The New Middle East
In the new Middle East, the radicals seem to be winning.
In this new Middle East, Egypt also seems to be moving closer to Iran, raising serious fears in most Gulf countries. For now, it looks as if the new Middle East, which is taking shape in front of everyone's eyes, belongs to Iran and its pawns.
Hamas has finally won recognition as a legitimate authority and player in the Palestinian arena.
Hamas has every reason to celebrate: the unity deal with Fatah is an admission of the failure of US-led efforts to isolate and undermine the Islamist movement.
Thanks to Egypt's new rulers, Hamas is finally being rewarded for its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.
The Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas will allow the Islamist movement to become part of a new interim unity government that would prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas, according to the accord, would also be permitted to maintain its security and civilian control over 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, the agreement does not set conditions for Hamas's participation in the Palestinian government. Hamas is not even required to accept the Oslo Accords, recognize Israel's right to exist or renounce violence, as previously demanded by the Americans and Europeans.
The same mistake that was made in the 2006 parliamentary election is now being repeated once again.
Then, Hamas was allowed to take part in the election unconditionally. The result was that Hamas won the vote, much to the surprise and dismay of the Americans and Europeans.
Ten years earlier, in 1996, Hamas boycotted the same parliamentary vote because, its leaders argued, it was being held under the umbrella of the Oslo Accords, which the Islamist movement does not recognize.
The international community did finally set conditions for dealing with Hamas, but only the day after it had won the election and when it was already too late.
Now Hamas leaders have every right to smile all the way to a unity government with Fatah.
Hamas is not being asked to make any concessions in return for joining a new Palestinian government. As Hamas's Mahmoud Zahar declared, the new government would not conduct peace talks with Israel or recognize the Jewish state.
The release of hundreds of Hamas detainees from Fatah-controlled jails in the West Bank will only boost the Islamist movement's standing in that area. Hamas's chances of scoring another victory in the new elections, which are supposed to take place in a year, now appear to be much higher.
In the eyes of many Palestinians, the unity deal means that Fatah has moved closer to Hamas and not vice versa. Under pressure from Egypt's new rulers, who have displayed more sympathy toward Hamas than the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, Fatah is being forced to accept Hamas as an equal partner in governing the Palestinians.
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by Louis René Beres
The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.
by Samuel Westrop
Over 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.
Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.