?

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A Polish reporter's account of the human shields the BBC refused to see | BBC Watch

Last year the BBC Complaints department responded to complaints concerning the lack of BBC coverage of terrorist missile fire from the Gaza Strip by claiming that "it was very hard for journalists ...

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Dissolving Parliament is the Key to Lebanon's Trash Crisis (and Everything Else) | Qifa Nabki

In about an hour, downtown Beirut will be filled with angry protesters and jittery security forces. The "You Stink" demonstrations have grown in numbers, defiance, and ambition. In Lebanon, just li...

Strange Bedfellows: Saudi Arabia Moves Toward Hamas

For Saudi Arabia, it is an opportunity to become the regional leader of a moderate Sunni bloc also supported at least quietly by Israel, which also strongly opposes the Iran nuclear deal.

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Polling shows Erdogan's attack on the Kurds is failing

Erdogan is not failing to kill Kurds, the fighting is going just fine with enough dead bodies produced by both sides to make Erdogan and PKK delighted about their prospects and impress their diehards.  Turkey’s national Kurdish HDP party remains demanding the PKK to disarm as was reported on July 15th in the Hurriyet Daily News and other papers.  Mahmoud Abbas and Jerry Adams could take lessons Selahattin Demirtas but he is clearly expressing collective exhaustion by the fighting over the years and that kind of fatigue is what is required to make peace with terrorists.

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Abbas Moves to Consolidate Power in the PLO

On Saturday, local and international media outlets reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had formally announced his resignation from another organization he heads: the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Specifically the reports said Abbas had quit his role as chairman of the Executive Committee, the highest decision-making body in the PLO.

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Into the fray: Water, not heavy water, is Iran's desperate need

Iran faces unprecedented water shortage, so severe that much of the country could become uninhabitable and millions forced to emigrate.

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Swiss envoy says: invest in Iran, Middle East's pole of stability

ZURICH, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Switzerland's ambassador on Thursday called Iran a "pole of stability" in the Middle East and urged companies to make the most of a lucrative market about to re-open after years of crippling sanction

Turkey's Political Uncertainty

Studying the June 7 election results is useful,
as it reveals interesting trends in Turkey’s
electoral behavior especially as Turkey prepares
for potential early elections later this year. This
paper evaluates the results through the micro lens
of the provincial results, offering insight into the
wide-ranging variables that significantly affected
voter behavior. It maps the shifts of support bases
for the country’s main parties—AKP, CHP, MHP,
and HDP—in order to determine where support
was higher or lower than the national average

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Fareed Zakaria vs. Max Boot: Who's Really Right on Iran?

The “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)” that the United States, the EU, France, Germany, the UK, China and Russia finalized with Iran on July 14 is perhaps the most controversial post–Cold War foreign policy agreement.

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New IDF Strategy Goes Public

The IDF's first-ever public strategy paper highlights the complex challenges posed by substate actors in a fast-transforming landscape, and it could serve as a basis for U.S.-Israeli security dialogue on the Iran nuclear deal.

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Analysis: Is ISIS here to stay in the Middle East?

Differences abound on whether the group that has already outlived many expectations will become a permanent fixture.

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Iraq's Water Crisis—And What Turkey Should Do

The Tigris-Euphrates river basin, which feeds Syria and Iraq, is rapidly drying up. This vast area already struggles to support at least ten million conflict-displaced people. And things could soon get worse; Iraq is reaching a crisis point.

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Court: Ramallah Lynch Terrorist 'Not a Murderer

Fifteen years after the infamous “Ramallah lynching,” in which Arabs brutally murdered two IDF soldiers, a military court has decided that that one of its participants isn't a murderer, after all.  

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Child medical services expand in Ramallah

For these Arabs and Israelis, the Only Common Enemy is Heart Disease. Nearing its ten-year anniversary, A Heart for Peace’s mixed team of Israeli and Palestinian doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital has cared for 607 Palestinian children, with no thought to borders and citizenship. And at no charge. Two years ago, Baby Saleh was rushed …

How Egypt and Israel's QIZs Could Save the Middle East

This year marks the tenth anniversary of an Egyptian-Israeli economic partnership that has quietly pumped billions into Cairo’s vulnerable economy. The free-trade framework known as Qualifying Industrial Zones is one of the few points of economic normalization in the region, and, given the flagging Arab economies and regional instability, the success of QIZs has implications far beyond the bottom line.

