(FROM LEFT) Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Abul Gheit, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf attend the 30th Arab Summit in Tunisia on March 31.. (photo credit: REUTERS)
THE NEW ARAB SUMMIT IS OLD
Al-Araby al-Jadeed, London, April 3
The recently concluded Arab League Summit in Tunisia did not differ from any of the preceding summits. It adopted the same speech that accompanies every Arab League meeting: empty promises to the people and a raising of the ceiling of expectations, without any mechanisms or plans to implement or deliver these promises.
Still, some summits stand out due to the extenuating political events that unfold in their wake. The summit in Tunis took place just days after US President Donald Trump publicly recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights. Yet despite this unprecedented announcement, which serves as a direct insult to the Arab world, the Arab League failed to come up with a unified stance against Israel or the United States. It released a public statement on the matter and announced no tangible steps to combat it on the ground.
Sadly, this has become typical of the Arab League. From an organization that unites the Arab world, the League became a toothless organization that can barely generate symbolic statements. This decline in the effectiveness of the organization accelerated since the onset of the 2011 revolutions in the Arab world. Most of the League’s member states are disintegrated states. They face civil war, internal strife or political instability. Only a few Arab countries currently have the luxury of being preoccupied with the general Arab situation.
Yet this deterioration in effectiveness is taking place for other reasons, as well. In addition to widespread weakness within the Arab world, Israel’s stance in the region has been on the rise. In less than two decades, Israel has become a legitimate partner in several security, political and economic alliances and arrangements with Arab countries. Some are bilateral while others are multilateral. Regardless, Israel has emerged as a strong ally of Arab nations in the face of a knowingly aggressive Iran.
As a result of this fundamental shift in priorities, Arab consensus on decisions and developments directly related to Israel has been difficult to achieve. The asymmetrical interests that exist among the League’s member states prevent the organization from being an effective player in regional politics. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the only thing the League did in response to Trump’s recognition was to issue a written statement condemning the move. This statement lacked any actual moves or practical steps to reject the American position or push Washington back. In doing so, the Arab League proved once again that it is simply incapable of reacting to real events unfolding on the ground. – Sameh Rashed
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.