Friday, July 29, 2011
Turkey’s Military Chief Said to Resign -J.D. Goodman
The top commander of Turkey’s military resigned suddenly, the semi-official Anatolian News Agency reported, in a dramatic signal of deepening tensions between the armed forces and the country’s [increasingly radical] Islamic government.
Local media reports also indicated that the commanders of the country’s navy, army and air force had also stepped down, though their reports were attributed to unnamed officials and could not be immediately verified.
The military chief of staff, Isik Kosaner, sent a letter of resignation to the prime minister’s office, the state-run agency said, without elaborating on his reason.
Earlier, Mr. Kosaner met with the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and President Abdullah Gul, according to local media reports. Shortly after, according to an account in the daily Hurriyet, Mr. Kosaner as well as the army commander, Gen. Erdal Ceylanoglu; the navy chief, Adm. Esref Ugur Yigit; and the commander of the air force, Gen. Hasan Aksay, stepped down.
It was not immediately clear why the country’s top military leaders would resign en masse. The Associated Press reported that the move came only hours after 22 people, including several generals and officers, were charged in a campaign on the Internet to undermine the civilian government.
A rift between Turkey’s long-powerful, secular military, broadly respected in Turkish society, and the popular ruling party has grown wider in recent years.
[New York Times]
Turkey's Military Leaders Resign: High-Stakes Power Struggle -Soner Cagaptay
The Turkish military on Friday staged an "inverted coup" with a strike-style walkout by its top leadership. Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner resigned, as did the heads of the Turkish Army, Navy and Air Force. A headless military is a risk in a country flanked by Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the last of which is undergoing revolutionary turmoil on the other side of a 500 mile-long border.
In 2007, the ruling AKP party launched a court case, known as Ergenekon, which alleged a coup plot against the government and accused the military of involvement. Four years and hundreds of arrests later, the case has yet to reach a verdict. Around half of all Turkish admirals have been jailed. The final straw came when pro-AKP media suggested that 14 active-duty generals and admirals who had been arrested, though not yet indicted, would be forced to resign. Furthermore, police arrested 22 additional top-brass officers.
By walking out, the military has in a way conceded defeat to the AKP. Yet, at the same time, the government needs a military, and a secular military is currently its only option.
Turkey's Islamic Revolution -Benny Morris
The Turkish Islamists, who took control of the country after democratic elections in 2002, are well on their way to completing a revolution. This weekend, they ticked another important "V" with the mass resignation of the country's top military brass and their immediate replacement by Islamist-friendly generals.
The Turks may soon find an emulator in Egypt, where Islamists seem set to take over the state by democratic means. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties may be expected to follow the same Turkish paradigm, in which a state is gradually subordinated to Islam and removed from the West's orbit by a slow, incremental process which the West finds itself unable to counter.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Slaying the Syria-Iran-Hizbullah Hydra -Hossein Askari
If the Tehran regime were to fall, Syria's Assad would be isolated and forced to compromise with his Arab brethren and as well as with the U.S.; if Assad were to fall, Iran's mullahs would face insurmountable hurdles in supporting Hizbullah; and with the fall of either the mullahs or Assad, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's days would be numbered (and with the fall of both his days would be almost over).
-Yaakov Katz, Herb Keinon & Tovah Lazaroff
The IDF is purchasing a new tactical ladder to enable soldiers to climb high walls with greater ease during urban warfare.
The current ladder used by the IDF needs to be carried by at least two soldiers and held in place by two more soldiers. The new ladder can be carried by a single soldier [photo above], open up to over 10 meters, and be held in place by one soldier.
Ladders are often needed by soldiers to climb over obstacles during operations inside cities – or to surprise a target and enter a building through a window.
"U.S. Paying Salaries to Jailed Palestinian Terrorists" -Herb Keinon
The Palestinian Authority spends more than $5 million a month paying salaries to terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report presented to congressmen in Washington.
