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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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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

UK: Belfast Pastor Faces Prison for "Grossly Offending" Islam

June 28, 2015  •  Gatestone Institute

An evangelical Christian pastor in Northern Ireland is being prosecuted for making "grossly offensive" remarks about Islam.

James McConnell, 78, is facing up to six months in prison for delivering a sermon in which he described Islam as "heathen" and "satanic." The message was streamed live on the Internet, and a Muslim group called the police to complain.

According to Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS), McConnell violated the 2003 Communications Act by "sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive."

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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 Michael Freund

When Manasseh's children visited Joseph's Tomb

June 25, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

It was after midnight one night earlier this month that I found myself in an armored convoy on the streets of Palestinian-occupied Shechem (Nablus) on the way to a remarkable family reunion of historic proportions. More than 2,700 years after their ancestors had been exiled from the Land of Israel, a group of recent immigrants from the Bnei Menashe, or Sons of Manasseh, were set to visit their forefather Joseph's tomb, the first rendezvous of its kind.

For these 100 descendants of a lost tribe of Israel, who came on aliya from India last November through Shavei Israel, the organization I chair, it was an emotional outing, one that would provide them with a unique opportunity to reconnect with their roots in a very tangible way.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Clifford May

How to worsen the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

June 24, 2015  •  The Washington Times

JERUSALEM - The "peace process" between Israelis and Palestinians has ground to a halt. What should American and European leaders do? Try not to make the situation worse.

That will be a challenge. Many in the West believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is relatively easy to solve — certainly not on a par with the much bloodier wars being waged by Sunni and Shia jihadis in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

Turkey's election results were a big surprise. What's next?

June 9, 2015  •  Fox News

Make no mistake: Turkey's 76 million people, 86 percent of whom cast votes in the national parliamentary election Sunday, delivered a stunning rebuke to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist who has dominated Turkish politics as prime minister and now president for the past 13 years. Turkish voters ended his government's 13-year majority rule – and perhaps his effort to consolidate even more personal power -- by giving his Justice and Development Party, the AKP, less than 41 percent of the vote, about half of what the party won in the last general election in 2011.

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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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Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

State of war: The Iraqi Sunni actors taking on the Islamic State

November 2, 2014  •  IHS Jane's Terrorism & Insurgency Monitor

The security situation in Iraq rapidly deteriorated following the fall of Mosul in June 2014 during an insurgent offensive spearheaded by what was then the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but has since been renamed the Islamic State. Since then, much discussion has arisen on how the group can either be contained or 'rolled back' by reducing its territorial holdings on a substantial scale and thus significantly weakening its power base within the country. However, for such an objective, a fundamental prerequisite is a local Sunni Muslim force on the ground that can contest the Islamic State's control of Sunni majority areas of Iraq, notably the provinces of Anbar, Ninawa, and Salaheddine, as well as parts of Babil, Diyala, and Kirkuk.

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

Calling for a different approach to tobacco and nicotine regulation

August 24, 2014  •  EuroActiv

Cigarette smoking is the most harmful form of tobacco use. Alternatives to smoking that supply users with, yes, addictive, but not particularly harmful nicotine, are significantly less dangerous.

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Latest Article from M. Zuhdi Jasser

I was bullied for criticizing Hamas

August 23, 2014  •  AZ Central

What happens in Syria, Egypt, Iraq or Gaza has an impact every day right here in the Valley.

Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah).

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Latest Article from Timothy Spangler

Dictatorial dynasty in the making?

August 22, 2014  •  The Orange County Register

A dynasty is in the works in troubled Zimbabwe, rather than the comprehensive change that is much needed. This week, the wife of long-standing President Robert Mugabe was appointed to a high-profile, senior position in the ruling Zanu (PF) party. Grace Mugabe was appointed secretary of the party's Women's League, which entitles her to a seat on the party's governing politburo. The women's group also endorsed her husband, president since 1987, as their preferred candidate for the 2018 elections.

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Latest Article from Steven Emerson

The President's True Colors Finally Revealed

August 17, 2014  •  Jerusalem Online

When I first glanced at the headline on today's Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed." But it was not a satire. This was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Gaza: How we got here and what next?

August 15, 2014  •  YNet News

Despite the conviction in Israel that its military actions against Hamas in Gaza are justified, the notion that this third Gaza war in the past six years has been a consequence of the failure to conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority is widely accepted across the globe.

For Palestinians, the argument continues, there is no choice but resistance and confrontation since diplomacy and non-violence have not ended the occupation. For that reason, many Palestinians claim that Hamas is fighting not simply to lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip but also to give them their freedom.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Cutting The Caliphate Down To Size

August 14, 2014  •  National Review Online

Is America headed back to Iraq? On August 7, President Obama took the first step in that direction when he authorized the use of air strikes to prevent the further advance of the militant Islamic group once known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) and now known as the Islamic State. Since then, the U.S. military has commenced a limited bombing campaign against Islamic State detachments in northern Iraq and added 130 military advisers to the 300 already stationed in the country. The decision reflects a stark reality. In recent weeks, the Islamic State has cut a bloody swath across Iraq, capturing and holding territory at an unprecedented rate. As a result, the Washington Post reports, the group "now controls resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations." The current effort, however, appears to be as far as the White House is willing to go — at least for the moment. Having staked its political legitimacy on an exit from Iraq, the Obama administration is leery of doing much more. As a result, a true strategy for rolling back the Islamic State's advance is still sorely lacking.

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