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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
October 11, 2011

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In-Depth Issues:

French Suburbs Becoming "Separate Islamic Societies" - Soeren Kern (Hudson Institute-New York)
    Paris suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the state, according to a major new study by the French think tank L'Institut Montaigne that examines the spread of Islam in France.
    Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity and instead are immersing themselves in Islam, according to the report.
    France, which has between five and six million Muslims (the largest Muslim population in the EU), is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.
  The problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim leaders who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.

Israelis Warned to Stay Away from Sinai - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Monday warned Israelis to stay away from the Sinai Peninsula during the upcoming week-long Sukkot holiday, which begins Wednesday night, for fear of possible terror attacks.
    The Bureau also urged Israelis currently in Sinai "to leave at once and return to Israel."

Iran Airline Banned on International Ticket System - Nicola Clark (New York Times)
    The International Air Transport Association said Monday it had suspended Iran Air, the Iranian national airline, from the system for processing international ticket payments as a result of strengthened American economic sanctions against Iran.
    The suspension severely limits the ability of Iran Air to book passengers abroad.

Iranian Lashed 74 Times for "Insult" to Ahmadinejad - Saeed Kamali Dehghan (Guardian-UK)
    Peyman Aref, a student of political science at Tehran University, was sentenced in March 2010 to a year in jail and 74 lashes for writing an "insulting" letter to Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
    The lashing was carried out hours before his release from Tehran's notorious Evin prison when he completed his jail sentence on Sunday.
    In a letter to the president during his 2009 election campaign, Aref attacked Ahmadinejad for his crackdown on students who had been politically active at university.
    Aref said after his release that his crime was that he refused to begin his letter with the formal greeting "Salam" as a sign of protest.
    See also Iranian Actress to Be Lashed 90 Times (Telegraph-UK)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Sanctions Pose Growing Threat to Syria's Assad - Nada Bakri
    The Syrian economy is buckling under the pressure of sanctions by the West and a continuing popular uprising. Syria's currency is weakening, its recession is expanding, its tourism industry is wrecked and international sanctions are affecting most essential sectors.
        American and Turkish officials say that the government can probably survive through the end of the year. But they now believe it is possible that the toll of the sanctions and protests could bring down Mr. Assad in 6 to 18 months. "We're all waiting for the thing that will crack them," an Obama administration official said. "And it will be the economy that will wake everybody up, both those who support him, and Assad and his circle."
        Revenues from oil and gas exports, which account for up to a third of state revenues and are the single biggest source of foreign currency, will dry up at the beginning of November, when an EU ban on imports will fully come into force. (New York Times)
  • Top Syria Cleric Threatens Suicide Attacks on U.S. and EU If West Intervenes in Syria
    Syria's top Sunni Muslim cleric, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, warned Western countries on Sunday against military intervention in Syria and threatened to retaliate with suicide bombings in the U.S. and Europe if his country comes under attack. "I say to all of Europe, I say to America, we will set up suicide bombers who are now in your countries, if you bomb Syria or Lebanon," Hassoun said. "From now on an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
        Western countries have shown no willingness to open a Libyan-style military campaign against the regime of President Bashar Assad, and NATO's chief said last week the alliance has "no intention whatsoever" of intervening in Syria. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Clashes Kill 31 in Syria - Dominic Evans (Reuters)
  • Israel Sees Rise in Security Exports
    Israel's security exports have risen since 9/11 from $2 billion a year to $7 billion. "The United States woke up to a new reality and today one can see Israeli security companies working worldwide...because we have already been there and we have the knowledge," said Itamar Graff, deputy director of SIBAT, the Israel Defense Ministry's export and cooperation branch. "When the world became aware of the matter of fighting terrorism, we already had decades of experience on the matter, with many existing technologies," Graff said. "On issues such as home-front protection, shore security and missile defense, people from around the world come to learn from us."  (UPI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Foreign Ministry Spells Out Legal Case Against PA UN Bid - Herb Keinon
    "The Palestinian request for membership in the United Nations, which was submitted to the Secretary-General on September 23, 2011, implies that a Palestinian state already, somehow, exists," says a document prepared by the Foreign Ministry. "However, based on both traditional and contemporary legal and tangible tests, it is clear that while one day the Palestinian state could come into existence, today the Palestinian entity has not achieved the status of statehood."