According to the report, such payments contravene U.S. law, which prohibits funding of any person who "engages in, or has engaged in terrorist activity." "The U.S. funds the PA's general budget....Through the PA budget the U.S. is paying the salaries of terrorist murderers in prison and funding the glorification and role modeling of terrorists."
"A law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry in April 2011 puts all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes on the PA payroll to receive a monthly salary from the PA," formalizing "what has long been a PA practice." More than 5,500 Palestinian prisoners receive these funds.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Rare Gold Bell Discovered in Excavations in Jerusalem
A rare gold bell with a small loop at its end was discovered during an archaeological excavation in [a]drainage channel [near] the City of David [in] Jerusalem. According archaeologists Eli Shukron and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, "It seems the bell was sewn on the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period."
The high priests who served in the Temple used to hang a gold bell from the fringes of their robe. In the Book of Exodus, there is a description of the high priest Aaron's robe: "Upon the skirts of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the skirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about."
(Israel Antiquities Authority)
Hagit Yasau, an Ethiopian Israel from battered Sderot, won "A Star is Born," Israel's version of American Idol. The song featured in the video above is by Israeli superstar Ofra Haza, of blessed memory.
[Hat tip: IsraPundit]
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Biggest Mall in Gaza Opens Its Doors -Nasser Najjar
The Al Andalusia Mall, the biggest mall in Gaza, opened its doors on Tuesday.
Ihab Al Isawia, a mall investor, said: "The mall is built on 3,000 square meters and has 14 departments providing goods and services." There is even a swimming pool and a cinema.
Does the new anti-boycott law harm free speech? -Eugene Kontorovich
Israel’s parliament passed a law this week prohibiting economic boycotts against this nation. Since before the creation of the Jewish state, boycotts have been a major part of the Arabs’ war against any Jewish presence in the Holy Land. Today, economic boycotts have become one of the main tools for delegitimizing, intimidating, undermining and unfairly singling out Israel.
Israel’s new anti-boycott law immediately met with complaints that it violates free speech and is inconsistent with democratic values. Critics say the law itself will delegitimize Israel and alienate its supporters in Western democracies.
These criticisms are wrong as a matter of principle. More insidiously, they hold Israel to a standard never applied to other nations, and criticizes it for passing laws that are well within the western democratic mainstream.
Moreover, the outrage over the anti-boycott law carries a dose of hypocrisy, as it ignores numerous other laws in Israel that are used to restrict political speech generally associated with the right wing.
There is no universal code of free speech. Determining what gets protection involves trade-offs between the very real harm that speech can cause and the benefit of free expression. Among liberal Western democracies, how that balance is struck varies significantly, depending on legal traditions and circumstances.
The United States has far more robust constitutional speech protections than almost any Western country. Most European nations – and Israel – have numerous laws criminalizing speech that would not conceivably pass muster under the First Amendment. This does not mean these countries deny freedom of speech; merely that there are competing ideas.
But even the US has a law against boycotting Israel. It has been on the books for decades, and has been regularly enforced, but no one has suggested it is unconstitutional – and that is for a law protecting another country’s economy. Moreover, Israel’s law, unlike the American one, applies only to organizing boycotts, not to actually adhering to one.
In any country, guarantees of free speech do not apply to speech that causes actual harm, – like yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Some countries take this quite far. Great Britain has strong libel laws that prevent people from truthfully condemning public officials. While the law is widely criticized, no one has suggested Britain has thereby lost its democratic status.
Every nation has laws against conspiracies to cause economic harm: antitrust laws prohibit speech when its purpose is to unfairly cause economic harm. And the common law makes it a tort to “interfere with prospective business advantage,” i.e. scaring off someone’s customers.
The anti-boycott law prohibits speech intended to cause economic harm to businesses solely because of their national identity. Nondiscrimination laws commonly ban plans to deny business to specified groups of certain national or ethnic origins. Israel’s new law bans discrimination against businesses because they are Israeli.
Most European states – and Israel – have laws prohibiting speech that is perceived as “hateful” or which simply offends the feelings of particular groups. Often such speech expresses important viewpoints.