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Aladdin’s Lamp: Whose wishes will the US/Iran nuclear agreement deliver?

Word on the Arab street is that Obama signed a nuclear deal with Iran so that he can extract concessions over Syria in return for Iran being allowed to control Iraq for which it has to rein in the Houthis in Yemen to pacify the Saudis so that they come on board with Obama’s plan for Israel/Palestine which will appease Egypt allowing it to play a bigger role in Libya to control the southern shores of the Mediterranean reducing migrant flows into Europe to ease the pressure on Greece and Italy fo...

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Chilling Account of How Hamas Used Human Shields in Last Summer’s Conflict

During last year’s war between between Israel and Hamas, Hamas fired rockets from residential neighborhoods and next to journalists' hotels in order to provoke retaliation from the Israeli military, a Polish reporter who spent a month in Gaza wrote. Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz Tuesday, Polish Radio...

3 Iran Deal Opponents Call for More Civil Debate

Three New York Democratic lawmakers called for more substance and fewer personal attacks in the debate on the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Salehi confers with Chinese counterpart on new nuclear power plant

Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi held talks with Chinese senior officials including Chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority Xu Dazhe.The two sides underlined development of cooperation to utilize peaceful nuclear energy

Today's Zaman editors under attack over report

Turkish government officials, lawmakers, mayors and pro-government journalists have lined up to demonize this newspaper and its editors over its reporting as part of a concerted campaign to defame the paper.

Why Those Secret Iran Side Deals Matter

It is past time to disclose and explain Iran’s secret deals with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Although the White House has downplayed the importance of these arrangements, calling them “side deals,” they raise questions that go to the heart of President Obama’s claim that the agreement the six leading powers struck with Iran will deny it a bomb for at least 10 to15 years.

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Was it a win or a loss? Checking Rouhani's midterm economic scorecard

Halfway into his term Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has done well in terms of fulfilling his economic promises — but much remains to be done.

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Charting Healthy Future For Eritrea Today

Everything the regime in Eritrea does blatantly undermines what Eritreans stood for when they embarked on the struggle for independence that took 30 years and over sixty thousand brave souls who paid

Should Tunisian Kids Wear the Hijab in School?

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi recently called for a law restricting young schoolgirls from wearing the Hijab inside the country's primary schools.

Rethinking Political Islam

Rethinking Political Islam is the first project of its kind to systematically assess the post-Arab Spring evolution of mainstream Islamist groups across 12 country cases. The “twin shocks” of the Egyptian coup of July 2013 and the emergence of ISIS are challenging some of the basic assumptions of, and about, Islamist movements.

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The Kurdish PYD & the Challenge of Rebuilding a Syrian State

The United States’ unprecedented close air combat support to the PYD, a Syrian Kurdish political party and its associated militia, has helped the PYD drive back the Islamic State’s forces from a long strip along the Turkish border, handing ISIS its greatest defeat in Syria to date. The airstrikes have also enabled the PYD to consolidate its hold on Syrian Kurdish territories, and it has launched an ambitious autonomous governance project creating new administrations to manage local affairs. The ...

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'Death to America' still Iran's policy

TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (MNA) – In his recent speech a week ago, Iran’s Leader Ayat. Khamenei once again criticized the Americans very harshly, dubbing them as epitome of ‘enemy’ for Iran and the Muslim world.

Kuwait summons Iran envoy over disputed gas field

Kuwait has summoned an Iranian envoy to protest Tehran’s apparent offer of investment opportunities in the disputed Dorra gas field.

Major political parties boycott interim power-sharing gov’t ahead of election

As Turkey heads for an early election on Nov. 1, the interim power-sharing government to be formed by Prime Minister-designate Ahmet Davutoğlu has been dealt a major blow when two opposition parties have declined to participate over what they call a fait accompli by the president.

New Russian arms deals could shake up Mideast market

As Russia considers expanding in the Iranian and Saudi arms markets, the rest of the world is asking what such moves would mean for Moscow’s foreign policy and security role in the region.

