Analysis

Analysis: Not going to extremes with £60m

By Martin Bright, October 1, 2009

Chris Grayling’s interview puts significant blue water between the Conservatives and Labour on extremism and anti-terror policy. The Shadow Home Secretary could not be clearer in his rejection of multiculturalism and the policy of “engagement for the sake of engagement”.

Mr Grayling has taken some time to come to these conclusions — he was appointed in January — but at least he cannot be criticised for rushing to judgment.

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Is Iran hiding more nuclear facilities?

By Meir Javedanfar, October 1, 2009

The recent exposure of the secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom may have come as a shock to the populations of Western countries. However, it was not a surprise to Western intelligence agencies. For years, the CIA, MI6 and the French secret service, DGSE, were monitoring its construction and progress, until their governments finally decided to declare its existence last week.

So are there more secret locations? Although we cannot be sure, the consensus amongst analysts is that there are. This is based on a number of factors.

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Analysis: Australian TV gets more neutral

By Dan Goldberg, October 1, 2009

Its geographical distance from the Middle East has done nothing to prevent a row in Australia over the terminology used by a major broadcaster to describe the occupied territories. Staff at SBS, a taxpayer-funded broadcaster, have been ordered to avoid using the term “Palestinian land” when referring to the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Instead, SBS’s Ombudsman recommends referring to “Israeli settlements on the West Bank” or “Israeli settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem” because SBS wants to ensure “the language used is neutral”.

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Analysis: Their hatred is protected by law

By Paul Berger, October 1, 2009

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) protest was met with the most efficient weapon against hatred — humour.

Brooklynites parodied the church’s trademark “God Hates Fags” placards with their own, such as “Jesus Had Two Dads” and a pet sporting a “Dog Loves Fags” sign.

Rabbi Bachman urged the crowd to thumb their noses at the protesters. People danced the Horah. There was a carnival atmosphere.

If only Westboro Baptist Church could be laughed off so easily.

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As his trial opens, Olmert still hopes to return to public life

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Last Friday, Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set off on a road that could take him to prison, or back to national leadership.

“I have come here as an innocent man,” he told the assembled media on the first day of his trial in Jerusalem, “and I believe that I will leave without any charge.”

Although Mr Olmert — the first former Israeli PM to stand trial — would not signal his plans for after the trial, his close friends have no doubt.

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Analysis: Denham reveals how government's Islamist stance unresolved

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Our interview with Communities Secretary John Denham illustrates that the British government’s stance on engagement with home-grown Islamism remains unresolved.

Mr Denham has made it clear that the Muslim Council of Britain will remain out in the cold while its deputy secretary general remains a signatory to the Istanbul declaration calling for attacks on Israel and the Royal Navy.

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Analysis: The president blames everyone but himself

By Shmuel Rosner, September 24, 2009

So now we know that both the Israelis and Palestinians are to blame.

“It’s time to show the flexibility, common sense and compromise which is necessary to achieve our goals,” President Obama preached to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

His great achievement of the evening: the handshake. More than a decade-and-a-half after Yitzhak Rabin, reluctantly, shook the hands of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the White House, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas were also shaking hands for the first time.

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Analysis: Obama could not make peace alone

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2009

Binyamin Netanyahu has accomplished a remarkable feat. He travelled to the US, met the president at a highly publicised summit, upset the leader of the free world, returned home empty-handed — and is still not facing a public outcry.

A similar dispute with the Americans ultimately brought down the Shamir government in 1992. Later premiers never dared openly confront the US.

Barack Obama’s displeasure was barely disguised and no amount of spin can gloss over the failure of the three-way summit. But Mr Netanyahu, at least for now, is getting away with it.

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Analysis: Come to think of it, the new system might benefit Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2009

Barack Obama’s decision to scrap the plan to position a missile-defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic could ultimately prove a boost to Israel’s defences.

The change in American plans was motivated by President Obama’s desire to placate the Russian leadership but there also remains a need to mount a defence against nuclear missiles that may be launched in future from Iran and other rogue nations in the east.

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Analysis: Obama snubs allies over missile shield

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, September 24, 2009

President Obama’s decision to scrap plans to deploy a radar station in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, as part of a long range ballistic missile defence network, may come down to budget cuts alone — the Administration does not have the funds to support a costly military programme at this difficult economic juncture.

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