A boycott of Israel promotes hatred of Israel, and certainly offends the vast majority of Israelis. To be sure, boycott supporters argue that at least when it comes to settlers, such hatred is deserved, but that is always the opinion of those whose speech is blocked by such laws.
The boycott movement is designed to imperil the State of Israel, and can actually do so. This danger outweighs the benefits of allowing such speech, especially since the law does not in any way limit advocating policies or viewpoints that such boycotts are supposed to promote. Indeed, the law has a characteristic crucial for free-speech scrutiny – it is “viewpoint neutral.” That is, it applies to boycotts of Israel whether organized by the left wing or the right wing.
Like most European democracies, Israel’s constitutional protection of speech has long been narrower than America’s.
One example is that speech restraints have long been used against right-wing groups. Just recently, a prominent right-wing activist has been prosecuted for “insulting a public official,” after denouncing those responsible for expelling Jewish families from Gaza in 2005. In recent weeks, police have arrested several rabbis for authoring or endorsing obscure treatises of religious law that discuss (allegedly too leniently) the permissibility of killing enemy civilians in wartime.
Most saliently, the far-Right party of Rabbi Meir Kahane was kicked out of the Knesset because its views were deemed racist. Such actions manifestly constitute interference in political expression, and would clearly violate freespeech norms in the US, but that does not make them unconstitutional in Israel. Nor did these actions trigger alarm among the international community.
Israel’s current practice is clearly well within the limits of an open democracy. Singling out Israel for laws that are identical to, or just as restrictive as, laws on the books in America and Europe manifests the very problem that exists with the boycotts themselves – the application of an entirely different set of standards to Israel than to the rest of the free world.
Eugene Kontorovich is a professor of law at Northwestern University, where he teaches constitutional law, and has lectured at Israeli universities.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sudan’s “Two-State Solution” -Barry Rubin
Good news from the Middle East is that rarest of all things. Solutions to conflicts there is equally rare. That’s why the creation of a new country, South Sudan, is so significant after years of strife between the northern and southern parts of that country due largely to their religious and racial differences.
This development also leads to an interesting question: will south Sudan be a purely African-oriented state or will it play some part in the Middle East?
Note that most of the population of south Sudan is Christian. The Muslim north decided to get rid of the region so that it could pursue its Islamist ambitions more easily and focus on repressing tribes (also Muslim) in the west.
None of the news reports on south Sudan, however, pointed out the earthshaking aspect of its creation. After all, this is a state that has come into existence because it is Christian, a sort of parallel to Israel. It is too poor, remote, and non-Arab for Islamists and Arab nationalists elsewhere to care about and they are preoccupied with other things right now.
Yet to the north, in Egypt, Christians are facing growing persecution. Will the rest of the Middle East ignore south Sudan or will it become a target in future for jihad and hatred, as an illegitimate entity allegedly created by Western imperialism that must be destroyed?
Another interesting question is whether Christians elsewhere will show any interest in the new country and try to help it survive and prosper. Western Christians spend much of their time either supporting or bashing Israel. The beleaguered Christians of Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Pakistan are ignored. Now that there’s what is in effect a state created as a safe haven for Christians will that change any attitudes?
Finally, the Obama Administration probably deserves a large measure of credit for the Sudan solution. It cozied up to the dictatorship but in this case, a contrast to other situations, actually achieved some positive result.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Iraq Weathers the Political Storm -Sterling Jensen
The Middle East political storm of early 2011 has had an interesting impact on Iraq. Though the government was confronted with demonstrations, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki felt sufficiently confident to boast that "Iraq has become the most stable country in the region."
While this may seem a bold claim given the recent past, Maliki is not alone in showing confidence in Iraq's prospects. The Sadrists, Kurds, and leaders of the primarily Sunni Iraqiya bloc have been equally upbeat about the country's prospects while many Iraqi insiders believe that their battle-torn country will not only weather the instability but will also serve as a model for democracy.
