Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Washington and Cairo: America's Bitter Awakening by Zvi Mazel

It took only one week of violent street demonstrations in Cairo for America to abandon its ally of 43 years and for President Barack Obama to tell Mubarak to go. He probably thought that freed of the chains of dictatorship, a new regime would turn to democracy and strengthen its ties with America. It was a very bad miscalculation.

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Students and Alumni Protest HKS Conference on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, The Harvard Crimson

A conference considering a one-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict at the Harvard Kennedy School next week has provoked strong reactions from supporters and detractors alike. Harvard students and alumni have signed a online petition calling on the University to withdraw all financial support and distance itself from the event. In response, speakers and sponsors of the “One State Conference” sent a letter to University President Drew G. Faust and Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood ’75 on Monday in defense of the conference.

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New Book: House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

~ Anthony Shadid (author) More about this product
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"Anthony Shadid's beautifully rendered memoir is a rich account of a man's gradual immersion into the world of the Middle East and the culture of the Levant, a kingdom almost unrecognizable today, where the rooms and hallways of his great-grandfather's house tell stories that will linger with every reader for decades." --André Aciman, author of Out of Egypt.

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America’s Duplicity with the Syrian Opposition by Elliott Abrams

Israelis learned long ago that the “international community” will be happy to sit idly by while their nation is attacked and the Security Council is, as in the Syrian case, tied up in knots. If you want to see the case for Israel acting on its own, Clinton’s comments on Syria are enormously persuasive. Take care of yourselves, gents, is the only logical lesson to be derived.

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Conjuring the ghost of Richelieu [in the Middle East] by Spengler [David P. Goldman]

If Iran's capacity to build nuclear weapons is removed by force, upon whom shall it avenge itself? No doubt its irregulars in Lebanon will shoot some missiles at Israel, but not so many as to provoke the Israelis to destroy Hezbollah. Iran might undertake acts of terrorism, but at the risk of fierce reprisals. Without nuclear weapons, Iran becomes a declining power with obsolete weapons and an indifferent conscript army.

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Iran war hysteria surpasses all bounds of sanity by Barry Rubin

Iran war hysteria surpasses all bounds of sanity by Barry Rubin | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Obviously a mixture of containment, defensive measures and the ability plus willingness to stage a preemptive attack if necessary are vital for Israel, which isn’t going to depend on Iran’s good will or assume that Tehran will never attack. But the whole idea that the leaders of Iran are crazed, suicidally minded people who expect the twelfth imam to arrive next Thursday is simply not true.

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Harvard's Anti-Israel Hate Fest Demands Scrutiny by Alan Dershowitz

Harvard's Anti-Israel Hate Fest Demands Scrutiny by Alan Dershowitz | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

They should not be stopped from speaking—that would be censorship and a denial of academic freedom. But they should be shamed for participating in an unacademic one-sided hate conference, and for their hypocrisy in doing so in the name of academic freedom, when they would never tolerate a comparable hate conference against a Palestinian state or the Palestinian people.

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Wall Street Journal Updates Discredited AFP Photo Caption, CAMERA

Wall Street Journal Updates Discredited AFP Photo Caption, CAMERA | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The Wall Street Journal is the first media outlet to acknowledge the AFP caption for Hazem Bader's Jan. 25 photograph claiming that an Israeli soldier had run over a Palestinian construction worker is, at best, disputed. All indications are that it is false.

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Large Majority of Voters Believe Israel Will Strike Iran Nuclear Targets & US Will Join in Action, IBOPE | Zogby

• 78% believe Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons production

• 89% say it is likely Israel will attack Iran if the Israeli government believes Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.
• 72% say if Israel attacks Iran, it is likely the US would at some point join Israel in military action against Iran
• 68% say it is likely Iran would attack another nation if it produces nuclear weapons and has the ability to deliver them


When asked what the US should do if it believes Iran has nuclear weapons, 37% support aerial attacks and another 7% would prefer both an invasion of Iran and aerial attacks. Increased economic and political sanctions are backed by 33%, while 10% would want no changes in current US policy toward Iran.

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America's Iranian Self-Deception by Frederick Kagan and Maseh Zarif

America's Iranian Self-Deception by Frederick Kagan and Maseh Zarif | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Americans are being played for fools by Iran—and fooling themselves. There is no case to be made that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. There is no evidence that Iran's decision-makers are willing to stop the nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions or anything else. American policy makers should admit the facts about Iran's nuclear program and then have an honest debate about what to do.

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The Anti-Israel Campaign in Haaretz by P. David Hornik

The Anti-Israel Campaign in Haaretz by P. David Hornik | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

I followed Haaretz’s English website’s op-eds and editorials through the Israeli workweek of January 29 to February 3. Having done the same experiment eight years ago, I can say right away that Haaretz has, if anything, gotten worse since then.

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Trying to give respectability to the one-state solution at Harvard by Richard L. Cravatts

Trying to give respectability to the one-state solution at Harvard by Richard L. Cravatts | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Seeming to give credence to Orwell’s observation that “some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them,” Harvard’s Kennedy School will be hosting a student-run conference in early March called “Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution,” yet another example of how purported scholarship about the Middle East is frequently biased and diluted by ideology.

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The return of the Israel Apartheid Week cult by Jonathan Kay

The return of the Israel Apartheid Week cult by Jonathan Kay | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Israel Apartheid Week and BDS are not what they seem: As some of Israel’s own fiercest critics themselves now admit, these are dishonest cults meant to enlist ill-informed activists in a campaign to destroy the Jewish state.

