Zahar predicts that Hamas will score landslide victory in upcoming parliamentary election which is expected at same time; Abbas holds talks in Ramallah with Hamas leaders to discuss ways of achieving "national unity."
FP: Arafat’s phased plan almost achieved.
David Goldman: Civil War as the Second-Best Option
The best has been the enemy of the good throughout. Pursuing the fantasy of a “best” option — stable and democratic Muslim states — has cost us too much blood and treasure, and above all, far too much in terms of the morale of the American public. It does not seem to me wise to make too big an issue of who lost Iraq. Certainly Obama’s pullout of American troops from Iraq was unfortunate, ill-advised and ill-timed — we should have insisted on some forces in reinforced fire-bases especially in proximity to the Iranian border — but by and large Obama continued what Bush began.
Americans are not cold enough to initiate a Richelovian campaign of destabilization. But whether we like it or not, a general destabilization has overwhelmed North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia. We did not seek it. We did our best to prevent it. Our hands are clean. Unlike the Reagan administration, which did its best to prolong the Iran-Iraq War with its million casualties, the Bush administration tried to avoid such conflicts. Now that we are stuck with humanitarian catastrophes of biblical proportions, we had better make the best use of them. Never let a crisis go to waste, as somebody said during his 15 minutes of fame.
The analogies to be drawn between America’s strategic situation today and the Peloponnesian War are few; those with the Thirty Years War, much closer to our own times, are strong. It is dreary stuff; there is no-one to root for, no white hats or black hats, just a mass of misdeeds that killed off about two-fifths of the people of Central Europe between 1618 and 1648.
American conservative intellectuals should put aside their Thucydides and study the Thirty Years War instead. … Like it or not, circumstances will force us to think this way. Might as well get a head start.
FP: I have advocated this approach earlier. It won’t be followed. Instead, watch how the West will pump funds into Islamist regimes. The worst their record becomes, the more funds will flow in desperate attempt to reverse that record which will only make it worse. The ignorance, inability to reason, lack of strategic thinking, bankruptcy and a leadership crisis are all indicators of the self-inflicted decline that all dominant powers undergo at some stage.
Israel Matzav: Don't fool yourself Boogie
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon told a group of Likud Anglos on Sunday night that the government has managed to persuade the Obama administration that our conflict with the 'Palestinians' should be managed rather than resolved.
"We convinced the American administration that there is no way to solve the conflict in one or two years," Ya'alon told a packed audience at the Orthodox Union's Israel Center. "The US is trying to manage the conflict now, rather than solve it."I happen to believe that the conflict should be managed, not resolved. But someone please tell me that Yaalon doesn't really believe that Obama actually believes this, or Yaalon will be on for a rude awakening on November 7, 2012.
This was the first time a high-ranking Netanyahu administration official has indicated that the US had shifted from conflict resolution to management. But there has been no public indication that the Americans have given up their hope of solving the conflict, and the US helped draft the Quartet position that aims to solve the conflict by the end of 2012.
Ya'alon mocked the international community for what he called its "solutionism" and "nowism" in its attempt to solve a conflict that cannot currently be solved. He said the world that has gotten used to getting food in an instant was impatiently insisting on instant peace.
"They say we reached the moon, so why can't we solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?" Ya'alon said. "Do we have a solution for everything? In medicine we don't, not even in mathematics. God has solutions. We as human beings should be more modest."
FP: The Israeli elite can’t help itself, it keeps thinking wishfully. Which is why there is little strategic thinking by Israeli government.
Defense department agrees to allow Muslim cadets to wear hijabs
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that the Department of Defense will begin allowing Muslim and Sikh students who wear an Islamic head scarf (hijab) or a turban to participate in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC).
“We welcome the fact that Muslim and Sikh students nationwide will now be able to participate fully in JROTC leadership activities while maintaining their religious beliefs and practices,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
In October, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta after a 14-year-old Muslim student at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., was forced to transfer out of a JROTC class when her commanding officers told her she could not wear hijab while marching in the September homecoming parade.
CAIR requested constitutionally-protected religious accommodations for the girl and for future Muslim JROTC participants.
FP: Do you feel comfortable with a US army consisting of these cadets? Once they start on that path, watch for further demands.
Knesset debates whether or not to recognize Armenian genocide
The Knesset Education Committee discusses Armenian genocide in open forum for the first time • MKs on Left and Right cite Israel's moral obligation to recognize the massacres, while government balks at potential crisis with Turkey.
In Beit Shemesh, fear and loathing
Acts of segregation and violence toward women in Beit Shemesh turn the city into a focus of controversy • Police, called in to remove signs segregating streets, attacked by ultra-Orthodox rioters.
FP: The Jewish Islamists.
Liron Pulitzer: We're in this boat together
We must learn to understand each other to create a society in which different groups can live together with acceptance.
FP: Good luck with that. Here’s an attempt:
Livnat defends comments on 'voluntary segregation'
After suggesting ultra-Orthodox communities should be allowed to maintain segregated lifestyle, Livnat deflects criticism, citing her "20-year-record" on women's rights and attacks opposition for exploiting issue.
FP: Not exactly consistent, is it?
Israel decries Christmas Day terror attacks in Nigeria
Series of coordinated bombings by radical Muslim sect targets Christians during Christmas Day prayers • Nearly 40 dead, with another 52 wounded • Islamic terror group called Boko Haram takes credit for bombings.
FP: The shape of the PostWest.