Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 
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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

UK: Politicians Urge Ban on the Term "Islamic State"

July 4, 2015  •  Gatestone Institute

The BBC has rejected demands by British lawmakers to stop using the term "Islamic State" when referring to the jihadist group that is carving out a self-declared Caliphate in the Middle East.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC's director general, said that the proposed alternative, "Daesh," is pejorative and using it would be unfair to the Islamic State, thereby casting doubt upon the BBC's impartiality.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently joined the growing chorus of British politicians who argue that the name "Islamic State" is offensive to Muslims and should be banned from the English vocabulary.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Michael Freund

Stop the Palestinian desecration of the Mount of Olives

July 2, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

Amid the recent surge in Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, our ostensible peace partners have also launched an unprecedented assault against the oldest and most prominent Jewish cemetery in the world: the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Not content with trying to snuff out the lives of innocent Jews, Palestinian vandals have been systematically and with impunity smashing tombstones, setting fires and desecrating graves.

Though the phenomenon itself is not new, the pace of destruction has been gaining pace in recent weeks, and Israel must act to protect this ancient and hallowed ground.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Tevi Troy

White House Cool
Celebrity as two-edged sword for presidents

July 6, 2015  •  Weekly Standard

That the president is an important media figure is an indisputable fact in the modern political landscape. In my own book on presidents and popular culture, I argued that the ways in which presidents interact with the content and various modes of popular culture can provide a valuable insight into their individual psyches. Now, Kenneth T. Walsh has come along and taken the case to a different level, arguing that celebrity is an indispensible part of the modern presidency and that presidents who handle celebrity better are more successful as presidents.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Clifford May

Men of peace in a realm of war

July 1, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Last week, I paid a couple of visits to the West Bank or, as Israel's enemies call it, "the illegally occupied Palestinian territories." Israelis who live and work there are more likely to use the biblical name: Judea and Samaria.

I spoke with three people — two Palestinians and one Israeli — whom I regard as men of peace. Let me tell you a little about them.

Salam Fayyad is an economist and politician with a professorial mien and a reputation for integrity. In 2007, at the urging of Western diplomats tired of seeing their aid money go astray, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Mr. Fayyad his prime minister.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The Islamic State One Year After The Caliphate Declaration

July 1, 2015  •  Huffington Post

As we pass the one-year anniversary since the announcement of ISIS's so-called "caliphate" demanding the allegiance of the world's Muslims and ultimately sovereignty over the entire world, much of the commentary has been far too ephemeral. The media has had a tendency to take whatever comes out immediately in the news -- such as the attack today in Sinai claimed by ISIS and its threat to Hamas in Gaza -- as indicative of long-term trends.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Jeff Stier

Is free school lunch the next great American entitlement program?

July 1, 2015  •  The Hill

As Congress considers changes to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), one little-known section of the law is expected to sharply increase the number of students receiving free lunch (and breakfast) over the next several years. This includes taxpayer-funded meals for students who would not have previously qualified under the old rules.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Judith Miller

Cuba on the Edge

July 2015  •  Departures

"Cuba, baby!" Millionaire celebrity Paris Hilton exclaimed on Instagram while posing alongside one of the United Buddy Bears, a traveling exhibition of over 140 life-size fiberglass bears on display since January on the San Francisco de Asis Plaza, in Old Havana. In February, supermodel Naomi Campbell was photographed partying with Fidel Castro's son at Havana's Grand Hotel Nacional de Cuba during the 17th annual cigar convention, the Festival del Habano, which attracted some 1,600 cigar aficionados from over 30 nations. In March, Conan O'Brien became the first late-night host to broadcast from the island since Jack Paar interviewed Fidel in 1959. Dressed in a white linen suit and Panama hat, O'Brien was filmed drinking too much rum, massacring the Spanish language, learning to rumba, and rolling a corona in a cigar factory– all the while avoiding the politics and rancor that have characterized Cuban-American relations for the past 50 years.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Michael Rubin

America's 'Insane' Iran Approach

June 26, 2015  •  The National Interest

In March 2003, senior U.S. diplomats flew to Geneva to meet with Iran's then UN ambassador (now foreign minister) Mohammad Javad Zarif. Their agenda was straight forward: Win Iran's pledge not to interfere in Iraq. Zarif readily agreed. Two weeks later, Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Two thousand Iranian-trained militiamen flooded into Iraq and, over subsequent years, Iranian weaponry or proxies murdered hundreds of Americans. Zarif either lied outright or exaggerated his ability to make firm commitments to which all Iranians would adhere.

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Latest Article from Thomas Hibbs

review of Gemma Bovery

June 25, 2015  •  National Review Online

A film offers a new take on the classic novel

Gemma Bovery, the new French film directed by Anne Fontaine (Coco before Chanel) and based on the witty graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, is something of a satiric take on Flaubert's famous novel Madame Bovary. The story begins with Gemma Bovery (Gemma Arterton) and her husband, Charles (Jason Flemyng), moving from England to a village in Normandy — the same village, as it happens, where Flaubert wrote his famous novel. A local baker, Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini), a former Parisian and a Flaubert devotee, becomes obsessed with Gemma — not only with her beauty but also with the similarities between her name, what he perceives to be her fate, and the story of Emma Bovary. It's a clever idea, a fictional story about a character whose life may or may not imitate that of a character in a classic novel. And it works for a short film that doesn't take itself too seriously, with a script that successfully exploits the comic potential latent within the original novel.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

The Saudi Military is Mobilizing. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

June 5, 2015  •  Huffington Post

The Saudis "will definitely be defeated," crows one Iranian general. Riyadh "will pay a heavy price" for its war against the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, a senior Hezbollah figure predicts. The war in Yemen will end in a stalemate, warns a Brookings Institution expert. The war in Yemen will be "Saudi's Vietnam," a Carnegie think tanker warns.

Those who doubt the wisdom of Saudi Arabia's decision to launch a bombing campaign against Iranian proxies in March of this year are ubiquitous. Except in Saudi Arabia, that is.

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