        It would be difficult to argue that the Palestinian Authority leadership presently meets the most basic test of effective governmental control of the territories they are claiming within their state since "Hamas continues to exercise full control of the Gaza Strip." In addition, a "lawful claim of statehood" should be based on a commitment to international law, human rights and global peace. On each of these counts, the Palestinians fell short. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Video: Israel Air Force F-15 Makes Emergency Landing after Bird Strike
    On Oct. 6, an Israel Air Force F-15 fighter jet made an emergency landing after it struck a bird during takeoff. One of the aircraft's engines caught on fire, but the pilot and navigator were successful in executing a quick emergency landing. Fire crews put out the blaze shortly after the plane landed. No one was injured in the incident. (Israel Defense Forces)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Egyptian Military's Crimes Against Humanity - Raymond Ibrahim
    On Sunday, the Egyptian military opened fire on thousands of Christians protesting in Cairo. In the words of one Christian eyewitness, armored vehicles "came at great speed and drove into the crowds, going backwards and forwards, mowing people under their wheels."
        The Western mainstream media is giving the impression that the conflict consisted of equal violence and equal intolerance from both the military and "militant" Christians - perfectly in line with their obsession never to portray Muslims as aggressors. Meanwhile, back in the real world, eye-witnesses are describing these events as "war crimes" perpetrated by an Islamist-inclined regime against the nation's native Christians.
        Why were Christians protesting in the first place? Days ago, thousands of Muslims attacked and destroyed yet another church, in Edfu - following the New Year church attack, which left 23 dead, the destruction and desecration of the ancient church in Sool, and the Imbaba attacks, which saw several churches set aflame.
        In the recent Edfu church attack, the Intelligence Unit chief of the region was seen directing the mob destroying the church. The governor appeared on state TV and justified the incident by arguing that the church contractor made the building three meters higher than he permitted: "Copts made a mistake and had to be punished, and Muslims did nothing but set things right, end of story."  (Hudson Institute-New York)
        See also Why Did Egypt's Army Violently Suppress Christian Protesters? - Kristen Chick (Christian Science Monitor)
        See also Christians in Peril - Editorial (Telegraph-UK)
  • Egypt's Silhouette of Fire - Bret Stephens
    Egypt is in the early stages of Thomas Hobbes' "war of all against all." Gone is the Arab Spring narrative of tech-savvy, pro-democracy protesters standing proud against the dinosaur Mubarak regime. Recent events signal the broader collapse of authority throughout Egypt. Timid regional officials who will not stand up to Islamist mobs. Furious Coptic youth who no longer accept the cautious dictation of their elders. Conscript soldiers not afraid to disobey their orders. A "free" media that traffics in incitement. In addition, the Sinai is becoming another version of Yemen, an ungovernable staging ground for terrorism and sabotage. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Erdogan's Growing Excesses - Gideon Rachman
    Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's flaws are becoming more pronounced as he is becoming more autocratic at home and more reckless overseas. The Erdogan government has arrested senior generals for their alleged involvement in a coup plot. However the backlash against the alleged plot has become so widespread that it has swept up many people who are probably innocent of any wrongdoing - but who now languish in jail, awaiting trial or, in some cases, charges.
        In addition, according to the International Press Institute, there are now considerably more journalists in prison in Turkey than in China. There is no doubt, talking to Turkish journalists, that they are now operating in a climate of fear. (Financial Times-UK)
        See also Erdogan Poses Challenge for Obama - Paul Richter (Los Angeles Times)
  • The Palestinian Statehood Bid and U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority - Zaki Shalom
    Since the PA's establishment in the mid-1990s, the U.S. has transferred aid totaling approximately $4 billion to the Palestinians, and the PA is one of the largest per capita U.S. aid recipients. On July 7, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution by 406-6 warning the Palestinian Authority that its policies seeking to gain recognition of a Palestinian state outside the setting of negotiations and a settlement with Israel could damage its relations with the U.S. and jeopardize continued American funding for the PA.
        The PA leadership apparently believes that the administration will not suspend its assistance to the PA, understanding that such a step might mean the collapse of the PA and lead to a situation that would jeopardize American as well as Israeli interests. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)

Enabling Mr. Assad - Editorial (New York Times)

  • There is a lot of shame to go around after the UN Security Council failed last week to pass a resolution condemning Syria's brutal crackdown.
  • Russia, which used its veto, clearly values its arms sales and other trade with Damascus over the lives of the more than 2,900 Syrians killed during pro-democracy protests. China, which followed Russia, clearly fears any popular movement.
  • Brazil, India and South Africa should also be chastised for abstaining. As democracies, they should be leading efforts to denounce President Bashar al-Assad's brutality, not enabling it.
  • With the Security Council paralyzed, Europe and the U.S. must keep stepping up the pressure, robustly enforce their own sanctions - including a European embargo on oil imports from Syria - and adding to the list.
  • Mr. Assad must not be allowed to think that the failed UN vote was the last word.

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