Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Iran under foot in Raqqa

This clip depicts the immediate aftermath of the capture of Raqqa by insurgents, who proceeded to smash the icons of Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khameneh'i at the entrance to the shrine.

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Mr. Hagel and the Jews by Elliott Abrams

Mr. Hagel and the Jews by Elliott Abrams | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

In the case of allegations of anti-Semitism, Hagel has not even apologized. He has remained silent, though one can expect the usual “perhaps I didn’t word that sentence as best I might have” excuse to emerge at his hearings. The question is, what might he have to apologize for? Why would anyone think he was an anti-Semite?

 

Here the testimony of the Jewish community that knew him best is most useful: Nebraskans.

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President Bashar will see you now! | Martin Kramer

President Bashar will see you now! | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Join me on an exclusive tour of the Presidential Palace in Damascus, before it’s too late. I promise you won’t be disappointed: http://bit.ly/P8kqOV.

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Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer

Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Jeff Goldberg: “Which candidate is better positioned to jump-start Mideast peace negotiations? If you guessed the one who already has a Nobel Peace Prize on his shelf, you guessed wrong. Which candidate is better prepared to confront Iran militarily? If you guessed the Republican with an aviary of national-security hawks working on his campaign, well, wrong again.” Speculation indulged here: http://goo.gl/8AyVs.

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Do Arabs need strongmen? | Martin Kramer

Do Arabs need strongmen? | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Max Boot: “The Arab world cries out for an Ataturk, Adenauer, Bismarck, Cavour, Lee Kuan Yew, or Washington—a great leader who can forge a strong state out of unpromising materials” (http://bit.ly/NBgbdr). Yet only last year, Max warned of the danger of Arab versions of… Bismarck and Cavour, who would turn “nationalism into a tool of dictatorship and aggression” (http://bit.ly/NBhnO4). So do Arabs need strongmen?

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Ludwig Blum's Tomb of the Baal Hanes, 1927 | Martin Kramer

Ludwig Blum's Tomb of the Baal Hanes, 1927 | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

So I bid on this painting at auction two weeks ago, and got left far behind. If I can’t own it, at least I can share it on Facebook. Ludwig Blum (http://goo.gl/NszZ9) painted the tomb of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes, near Tiberias, in 1927. (Actually, he painted it several times and from different angles.) Not one of his major works, but it still went for $16k (including buyer’s premium). I don’t think I’ll ever own a Blum landscape...

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Everything in Syria Is Going to Plan - By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy

Everything in Syria Is Going to Plan - By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Everything in Syria Is Going to Plan by Aaron David Miller http://t.co/sARFyGzh
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Obama outfoxed by Putin - Right Turn - The Washington Post

Obama outfoxed by Putin - Right Turn - The Washington Post | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Obama outfoxed by Putin by Jennifer Rubin http://t.co/5mMiueTl
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Stay out of the Syrian Morass :: Daniel Pipes

Stay out of the Syrian Morass :: Daniel Pipes | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Stay out of the Syrian Morass by Daniel Pipes http://t.co/HQx79JXX
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Palestinian Authority Urges Youth to Emulate Terrorists :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism

• Palestinian Authority Urges Youth to Emulate Terrorists, Investigative Project http://t.co/ZV9lxc5Y
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Is Egypt better after Mubarak? Women might not say so - The National

Is Egypt better after Mubarak? Women might not say so - The National | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Is Egypt better after Mubarak?Women might not say so by Ali Khaled http://t.co/3kas0UnG
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Sendoff for slain Syrian defense minister | Martin Kramer

A sight not to be missed: Watch the funeral service for assassinated Syrian defense minister Dawoud Rajiha, the first-ever Christian defense minister of Syria, at the (Greek Orthodox) Holy Cross Church in Damascus on Friday. Quite a sendoff (1:26min).
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The People's Palace | Martin Kramer

Yesterday we went on a tour of Bashar Assad’s palace (if you missed it, go here: http://bit.ly/P8kqOV). The palace is also called the People’s Palace (who says the regime has no humor?), and there’s an amusing series of anti-Assad cartoons called just that: Qasr ash-Shaab, “The People’s Palace.” Here’s a short one; it’s in Arabic, but it’s easy to figure out.

