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Sunday Reads: America’s refugee debate, How powerful is Putin?, Robert Kraft’s moving gesture

[additional-authors]
November 29, 2015

US

Andrew C. McCarthy thinks that some important questions have been ignored in the Syrian refugee debate:

For nearly a quarter-century, our bipartisan governing class has labored mightily to suppress public discussion of the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism. Consequently, many Americans are still in the dark about sharia, classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. We should long ago have recognized sharia as the bright line that separates authentic Muslim moderates, hungry for the West’s culture of reason and individual liberty, from Islamic supremacists, resistant to Western assimilation and insistent on incremental accommodation of Muslim law and mores.

Robert W. Merry points out that the world seems to be confused about what America stands for these days:

The United States suffers from a severe case of strategic confusion, manifest in the country seeing enemies where none exist and showing an inability to concentrate action where they do exist. Given the immensity of American power relative to the rest of the world, this malady has a tendency to wreak havoc and generate tension in areas of American involvement. And the confusion seems so thoroughly embedded in the country’s collective psyche that prospects for any reversal remain dim. That bodes ill for America and for the world.

Israel

Eitan Haber explains why even the mighty IDF cannot answer the recent wave of Palestinian terror:

So why are missiles which cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars per unit incapable of defeating the primitive missiles which cost only hundreds of dollars, although they are much, much “smarter” than them? How is it possible that because of kitchen knives, tens of thousands of people are fearfully closing themselves up in their homes? Why are we categorizing every person with an Arabic accent as a suspected terrorist?

The answer, for the moment, is that the Palestinian despair has recently met the Israeli despair. The knife cannot win, but it holds the Palestinian problem “in a picture” and is making the world believe that all its troubles are concealed in it. For the Palestinians, that's enough.

Mazal Mualam writes about the Knesset’s recent plague of sex scandals and misconduct:

The only consolation these days when Knesset members embarrass each other, their institution and the country in general, is those young lawmakers who joined the parliament in 2013 in the wake of the social protest, granting Israeli politics a somewhat brighter future. Stav Shaffir, Itzik Shmuli and Merav Michaeli from the Zionist Camp, Tamar Zandberg from Meretz and Elharrar from Yesh Atid — one does not have to agree with their political views in order to wish for this kind of politics that brings honor to the Knesset and does not prolong the never-ending list of “affairs” this parliament has produced.

Middle East

Colbert King points out that while Putin is showing strength in the Middle East, Russia lacks the economic means to be an actual powerhouse in the region:

The Russian government, wasting precious resources on Putin’s world-power aspirations, is in no position to meet its social obligations to its people. Obama is correct to not give in to Putin’s desire to be regarded as more important than he is. Or to give credence to Russia’s imagined influence on the world stage. And Obama is also right to keep a cool head and to continue building an international coalition of heavy hitters to launch attacks on global terrorism.

Douglas Murray follows the logic of Britain’s ‘decent left’ on ISIS and the refugee crisis:

Because currently the ‘decent left’ is trying to hold the following line. It is no longer ‘racist’ to be rude about ISIS or ISIS-like groups. Nor is it any longer ‘bigoted’ or ‘Islamophobic’ to identify an ideological component to their actions. There is even a recognition that ‘non-progressive’ ideological views are held by a certain portion of the Muslim communities of Europe. However, it remains deeply bigoted, racist and ‘Islamophobic’ to express any concern about bringing millions more Muslims into Britain and Europe.

Jewish World

Roger Lowenstein tells the curious story of Paul Moritz Warburg, the Jew who founded the Fed:

After his death in 1932, the Fed became a frequent target of anti-Semites, bank haters and conspiracy theorists. Its opponents today are more mainstream. But they are still ideologically motivated. Had the Fed failed to rescue the financial system in 2008, their ire would be understandable — but it did not fail. Similarly, were the Fed inflicting hardship on Americans with onerous interest rates, the anger would be comprehensible. But interest rates are low, while inflation has remained quiescent and the dollar strong. The Fed is instead being punished for success.

Dov Lipman thanks New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for a moving gesture toward Israel:

That focus and spotlight on the terrorism against Israelis, and the linking of a terror victim in Israel with those of worldwide terror was a result of Mr. Kraft’s decision. All of us in Israel are so fortunate to have such a good friend – and passionate Jew and Zionist — in a position of such influence.

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