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The Riddle of Obama's Foreign Policy

Nearing the last year of his presidency, Barack Obama and his foreign policy remain an enigma. At times, he seems to be the “realist,” working constructively with other nations to achieve positive solutions, as with the Iran nuclear deal and his rapprochement with Cuba. Other times, he slides into line with the neocons and liberal hawks, provoking ugly crises, such as his “regime change” tactics in Honduras (2009), Libya (2011), Syria (over several years) and Ukraine (2014).

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Al-Maliki thugs force top Saudi paper to halt Iraq operation

JEDDAH: Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, sister publication of Arab News, has announced that it is shutting down operations temporarily in Iraq because of repeated harassment by militias close to former

The AK Party's final move

Despite their differences, both political and intellectual, the opposition parties continue to carry out their anti-AK Party propaganda to remove the AK Party from power no matter the cost for democracy

US may have inflated gains against Islamic State, auditor says

Officials reportedly investigated by Pentagon for exaggerating success of struggle against terror group in assessments given to Obama

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Ayatollah Sistani Warns about Possible Iraq Partition

Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned on Thursday that the country faces dire consequences including possible "partition" if real reform is not carried out.

Is Erdogan's ambition sparking turmoil?

Overwhelmed with grief and anger, relatives of Ahmet Camur, a Turkish officer killed by the PKK, listen to Turkey’s president delivering a eulogy, with his right hand on the coffin wrapped in a Turkish flag.

Yemen, Mansour al-Nogaidan and Al-Islah

Mansour al-Nogaidan drew attention to the future of Yemen from a Saudi-Emirati point of view very close to his own.
Whether there are one or two Yemens, the important thing is that they do not go to war with each other or become hostile to the Gulf states.

Moody on the Turkish economy

My latest column, in which I argued that the Turkish Lira would continue to slide until the Central Bank intervened with a significant interest rate hike, may have seemed pessimistic. But compared to a report and article that I read over the weekend, it is actually optimistic.

Is Erdogan's ambition sparking turmoil?

Overwhelmed with grief and anger, relatives of Ahmet Camur, a Turkish officer killed by the PKK, listen to Turkey’s president delivering a eulogy, with his right hand on the coffin wrapped in a Turkish flag.

Hoping to counter Iran, former Israeli defense official calls on Riyadh to add 'security annex' to Arab Peace Initiative

With Iran getting stronger and more self-confident, Saudi Arabia should add a "security annex" to its original Arab Peace Initiative to establish a defense cooperation framework between Israel and select Arab states.

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A double-edged boycott

Op-ed: People in Europe are starting to wake up to the true nature of the BDS campaign. If Israel can create the right policies, the fight against the boycott isn't lost. Published: 08.24.15, 23:52 / Israel Opinion Tweet

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Abbas is flexing his muscles

Op-ed: The Palestinian leader suddenly views Iran as a 'sister' country. He decided that if Hamas is working with Iran, so will he, and if the Gaza rulers are getting aid from the Islamic Republic, the PA president wants in too.

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Is Israeli intelligence in favor of the Iran deal?

Though some might have us believe that Israeli intelligence professionals have come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal, it is all polemical and politicized nonsense.

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Should Netanyahu suspend Israel’s confrontation with Obama?

The reality is that the US administration is entering into a pact with a terrorist state that is explicitly committed to the destruction of Israel.

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Is Tony Blair setting a trap for Hamas?

Reports have trickled out over the summer that Israel and Hamas are engaged in indirect negotiations in Doha. The reports, some of which have originated with Middle East Eye, say that the talks have been facilitated by Tony Blair, and are aimed at establis

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Putin to meet Arab leaders in Moscow

Putin to meet Arab leaders in MoscowNew KeralaTalks with Crown Prince Al-Nahyan, also the deputy supreme commander of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, will focus on enhancing security and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to bilateral cooperation in energy and ...and more »

Perspective on the Syrian Kurds after the Arab Spring

The grass has not grown greener in Syria under the harsh edicts of the PYD. Syrian Kurds do not want to have no alternatives other than to choose between

The Iran strike that never was

Op-ed: Ehud Barak's interview outtakes shown on Channel 2 News tell a skewed version of what happened when the government decided to avoid striking Iran's nuclear sites. Published: 08.24.15, 16:08 / Israel Opinion Tweet

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What about Fundamentalism

Fundamentalists are the people who claim that no distance should be taken from the literal and exact expression of the laws as expressed in the Koran and in the Hadith.