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Saudi Arabia Is Arming the Syrian Opposition by Jonathan Schanzer

Saudi Arabia Is Arming the Syrian Opposition by Jonathan Schanzer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

If Riyadh wants to arm the opposition, armed it shall be. And those who receive the weapons will likely be at least amenable to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam that has spawned dangerous Islamist movements worldwide. Of course, a Saudi-led insurgency would not be in the cards if the Obama administration were not so opposed to empowering the opposition. But the longer Obama waits and the deeper the humanitarian crisis worsens, the more likely it becomes that other actors will tip the balance in Syria. Using history as a guide, none would be more dangerous than Saudi Arabia.

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Harvard’s shameful and biased “one state” conference joins the call to destroy Israel by Henry Kopel

Conveniently unmentioned in the Harvard conference brochure is that an influx of millions of Palestinians would create a majority vote for dismantling Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian-Arab state. Palestinians may call this “One State,” but for Israeli Jews, the more accurate caption for this “solution” would seem to be “Final.”

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Anti-Israel One-State Fix Airs at Harvard by Jeffrey Goldberg

There are people, perhaps including some of the Harvard students organizing the conference, who advocate “one-statism” out of naivete. But the leaders of the movement are not naive. They understand their project shares a goal with Hamas: the elimination of Israel as a homeland and haven for Jews.

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Sting and the Police State by Abe Greenwald

Sting and the Police State by Abe Greenwald | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Newly released pictures of British rock star Sting laughing it up with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2008 seem to capture a moment of natural affinity. Who but a rock star understands the demands of the dictatorial daily grind? Viewing photos in the Daily Mail of the two happy men with glamorous wives in tow, it’s easy to imagine they’re trading stories of bumbling private-jet stewards or the headaches of polo-court installation. But in Syria—even way back when in 2008—every breath you take, every move you make, Assad is watching you. And in time, killing you. 

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Why Nobody Will Help The Syrian People by Josef Joffe

Why Nobody Will Help The Syrian People by Josef Joffe | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The international community—actually, the West—intervenes only where the venture promises to be cheap, quick, and bloodless. In Syria, it is red lights all over. Libya was no precedent for Syria. Remember the rule: We bomb only where the campaign promises to be short, cheap and decisive. And where the target—like Qaddafi—has no allies. Assad does: Russia, China, and Iran.

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How Israel might strike at Iran by Jonathan Marcus

How Israel might strike at Iran by Jonathan Marcus | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

A potential strike against Iran would be nothing like the attacks in Iraq and Syria. These were both against single targets, located above ground, and came literally out of the blue. An Israeli attempt to severely damage Iran's nuclear programme would have to cope with a variety of problems, including range, the multiplicity of targets, and the nature of those targets.

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Harvard and the 'One-State Solution' by Scott Jaschik

Harvard and the 'One-State Solution' by Scott Jaschik | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

"I am deeply disappointed to see that the list of speakers for this student conference is so one-sided. While not all speakers support the so called 'one-state solution,' I would certainly have expected to see a much broader debate on a topic that is so contentious," wrote Kennedy School dean David Ellwood. "Without the balance of divergent views that characterize the most enriching discussions, the credibility and intellectual value of any event is open to question."

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Harvard’s anti-Israel conference by Andrea Levin

Harvard’s anti-Israel conference by Andrea Levin | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Are Ivy League administrators selected for their ability to muster totally disingenuous, ludicrous defenses of university policy? Do Harvard’s pooh-bahs truly expect the public to believe the university would allow “student organizers” to run a campus gay-bashing conference, or a KKK convocation? Clearly, Harvard is making an exception for hate-speech directed against the Jewish state, whose annihilation is being promoted in one-sided panels and biased keynote speeches.

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Kramer on FB: The Heckler comes to Harvard

Kramer on FB: The Heckler comes to Harvard | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

A student group sponsoring the Harvard hate-fest, the GSAS Alliance for Justice in the Middle East, hailed the shouting down of Israeli Amb. Michael Oren at UC-Irvine as "a courageous act" to be "commended." The keynote speaker on Day One of the Harvard hate-fest, Ali Abunimah, is shown in this 2009 clip being removed by police for disrupting Ehud Olmert at the University of Chicago. Enemies of free speech.

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Saving the nonviolent revolution in Syria by Sadek Jalal al-Azm, Jane Mansbridge and Chibli Mallat

Saving the nonviolent revolution in Syria by Sadek Jalal al-Azm, Jane Mansbridge and Chibli Mallat | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

How to get rid of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Asad while holding onto the non-violent character of the Syrian revolution.

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Will anyone dare stop the Syrian slaughter? by Richard Spencer

Will anyone dare stop the Syrian slaughter? by Richard Spencer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

As the death toll mounts across Syria – and calls grow louder for the rebels to be armed with Western weapons – the fear on the ground is that things are only going to get worse.

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Free Syria by Lee Smith

Free Syria by Lee Smith | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Maybe the murder of an American journalist in Syria last week will focus the American president’s mind. Marie Colvin is just the most recent American casualty of the Assad family’s unchecked aggression. The administration has not only an interest but an obligation to fight back against the Iranian-Syrian assault on America—first, by bringing an end to the regime in Damascus.

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