Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Soeren Kern

German Interior Minister: "Islam Does Not Belong to Germany"

March 17, 2018  •  Gatestone Institute

Germany's new interior minister, Horst Seehofer, in his first interview since being sworn in on March 14, has said that "Islam does not belong to Germany." He has also vowed to pursue hardline immigration policies, including the implementation of a "master plan" for speedier deportations.

Seehofer's remarks prompted an immediate firestorm of criticism from the self-appointed guardians of German multiculturalism, including from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has repeatedly insisted that "Islam belongs to Germany."

The backlash will raise questions about how much Seehofer — a former minister-president of Bavaria and a vocal critic of Merkel's open-door migration policies — will be able to accomplish during his tenure.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Zionist 'nachas'

March 16, 2018  •  Jerusalem Post

Since the dawn of Jewish history, Jewish parents have been on a perpetual quest, a seemingly never-ending search for that priceless mixture of pride and joy at a child's accomplishments known by the Yiddish term "nachas."

As with many words from that emotive and expressive tongue, nachas is difficult to translate, yet delightfully easy to comprehend. It is that warm feeling that envelops the entire body and touches the inner recesses of the soul when one's son or daughter achieves something that epitomizes the values and beliefs, the goals and hopes, with which they were raised.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

In the Aftermath of an Assassination Attempt Against the Palestinian Prime Minister, Conspiracy Theories Abound

March 16, 2018  •  Tablet Magazine

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah emerged visibly shaken but unscathed after an assassination attempt on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip. The soft-spoken former academic arrived in Gaza to open a sewage plant and attend some political meeting. He had barely crossed into Northern Gaza when his convoy, which included Palestinian Intelligence Chief Majid Farraj, was rocked by two 33-pound bombs. Seven security guards were wounded and three cars were damaged in the attack.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Iran's Role in the Boycott Israel Campaign

March 15, 2018  •  The National Interest

The Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, better known by the acronym BDS, targeting Israel has largely been viewed as a Palestinian- and Western European-driven campaign with the alleged goal of advancing Palestinian statehood. Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran's key role in stoking the BDS movement has increasingly become a key factor in economic warfare against the Jewish state.

The U.S. State Department classifies Iran's regime as a leading active state-sponsor of terrorism.

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Latest Article from Matthew RJ Brodsky

The Conflict in Syria: Seven Years of Hell and No End in Sight

March 15, 2018  •  Perspectives with Tracy Alexander / i24News

As we enter the eighth year of Syrian conflict, is there any end in sight? Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Alexey Khlebnikov, Middle East expert at the Russian International Affairs Council on i24News "Perspectives" to discuss U.S. and Russian policy in the conflict and consider the interests involved.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

The big lesson of the Tillerson firing

March 14, 2018  •  Fox News

What surprised Washington foreign policy and political gurus was not Rex Tillerson's dismissal as secretary of state, which had been rumored for months, but how it was done. President Trump fired his secretary of state in a tweet. It was the Washington equivalent of breaking up with your romantic partner with a Post-it.

"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State," the president tweeted at 8:44 a.m. Tuesday. "He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!"

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

The Limits Of Saudi Reform

March 14, 2018  •  Al-Hurra Digital

Just how far-reaching are Saudi Arabia's reforms? These days, there is unbridled optimism in official Washington over what are widely seen as sweeping social and economic changes taking place in the historically-stagnant Kingdom. At first glance, Saudi Arabia does indeed appear to be on the march. Since 2016, when he formally unveiled his National Transformation Plan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – better known as MbS – has presided over an ambitious initiative to overhaul the national economy and Saudi society. Most visibly, this has entailed significant upgrades to the status of women, including the long overdue rights to drive, to attend public sporting events, and to participate more fully in business. Simultaneously, the Kingdom has begun reducing the pervasive – and costly – culture of economic subsidies which predominated in past years. The Saudi government likewise has commenced a serious effort to reorient the country away from its current, deep dependence on energy exports toward a truly post-oil economy. What the reforms haven't entailed, however, is a real rethink of the underlying tenets of the Saudi state. In multiple speeches and pronouncements, MbS has made clear that he has no plans to abandon the Kingdom's creed, or to repudiate the austere Wahhabi strain of Islam that serves as the country's organizing ideology. Nor has he given any indication that he intends to reign in the main communicators of that radical message: the country's powerful conservative preachers.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

A pope and an imam

March 14, 2018  •  The Washington Times

CAIRO — Pope Tawadros II had planned to spend last week on retreat in a monastery near Alexandria. But then Mohammed bin Salman, on a three-day visit to Egypt, asked to see him.

The Saudi crown prince and the Coptic Christian patriarch met at St. Mark's Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. They reportedly discussed the bloodshed and destruction afflicting so much of the Middle East, and why promoting tolerance has become imperative.

The crown prince allowed his photograph to be taken with the pontiff. In it, the two men are chatting amicably in front of a painting of Jesus, a halo around his head, lambs at his feet. Egyptian media called the meeting "unprecedented."

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

How Blockchain Will Disrupt Colleges, the Media, and Unions, Too

January 26, 2018  •  The Weekly Standard

As the technology empowering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchains have been in the news a lot lately. Bitcoin, of course, has both roiled markets and is making world governments nervous about the possible creation of an alternative currency while simultaneously thrilling investors in crypto markets. Blockchain, however, is about so much more than just enabling digital currencies. It can be applied to everything from dating to contract law. And blockchain might even upending politics.

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

It's High Time To Cut U.S. Funding For This Troubled International Cancer Agency
The United States has failed to hold the World Health Organization accountable for the nearly $2 billion in U.S. funding WHO receives each year.

December 19, 2017  •  The Federalist

Since Donald Trump's election, international bureaucracies that receive U.S. tax dollars have been on notice that our unchecked government largess to them is about to end. The World Health Organization is one example of a bloated, inefficient agency that is ripe for reform.

As Jeff wrote in June, "WHO is plagued by persistent wasteful spending, utter disregard for transparency, pervasive incompetence, and failure to adhere to even basic democratic standards." The United States has failed to hold the WHO accountable for the nearly $2 billion in U.S. funding WHO receives each year.

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