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How to say nothing in 1,200 words | Martin Kramer

How to say nothing in 1,200 words | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

As battles rage in Damascus and a suicide bomber kills Syria’s defense minister and Bashar’s brother-in-law, Fawaz Gerges stands by his man. The idea that the regime’s days are numbered “should be viewed skeptically… regime collapse in Damascus is not a smart bet for now.” But then he hedges: “Though Assad's days are not as few as Clinton suggests, there are signs that the regime is not durable.” Therefore… therefore, what? Gerges has said nothing (http://goo.gl/Cshty).

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Twelve years of Bashar | Martin Kramer

Twelve years of Bashar | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

It’s twelve years to the day since Bashar Assad took his presidential oath and gave his inaugural speech (pictured). Six days earlier, he’d been elected by his people: 8.69 million of them checked ‘yes’ and 22,439 checked ‘no.’ Sure, he promised reforms. On his tenth anniversary, Human Rights Watch issued a report on Syria entitled “A Wasted Decade” (http://goo.gl/igvEf). How long now until Bashar is wasted?

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Gérôme still scandalizes | Martin Kramer

Gérôme still scandalizes | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Jean-Léon Gérôme’s ‘The Snake Charmer’ (made infamous by the cover of Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’) has gone on display at London’s Royal Academy, and one reviewer is appalled: http://gu.com/p/38mge. Yeah, it’s Orientalism at its worst, but it’s not all Gérôme painted, and one of his works is on the cover of the Met’s new guidebook: http://goo.gl/prbCs. Painting’s strange history: http://goo.gl/Z88i8.

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Grand Hotels of Egypt by Andrew Humphreys | Martin Kramer

Grand Hotels of Egypt by Andrew Humphreys | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

A splendid project: “This book tells the stories of Egypt’s grand hotels and some of the people that stayed in them, from pioneering voyagers such as Florence Nightingale to later visitors including Agatha Christie, Churchill and T.E. Lawrence.” Author Andrew Humphreys has put together a riveting site: http://goo.gl/Yjq1i and blog: http://goo.gl/C8Bip. The hotels are long gone—but not the Winter Palace!

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Kramer on FB: A nostalgic medley of "expert" quotes on prospects of the Muslim Brotherhood

Memorable quotes: a nostalgic medley.

• Marc Lynch (Muslim Brotherhood putting forward a presidential candidate “will reveal itself to be a strategic blunder”) http://on.fb.me/MOlklz

• Tom Friedman (“The popular trend is not with the Muslim Brotherhood”) http://on.fb.me/MOkBRk

• Juan Cole (“that almost certainly hurt the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood in the upcoming elections“) http://on.fb.me/LJKrDi

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From the Suez to Syria, a half century of self-destructive Western foreign policy | Full Comment | National Post

From the Suez to Syria, a half century of self-destructive Western foreign policy | Full Comment | National Post | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• A half century of self-destructive Western foreign policy by George Jonas http://t.co/7HLEORFJ
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Russia's Response to the Massacres in Syria - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Russia's Response to the Massacres in Syria - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Russia's Response to the Massacres in Syria by Nikolay Kozhanov http://t.co/lTt9KPgg
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Putin to Visit Israel. Not Obama. « Commentary Magazine

Putin to Visit Israel. Not Obama. « Commentary Magazine | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Putin to Visit Israel. Not Obama.by Jonathan Tobin http://t.co/VrYs9R3D
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Western Critics of Democracy: "Accomplices to Injustice" :: Gatestone Institute

Western Critics of Democracy: "Accomplices to Injustice" :: Gatestone Institute | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Western Critics of Democracy: "Accomplices to Injustice" by Michael Curtis http://t.co/S5M7ZglE
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Assad’s Houla Propaganda - By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi & Phillip Smyth - The Corner - National Review Online

Assad’s Houla Propaganda - By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi & Phillip Smyth - The Corner - National Review Online | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it
• Assad’s Houla Propaganda by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi and Phillip Smyth http://t.co/y6YRKJSC
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