Indeed, the democratic system established in Iraq through its second elected government in six years is becoming more representative and responsive to the people. While the country still has many sectarian and political differences to resolve in order to ensure its long-term stability, this system is likely to last due to four main elements: a representative government, an independent and transparent media, a professional security force, and a close relationship with the United States.
If Baghdad is able to resolve its internal disputes peacefully and improve government efficiency through modest reforms, its future will be bright.
[Middle East Quarterly]
6 in 10 Palestinians Reject Two-State Solution -Gil Hoffman
Only 34% of Palestinians accept, while 61% reject, two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a survey of 1,010 Palestinians completed this week by American pollster Stanley Greenberg.
92% said Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, while just 3% said it should be the capital of both Palestine and Israel.
72% backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor of teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.
The poll was conducted with the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project.
Can Israel Be a "Jewish State?" -Elliott Abrams
The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel as a "Jewish state." Their argument is that if Israel is a "Jewish state," it will necessarily discriminate against non-Jews. The problem with this debating point is that those who use it apply it only to Israel; none ever voices any concern about states based on Islam and discriminating in favor of Muslims.
There are four states whose very name contains a religious reference: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. But beyond those, in every Muslim-majority country the constitution asserts a special role for Islam. The Jordanian constitution says, "Islam is the religion of the State" and "No person shall ascend the Throne unless he is a Muslim…of Muslim parents." The religion of the state is Islam in Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Muslim states are not alone in their religious ties. The constitution of Denmark states that "The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the Established Church of Denmark, and, as such, it shall be supported by the State," and "The King shall be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church." Same for Norway. So the usual arguments against the acknowledgement of Israel as a Jewish state are hypocritical and specious. Every Arab state is far more Islamic than the "Jewish state" of Israel is Jewish.
When Arab political leaders say they will never acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, it is a reminder of their continuing refusal to make peace with the very idea that the Jews can have a state in what they view as the Dar al-Islam ("abode of Islam").
(Council on Foreign Relations)
The Rise and Fall of Iran's Ahmadinejad -Karim Sadjadpour
Given the youthful Iranian public's desire for change, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, seemed to have lost the war of ideas within the country by the early 2000s. Yet his saving grace was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose pious populism resonated among Iran's working classes, and his revolutionary zeal and willingness to attack Khamenei's adversaries endeared him to the supreme leader, whose backing of Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential election proved decisive.
What Khamenei failed to realize was that Ahmadinejad and his cohorts had greater ambitions. In "private" meetings - which were bugged by intelligence forces loyal to Khamenei - Ahmadinejad's closest adviser, Rahim Mashaei, spoke openly of designs to supplant the clergy. Then Ahmadinejad tried to take over the Ministry of Intelligence, whose vast files on the financial and moral corruption of Iran's political elite are powerful tools of political persuasion and blackmail.
The supreme leader was publicly nonchalant about Ahmadinejad's insubordination; privately, however, he unleashed the jackals. The Revolutionary Guards - who helped engineer Ahmadinejad's contested 2009 reelection - swiftly declared their devotion to Khamenei, and several of the president's advisers were arrested.
By accentuating the country's internal rifts and breaking previously sacred taboos - such as challenging the supreme leader - Ahmadinejad has become an unlikely, unwitting ally of Iran's democracy movement. He is likely to be remembered by historians as the man who hastened the Islamic Republic's decay.
Hizbullah Facing Financial Problems -Erich Follath
In recent months, Hizbullah has become involved in disastrous investments, losing almost $1.4 billion.
The Iranians, who are now feeling the brunt of UN sanctions, have made it clear that they cannot provide Hizbullah with additional funding at this time.
This is embarrassing for Hizbullah, whose image in Lebanon depends in large part on its generous social services. It is now falling behind in the rebuilding of homes it had promised to Hizbullah's Shiite followers after the destructive 2006 Lebanon war.