The Real Reason Turkey Is Fighting ISIL

President Erdogan is playing a game of 12-dimensional chess.

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Hundreds of US rabbis sign letter against Iran deal

The American-Jewish community has been split over the deal, with many communal organizations coming out against it despite a majority of Jews being broadly supportive of the administration.

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IAEA received ‘substantive’ data from Iran this month

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday it received substantive amounts of information from Iran aimed at quelling concerns its nuclear past had military elements, although it was too early to say whether any of it is new.

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Tunisia's young democracy stumbles under terror threat

Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, was its only country to emerge with a democracy marked by increased freedoms and regular elections. But a pair of devastating terrorist attacks has triggered a state of emergency, prompting activists to fear a return to the days of repression.

Report: Israel Importing Oil from Kurds

Israel has imported as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish north in recent months, The Financial Times reported on Sunday. The move provides a vital source of funds to the cash-strapped region as it fights Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists, according to the report. The imports highlight the significant inroads that oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is making into world markets, with Italy, France and Greece also emerging as big buyers, the newspaper noted. It is a trade conducted through secretive pre-pay deals brokered by some of the world’s largest oil trading companies, including Vitol and Trafigura.

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IN PICTURES: Rare images of ISIS hold on Ramadi

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Photographs obtained by Rudaw give a rare glimpse of life inside the ISIS-held city of Ramadi, which fell to the jihadists on May 17 as the Iraqi Army raced back to Baghdad. The images show the firm control ISIS has over the population, namely by using checkpoints and...

Peshmerga forces liberate 2 villages from ISIS control east of Nineveh

Peshmerga forces file photo. (IraqiNews.com) Nineveh - According to a local source in Nineveh province, a joint security force liberated two villages and k

All Palestine occupied by Palestinians

President Rivlin while hosting leader of Judean and Samarian communities claims Israel’s rights to its land, including Judea and Samaria, as a basic fact in spite of claims of “occupation” coming from Ramallah, Gaza City and many other places. What an egotistical, impetuous, bullheaded philistine this Israeli President is! r.

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Is Israel Defenseless?

While Duff’s prognosis is correct about Israel’s vulnerability and being defenseless, its left to be seen to what extent former allies will go to nurse its bruised ego.

Norwegian med student makes up outrageous lies about Israel in interview

Eric Haland says that he is a medical school student. He says that he worked in the West Bank last year. But you really can't believe anything he says, given this interview about his seemingly eventful life. The newspaper seems to have a template of generic summer questions to ask everyday people, like what they are planning to do on vacation or their favorite summer song. In this case, they asked Eric "Do you have a special summer memory to share with our readers?" He answered: I worked as a doctor at the ER at the largest Arab hospital in the West Bank last year.

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Be Afraid: Why America Will Never 'Destroy' ISIS

Why the wholly unrealistic strategic objective of “destroying” the Islamic State is no closer to fruition.

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Kurdistan Political Stalemate Adding to Regional Woes

Spat in northern Iraqi area centers on how regional president should be elected, what powers office should have

King Mohammed VI: Extremism Can Only Be Fought through a Participatory Approach

Terrorist attacks have multiplied in the Arab region, if not in the world, particularly in France with the tragedies of Hyper Kosher, Charlie Hebdo and Thalys.

The Kurdish PYD & the Challenge of Rebuilding a Syrian State

The United States’ unprecedented close air combat support to the PYD, a Syrian Kurdish political party and its associated militia, has helped the PYD drive back the Islamic State’s forces from a long strip along the Turkish border, handing ISIS its greatest defeat in Syria to date. The airstrikes have also enabled the PYD to consolidate its hold on Syrian Kurdish territories, and it has launched an ambitious autonomous governance project creating new administrations to manage local affairs. The ...

De facto defect: Erdogan's Latest Attempt at Dictatorship

President Erdogan, Turkey’s first elected President chafes at being a symbolic representative of the state...

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