Entries Tagged as 'Middle East'

Iran’s War on America

December 29th, 2011 at 2:18 pm 41 Comments

It has been a busy month for Iran in its ongoing conflict with the United States. First, try the Iranian government displayed what it said is a crashed U.S. drone discovered in Iran. Then, the nation’s deputy oil minister admitted that U.S. sanctions against Iran are inflicting damage on its economy.

As a result, the rogue state announced that it will hold war games along key shipping lanes and that any further U.S. sanctions would result in the closing of the most important of those lanes, the Strait of Hormuz—the pathway for more than 20% of the world’s oil supply. Next, the trial of American-born Iranian Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, whom the Iranians claim is a U.S. spy, began this week.

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Hilarious Hillary

December 12th, 2011 at 3:18 pm 20 Comments

Hillary Clinton recently expressed concern about the future of Israeli democracy because the Knesset is considering curtailing foreign governments’ funding for Israeli NGOs, seek and because some rabbis in Israel say they want men and women to seat separately on buses.

Does Hillary realize how hypocritical she is? In the United States, ambulance NGOs that receive money from foreign governments are considered foreign agents. And why is separate sitting between men and women on “haredi” buses a threat to democracy in Israel but not in New York (a common practice in Clinton’s home state)?

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If Saudi Women Drive

David Frum December 3rd, 2011 at 11:39 am 34 Comments

The social consequences will be horrendous, warn Saudi Arabia’s clerics:

As part of his careful reform process, King Abdullah has allowed suggestions to surface that the ban might be reviewed.

This has angered the conservative religious elite – a key power base for any Saudi ruler.

Now, one of their number – well-known academic Kamal Subhi – has presented a new report to the country’s legislative assembly, the Shura.

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What Friends of Israel Face in Britain

David Frum December 1st, 2011 at 11:28 am 26 Comments

As an example of the attitudes my friends at the Anglo-Israel Association bump up against in contemporary Britain, there’s this:

A Labour MP has caused outrage by suggesting that Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel has divided loyalties because he has “proclaimed himself to be a Zionist”.

Challenged by the JC to clarify his comments about Matthew Gould, who took up the post last year, Paul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport West, said ambassadors to Israel had not previously been Jewish “to avoid the accusation that they have gone native”.

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The Source of Israel’s Support

David Frum December 1st, 2011 at 2:18 am 59 Comments

I was honored to speak Wednesday night to the annual dinner of the Anglo-Israel Association in London.

For those interested, here follows the text of my speech (corrected and abridged from the version delivered).

Your Excellencies, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen

I come to you today from a region of the earth torn by tribal hatred and distracted by extremist ideologies, where a privileged few wallow in luxury upon an influx of unearned wealth. I speak of course of Washington DC.

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The Arab League Notices Syria

November 23rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm 5 Comments

The Arab League’s threat to suspend Syria because of Bashar al-Assad’s regime’s murderous crackdown on demonstrators can be dismissed as empty symbolism.

The League’s resolution allowed member states to impose political and economic sanctions, but it specified none. (Reports say that the army has killed 400 protesters in this month alone, and 3,500 since the popular rising broke out in March.)

Still, its censure of a member state is almost unprecedented. So why now?

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Sarkozy, C’est Fini

November 9th, 2011 at 12:21 am 53 Comments

French songwriter Hervé Villard became famous overnight in 1965 with his love song “Capri, ask c’est fini” (Capri, illness it’s over). The song literally sounds like a broken record, site but Villard made a fortune out of it (he sold 2.5 million records). Could it be that disappointment is so universal a feeling that it speaks to our hearts even with the dullest melody?

And would I get 2.5 million downloads on iTunes if I were to write a song on “Sarkozy, c’est fini?” After all, there are more than 2.5 million people who are disappointed in Sarkozy. I’m no musician, though, so I shall settle for the following words.

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SCOTUS Could Force Obama’s Hand on Jerusalem

David Frum November 5th, 2011 at 8:27 am 38 Comments

In my column for the National Post, I discuss how a Supreme Court case might force the White House to explain its policy towards Jerusalem:

Two can play at this game. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have abandoned negotiations with Israel. They are seeking UN recognition of Palestinian statehood: statehood without peace. Already they have gained one victory: acceptance as a full member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Yet this victory may be their last.

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Palestinians Behaving Badly

David Frum October 18th, 2011 at 7:46 am 10 Comments

The Palestinian envoy to Canada is asked to leave after she tweets a link to a call to “destroy the Jews.”

Linda Sobeh Ali, treatment the chargé d’affaires of the Palestinian delegation in Ottawa, buy is just one cut above persona non grata. The Canadian government called her in for a high-level dressing down, order made a formal Free porn watch protest to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and has decided to “limit communication” with her until a replacement arrives.

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On Israel, Obama (Finally) Says the Right Words

David Frum September 22nd, 2011 at 6:35 am 80 Comments

In my column for The Week, I report that Obama’s speech at the UN finally showed that he fully supports Israel:

President Obama’s speech to the UN today for once eschewed ambiguity.

America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were.

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