This poster and video promoted a radical-Islam group's conference in Chicago
Hizb ut-Tahrir: Islam Has Replaced Communism as Top U.S. Enemy -Steven Emerson
Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), a radical Islamist group which claims a presence in nearly 50 countries, is so confident it can help establish a global Muslim government - or caliphate - that it distributed a draft constitution during a recent conference outside of Chicago that drew more than 300 people on June 26. It calls for the death penalty for apostates, and for creating a government department dedicated to jihad.
HT preaches a virulent brand of hatred for the U.S., and for Western democracy in general. Its alumni include such violent Islamists as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and the late Iraqi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir Threat -Muhammad Amir Rana
HT has been linked to a number of terrorist plots in Pakistan, including an attempt to assassinate former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Female Combat Hummer Operatives
The female soldiers who serve in the Hummer Operators' Unit - there are no male Hummer operators - spend their days in the field, training other soldiers how to use military Hummer vehicles in real-life combat scenarios.
(Israel Defense Forces)
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It's Time to Park the Peace Process -Gideon Rachman
•A meeting of the Quartet saw yet another effort to drag the unwilling parties back to the negotiating table. Yet with the Middle East in turmoil, starting a new round of Israeli-Palestinian talks is completely pointless.
•Some European diplomats cling to the idea that the Palestinian issue remains at the heart of the instability in the Middle East. But that is a theological position that can only be upheld by resolutely ignoring actual events. If there is one thing that the uprisings across the Middle East have in common, it is that they have very little to do with the Palestinians.
•The main bearing that the Arab spring has had on the Palestinian issue is to change the calculations of both sides to the conflict, in ways that make them even less likely to risk negotiating a peace settlement.
•It is simply too risky for the leadership of Fatah, the Palestinian faction in control of the West Bank, to enter into tortuous negotiations with the Israelis that will inevitably lead to accusations that they are selling out their own people.
•Israel's regional policy was built around a peace treaty with Egypt, cordial relations with Turkey, a cold peace with Syria and a shared interest with Saudi Arabia in the containment of Iran. The upheavals across the Middle East raise questions about the durability of all of these arrangements.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Syrian Protest Singer Slain for Anti-Assad Tune -Roee Nahmias
Ibrahim Kashush became the latest symbol of the ongoing Syrian uprising. Equipped with a megaphone, Kashush started singing in front of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Hama last Friday, in a song titled "Be Gone," in reference to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Come on, get lost, ya Bashar," Kashush chanted, "Take your brother Maher with you and take off!" "Your legitimacy has vanished, Bashar the liar....Bashar, be gone."
The song became an instant hit and one of the main anthems of the protests. Four days later Kashush's body was discovered with his throat slit.
UPDATE: Video added
Except for the reference about Bashar being an agent of the United States, this chant is fairly catchy...may its brave author rest in peace
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Yasir Arafat School of Speaking and Public Communication -Barry Rubin
Teacher: OK, now assume you’re on CNN. What do you say about Israel?
Student: The evil satanic Jews are enemies of Islam and must be wiped out!
Teacher: No, no. [Points at the teacher’s pet]. Can you tell us what the answer should be?
Student 2: Yes, teacher. We would like to live in a just and lasting peace with Israel but the Zionists are aggressive and oppress our people. The Palestinians are the new Jews.
Friday, July 08, 2011
Flotilla Diplomacy Proves Importance of Hard Power -Evelyn Gordon
With diplomatic efforts to stop this year's flotilla to Gaza a seeming success, a new myth has arisen: The success of this year's effort proves Israel could also have stopped last year's flotilla without bloodshed had it only been a bit smarter. But the sorry truth is Israel's diplomatic efforts succeeded this time only because of its willingness to use force last year.
Last year Israel tried desperately to stop the flotilla peacefully. It negotiated frantically with Turkey, but Ankara reneged at the last minute. It begged the countries whence the ships were sailing (Turkey, Greece and Ireland) not to let them depart, but to no avail: The unanimous response was democracies can't bar [supposedly] peaceful demonstrators from sailing the high seas.
So why was it suddenly okay for democratic countries to intervene this year? Because this year, they had an excuse: The intervention was meant to prevent bloodshed.
