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More than just a matter of justice

On Aug. 9, 2001, Ahlam Tamimi dropped Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri off at the Sbarro pizza restaurant on the intersection of King George Street and Jaffa Road on the western side of Jerusalem. Izz al-Din calmly ate his lunch and then detonated a bomb, killing himself and taking with him 15 innocent diners. Among them were two American citizens, the pregnant Judith Greenbaum, 31, and 15-year-old Malki Roth.

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Shattering the State Departments Echo Chamber

Most Americans would like to believe that certain ethical qualities are in the mix when shaping American foreign policy, such as intellectual honesty and moral integrity. These qualities, whether part of an individual’s nature or those of national policy, often require some difficult introspection.

Sometimes it even involves the painful admission that one has been wrong. Even if one has been wrong for an extremely long time. And it is human nature that the longer the time, the deeper the resistance to change.

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The IRGC, a terrorist organization that should be designated so

The Trump administration is determining whether to designate Iran’s elite arms unit, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a foreign terrorist organization. Officials from both the US State and Defense departments had warned the President to hold off on the order. The State and Defense departments’ hesitation is largely due to the fear of losing Iraq, as Baghdad heavily relies on both the IRGC and the US for military aid. The fact remains that Iraq has already been lost to Shia dominance since former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has favored his own majority, rather than serving beyond ethnic and sectarian lines.

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Back to the Drawing Board

Much of the media is abuzz with the story of how the Palestinians are feeling sidelined by U.S. ‎President Donald Trump’s embrace of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The reality is that ‎after the past eight years of the bitterly cold treatment Israel received at the hands of the ‎Obama administration, this is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, course corrective.‎

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Europe’s Words War May Make Wilders a Hero

Five years ago, I wrote a column about Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, who was then on trial for his impolitic Islam-related speech.

Wilders is a notorious figure in the Netherlands, where his criticisms of Islam are widely unpopular with the Dutch political elite. In my column, I noted that in a situation comparable to that to the trial in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” a Dutch “kangaroo court” was working hard to convict Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, for simple “hate speech.”

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Kurdistan and Israel: A friendship that must come out in the open

In a region where stability is rarely seen, the two non-Arab inhabitants of the Middle East – the Jews and the Kurds – need each other more than ever. Israel and Kurdistan share a deep history dominated by comradeship. Kurds must openly embrace their Jewish allies, and Israelis must publically call for a Kurdish state. Israel is a miniscule state that requires more friends than enemies if they wish to succeed.

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The Case for a Kurdish State in the Middle East

Many international bodies including the United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League continue to push for a Palestinian state, while ignoring calls for a Kurdish one. For far too long, the Arab, Turkish and Iranian peoples and leaderships have used the Israeli-Palestinian issue as justification for their own problems.

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Shia Ambitions in the Future of Syria

“If we can be successful against Daesh and liberate our soil, we can go into Syria if our brothers there need help against Daesh”, said former prime minister of Iraq, Nouri Al Maliki, in Tehran at the beginning on the month.

Iraq failed under Maliki, depriving the Sunni population while gambling against the Kurds in the North. The former PM gave full control of Baghdad to Tehran’s Ayatollah. Today, Iran controls not only Baghdad, but Damascus as well. The expansion of the Shia crescent into Syria leaves the United States without any real leverage. The next US administration must consider realistic alternatives; this translates into recognition of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria.

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Czechoslovakia Redux

Amidst concern over Sunday’s international conference in Paris and the ensuing meeting of the United Nations on Tuesday, there is an increasing fear the leading powers will again take action against Israel. That the U.N. Security Council’s recent passage of Resolution 2334 undermines Israel’s international standing and security is manifestly clear; that the move portends grave threats to the United States and the rest of the free world has been largely overlooked.

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