Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Tevi Troy

Will There Be An Internal Revolt Against Trump?

February 2017  •  Commentary

My first face-to-face encounter with the federal bureaucracy came on January 22, 2001. I was the deputy director of a "parachute team" for incoming president George W. Bush, and our job was to "secure the beachhead" at the Department of Labor on the first day of the new administration. (The political realm loves to borrow military metaphors.) That meant stopping the department from issuing guidance, rules, and statements that reflected the views of the departing Clinton administration. The most important tactical objective in this mission, we were told, was this: Secure the fax machine! (It was 2001, after all.) At that time, there was one specially designated fax machine used to send new regulatory language to the Federal Register, which publishes all newly minted regulations. There was a bureaucrat I'll call Mitchell Sykes whose job it was to man that fax machine. We were to find Sykes and stop him from doing anything. (Some identifying names have been changed throughout this article.)

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

Trump v. Radical Islam

January 20, 2017  •  City Journal

In his brief, blunt, and protectionist inaugural speech, President Donald J. Trump declared war on "radical Islamic terrorism," using a phrase that former president Barack Obama refused to say during his eight years in office. Trump vowed not only to defeat the Islamic State and all other like-minded extremist Muslim movements, but to "eradicate" them "completely from the face of the earth." Though Trump paid lip service to the need to "reinforce old alliances," "form new ones," and "unite the civilized world" against extremists to defeat Islamic militancy, the thrust of his main message to America's allies and would-be coalition partners—"America First"—is at odds with that goal.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

Defining violent extremism down

January 19, 2017  •  The Washington Times

Death, where is thy sting? For Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, it certainly didn't come from the mainstream media.

The 82-year-old former Iranian president died of a heart attack earlier this month. The New York Times called him an "influential voice against hard-liners" and "a main voice in Iran calling for outreach to the West." The Los Angeles Times said he had been "one of the most powerful allies of moderates in Tehran." National Public Radio praised him as "a leading voice for reform." The news section of The Wall Street Journal agreed that he was a "leading voice among moderate politicians."

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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

Setting traitor Manning free is a betrayal by Obama

January 19, 2017  •  New York Post

As the clock winds down on his presidency, President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic and military documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning told Adrian Lamo, an ex-hacker and confidant, that she hoped her leak would spark "worldwide discussion, debates and reforms."

"If not," she added, "then we're doomed as a species."

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

The silent screams of Inquisition victims in Sicily

January 19, 2017  •  Jerusalem Post

Towering over the Piazza Marina near the sea in Palermo, Sicily, stands an ornate medieval structure that conceals within its walls chilling evidence of one of the darkest chapters in European history.

With its crenellated walls and imposing fortress-like architecture, the Palazzo Chiaramonte, or Steri Palace as it is better known, is one of the coastal city's most prominent sites, a place drenched in a torment that many would prefer to forget.

From 1601 to 1782, the site served as the headquarters of the "Holy Inquisition," an institution that used decidedly unholy means to hunt down suspected heretics, sectarians and of course secret Judaizers, or crypto-Jews.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

The Islamization of France in 2016
"France has a problem with Islam"

January 17, 2017  •  Gatestone Institute

The Muslim population of France was approximately 6.5 million in 2016, or around 10% of the overall population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union, just above Germany.

Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, Gatestone Institute's estimate of France's Muslim population is based on several studies that attempted to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim-majority countries.

What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2016:


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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage

January 16, 2017  •  FDD Policy Brief

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday eased sanctions against Sudan based on improved behavior, and with the expectation that Sudan "sustains [the] positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months." The move, which comes after months of rumors that Sudan would be removed entirely from the U.S. terrorism sponsors list, punts the six-month review to the Donald Trump administration.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Dublin Is Not Jerusalem

January 10, 2017  •  Forward

In the aftermath of the U.S.'s decision to abstain from a vote criticizing Israeli settlements at the UN, Barack Obama and company have shown their true colors and in a calculated move, going on to stab Israel, not in the back but in the front. The departing president refused to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 — a measure superficially about Israeli settlement policy, but clearly intended to tip the scales in favor of the Palestinians. As the actual text states, "any changes to the June 4, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem" have "no legal validity and a flagrant violation under international law." This resolution is not, therefore, limited to settlements but applies equally to the very heart and soul of Israel.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Trump's Arsenal Against Iran

December 29, 2016  •  USA Today

What will the new president do about Iran?

While still on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump railed repeatedly against President Obama's "disastrous" nuclear deal with Iran. He pledged to tear up the agreement, or at least amend it substantially, as one of his first acts in office. Yet, for a host of reasons, the nuclear pact concluded between the Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany) last summer is likely to prove more resilient than either the president-elect or his advisers hope.

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Latest Article from Matthew RJ Brodsky

Is Obama's Hanukkah Gift a Palestinian State?

December 26, 2016  •  The Huffington Post

The passing of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution #2334 marks an abrupt and significant change in decades of American policy toward the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Rather than a parting shot fueled by personal vengeance, it could be a well thought out plan. Whereas he passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote, and then bypassed Congress and the American people to tie the country to his Iran deal, the precedent is set for him to ignore the American people and the very countries involved in a peace agreement and impose his vision of a two-state solution.

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Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The Meaning of an Israeli Clash with an Islamic State Affiliate

December 13, 2016  •  War on the Rocks

On November 27, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) clashed for the first time with the Islamic State-linked group called Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed ("The Army of Khalid bin al-Waleed") on the border between the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and the Yarmouk Basin region of southwest Deraa province. Though no casualties were reported on the Israeli side, at least three members of Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed were killed. Do these clashes mean the Islamic State is opening up a front against Israel via the Golan borderlands? And what do they tell us about the ever-shifting puzzle of jihadist groups in Syria?

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