The Flotilla Flop -Roz Rothstein & Roberta Seid
The "Free Gaza" Flotilla II campaign appears to be a flop. Leaders of the international community essentially pulled the plug on what they recognized as a potentially dangerous anti-Israel publicity stunt. The International Red Cross said there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and whatever goods are needed can be delivered through legal, official entry points. It is now clear that members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organized and raised money for the flotilla.
(Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
Face the Enemy -Mario Loyola
Many of the flotilla supporters are pitifully innocent activists who believe that the Palestinians are a subjugated people. There are few conflicts in history in which one side was more clearly in the wrong, and the other more clearly in the right, than in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On one side, there is a diverse coalition of people dedicated to peace, tolerance, democracy, and the rule of law, which has been mercilessly abused and attacked for 100 years.
On the other is an obscurantist, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, fascistic, and murderous political movement that persecutes homosexuals, represses women, and glorifies the murder of children in their sleep.
The activists are right - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about good vs. evil. They're just confused as to which is which.
Beware of Dr. Jihad -Michelle Malkin
[H]omeland security officials have sent fresh warnings to foreign governments that "human bombs" may try to board planes with surgically implanted explosives. The ticking terrorists are reportedly getting help from murder-minded Arab Muslim physicians trained in the West.
Infidels beware: Dr. Jihad's version of the health care oath omits the "no" in "Do no harm."
The death docs may be using their expertise to play "Hide the IED" [improvised explosive device] in body cavities that bomb-detection equipment cannot penetrate. At least one Saudi operative has been nabbed with explosives in his bum, and British intel picked up on Arab website chatter last year about possible breast-bomb inserts. Officials are now said to be on the lookout for physicians' notes requesting that passengers be allowed to carry syringes — which could carry detonation chemicals.
Lest you shrug off reports of these literal booby-traps as empty fear-mongering, listen up: "It's more than aspirational," one U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal. "They're trying to make this happen."
There should be no shock at the role of purported healers in these and other hellish plots to destroy masses of innocent lives in the name of Allah. [R]adical Islam's bloody perversion of the medical profession traces back to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, the global terror operation that wooed wealthy young docs and other intellectual elites with cushy union benefits...
[Jewish World Review]
Friday, July 01, 2011
2,000-Year-Old Priestly Burial Box Real
Israeli scholars have confirmed the authenticity of a 2,000-year-old burial box [pictured] bearing the name of a relative of the high priest Caiaphas of the New Testament.
The ossuary bears an inscription with the name "Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphas, priest of Maaziah from Beth Imri."
The Israel Antiquities Authority said that tests have confirmed the inscription is "genuine and ancient."
Obama and the Muslim Brothers -Editorial
The administration is reaching out to Egypt’s radical Muslim Brotherhood ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for September.
“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing,” [said] an unnamed White House source. “It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency.”
As President Obama’s previous attempts at outreach to Islamists have failed, there is little reason to believe this effort will succeed. Egypt’s Islamist political parties seem set to play a role in the new government.
The secular parties obviously are a better choice from the U.S. perspective. This educated, upper- and middle-class cohort could help usher in a future of peace, prosperity and tolerance in the region.
Rather than coddling Islamists, the administration ought to be working actively to strengthen Egypt’s secularist, moderate and relatively pro-Western political classes. Hedging bets by reaching out to groups that do not share U.S. values or interests only makes it harder for the more liberal parties at a time when they already face numerous handicaps. Unlike the secularists, the Islamist parties will never be in America’s corner.
The White House appears to be blind to the schizophrenic message it is broadcasting throughout the Middle East. The Islamists will not compromise, which means the White House pandering that undermines U.S. national interests is ultimately fruitless.
Mr. Obama has fewer friends in Egypt than he used to have. According to the IPI poll, his favorability in Egypt has plummeted from 25 percent in 2008 to 12 percent today, whereas confidence in bin Laden and his message increased from 18 percent to 21 percent. This is not an opportunity for outreach; this is a problem, and promoting the political fortunes of the Muslim Brotherhood will only make it worse.