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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prophet & Loss Statement 2005 - How good was the MEW Crystal Ball?

Last year, editors of MideastWeb and other experts made a series of predictions for 2005. The predictions are listed below (and at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000323.htm ), along with the predictions of "think tanks" that claimed that Israel would invade Iran or that Bashar Assad would resign.

The predictions we obviously missed are marked in italics. We got about 17 out of 21 right. We can't really say if the security situation in Iraq worsened (#12). Moral - don't make predictions you cannot measure. We did not foresee that Amir Peretz would win the Israel Labor party chairmanship and take the party out of the government. Then again, who did?


by Moderator @ 04:18 PM CST [Link]

Why Israel Labor's Leasing Proposal Falls Short

It has long been part of the Israeli consensus that the three thickly populated settlement blocs close to the old Green Line boundaries of pre-1967 would eventually be annexed. The concept of the settlement blocs first arose from the demographic research of Yossi Alpher during the mid-1990s, in which he found that approximately 80 percent of West Bank settlers were congregated within a few miles of the Green Line -- defacto suburbs of nearby Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. [more]

by Moderator @ 02:07 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Israel and Apartheid South Africa - is it a valid comparison?

"Israel is an Apartheid State" has been the slogan of opponents of the peace process for many years. The basic idea is to delegitimize Israel as a state that implements self-determination for the Jewish people, and to purvey the notion that Israel is similar to the South African Apartheid regime. This provides an excuse for boycott and divestment initiatives. [more]

by Moderator @ 11:31 AM CST [Link]

Monday, December 19, 2005

Islamism - The Tsunami of the future?

In almost every country in the Middle East, Islamist parties seem to be creeping ever closer to power, despite, or perhaps because of the US push for democracy in the Middle East. For the most part, this ominous development is viewed with even more ominous equanimity, perhaps because it is believed that there is nothing much anyone can do. The West seems to have been overtaken by what used to be called "Eastern Fatalism." The Middle East seems to accept religious fanaticism and religious control of government as legitimate political factors.


by Moderator @ 04:55 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mehlis Report II - Complete Text and excerpts

Thanks to Arab Electronic Journal MidEastWeb has obtained what we will politely call a preview of the second Mehlis report, which has apparently been circulating in various forms, but not relead (at least, I couldn't find it anywhere on the Web. This is a PDF document - a scanned graphic. We will post a better version when it is available. Meanwhile you can read a summary and download the full text of the second Mehlis Report here. [more]

by Moderator @ 06:16 AM CST [Link]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Abbas Joins Kadima Party: "Sharon is the best hope for peace"

[Olam Habah News] After considering the results of the recent Fatah primaries, Mahmoud Abbas has decided to join the Kadima party. A top aid to Abbas confirmed that Abbas would announce his decision later this week.

Abbas is reported to have said "They took my party from me. Barghouti and the other outsiders took over. It is not my home any more. "

Only last week, Abbas circulated a letter to Fatah faithful asking them to remain with the party, "The Fatah is my home. One doesn't leave home," wrote Abbas.

by Moderator @ 02:59 PM CST [Link]

Pay heed to Jewish fears of Iran's Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't stop reminding us that he wants to destroy Israel. Benjamin Pogrund explains why there are good reasons to believe Ahmadinejad is serious.

Pay heed to Jewish fears
By Benjamin Pogrund , Jerusalem

The call by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be "wiped off the map" confirms the worst and most elemental Jewish fears about survival. No one in Israel is quaking in their shoes in response to Ahmadinejad, although there is certainly deep concern about Iran's nuclear programme and the danger of a rogue state obtaining nuclear weapons. Many Israelis would probably react to Ahmadinejad's hate-filled statement either with a shrug or by saying: "You want to kill me, I'll get you first."

by Moderator @ 11:06 AM CST [Link]

Monday, December 5, 2005

Suicide Bombing in Netanya or 'The Iranian Candidate?'

By most indications, the Islamic Jihad and their Iranian patrons have started off the Israeli election campaign with a bang. Thus far, five people have died after a suicide attack in Netanya. Fifty-five people were treated for injuries, and 29 remain in hospitals.

When there is a great "achievement" like this mass murder, there is no lack of people to take credit. The Fatah Al-Aqsa brigades took credit first, but then repudiated the bombing. Then Islamic Jihad took credit. At this moment there is also a report that the bomber left a tape in which he claims he is an independent. Free enterprise! Is it possible that in the West Bank there are such ingenious and dedicated people who have the know-how to make bombs, who smuggle in explosives and detonators and make their own video-tapes before they go off to blow people up? [more]

by Moderator @ 04:45 PM CST [Link]


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