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inFOCUS Quarterly

Winter 2015

Ideas for a New Congress


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Articles by the JPC

NYPD had it Right a Long Time Ago

by Shoshana Bryen
February 27, 2015 | American Thinker

Better than a plea for understanding "root causes" and sympathy for certain people's inability to find a "legitimate" outlet for grievances, would be a hard-headed consideration of the fact that professional jihadists are trolling for susceptible people - primarily males, but increasingly females - to take up the cause of religious violence and rush to the battlefields. The fault lies there, not with the West's lack of empathy.

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The U.S.-Israel Divide on Iran

by Shoshana Bryen
February 23, 2015 | American Thinker

Portrayed mainly as a tiff between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S.-Israel divide over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program is much more serious and dates to the 1980s. It reflects the difference in each country's margin of error. President Obama has only widened an existing divide by suggesting Iran might be returned to the family of nations short of dismantling its nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu's planned appearance before Congress will articulate Israel's existential concerns and try, perhaps, narrow the differences over ends, if not means.

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Is This the Way to Run a War?

by Shoshana Bryen
February 19, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

A Jordanian, 21 Egyptians and 4 Americans ‚Äď sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it is not. They, along with thousands of others, have been murdered by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) in the Middle East, and by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The victims are Muslim, Christian (Nigerian Christians, Egyptian Copts beheaded in Libya, plus Yazidis, Chaldeans and 45 members of smaller sects in Iraq burned alive), and others (Japanese hostages and some who professed no religion). They are killed in places where governments have lost control of their territory to bands of increasingly well-armed Islamic radical forces.

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Blaming the Jews for Fun and Profit

by Shoshana Bryen
February 9, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times does not want Israel mucking in American policy-making toward Iran, and so counsels Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech to the U.S. Congress. He seems to believe Iran's determined march toward nuclear weapons and genocidal rhetoric about Israel, in fact, has nothing to do with Israel, and that Israel should avoid getting in America's way. But understand that Friedman is only trying to protect Israel.

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The U.S. as 'Pindostan'

by Shoshana Bryen
January 30, 2015 | American Thinker

It is a mistake to belittle Vladimir Putin. Dislike and distrust him, fine. Believe he is a monomaniacal empire-builder determined to restore Russia's former colonies and holdings, OK. To snicker at his bare-chested antics, particularly with animals, is probably unavoidable. But for all that, Putin is a man with a plan that should be understood by the American government, and in particular by Victoria Neuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Instead, Ms. Neuland glibly poked at RT (Russia Today) while assuring Putin of the peaceful intentions of the U.S. and the West.

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Iran Doesn't Need Nuclear Weapons

by Shoshana Bryen
January 24, 2015 | American Thinker

In his State of the Union address, President Obama forcefully announced he would not accept "a nuclear-armed Iran." This reflects his view that the only objectionable element of Iran's behavior would be acquisition and possible use of such weapons. This is conveniently narrow.

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The West Bank Army of the "State of Palestine," Thanks to the United States

by Shoshana Bryen
January 21, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Last week, officials from the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem attended a Palestinian protest over Israel's removal of olive trees illegally planted in the West Bank. Coordinated with the Palestinian Authority [PA] but not Israel, the Consulate personnel ended up clashing with Israelis living nearby. It was, perhaps, the quietest international almost-incident you never heard of.

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Israel: An Asset for Africa

by Gabriel Scheinmann
January 19, 2015 | The National Interest

President Obama's absence aside, last Sunday's parade of world leaders in Paris has spawned endless red-carpet commentary. Did Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu push his way to the front, which the opposition Labor party turned into a 1990s Frogger-like computer game, or was his prominent spot long reserved? Commentators agreed that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy's attempts to slide into the front row were decidedly gauche, spawning a series of images with Sarko present throughout key moments in world history. Another video mocked Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu for being the only leader who did not receive the customary French bise from French president Francois Hollande. Finally, an ultra-orthodox Israeli newspaper photo-shopped out German chancellor Angela Merkel and other female leaders from their front page. In the spirit of Charlie Hebdo, an Irish newspaper returned the favor and eliminated all male leaders from its photograph. Satire lives on.

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Back in Iraq: What Happened to AfPak?

by Shoshana Bryen
January 4, 2015 | American Thinker

The horrific attack on a school in Pakistan by Taliban gunmen that killed 132 people, mainly children, returned that unhappy country to the news headlines for a few days. ¬†But only a few ‚Äď it's gone again.

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Does Saudi Arabia Rule the World?

by Shoshana Bryen
December 30, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Saudi Arabia does not control the price of oil, but it is trying to manipulate the current, temporary, price decline for its own purposes -- and it should be careful.

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Cuba and the 'State of Palestine'

by Shoshana Bryen
December 21, 2014 | American Thinker

They arrest you for having an opinion ‚Äď any that isn't theirs. ¬†They arrest you for demanding elections; the last thing they want is to know you want different leadership. ¬†They arrest you for having a Facebook page that is out of step, or you don't have Facebook at all. ¬†Demanding accountability, transparency, clean government is certainly grounds for arrest. ¬†Reading the wrong books. ¬†Talking to the wrong people. ¬†Propaganda passing for news, often anti-American. ¬†They sponsor terrorism, provide intelligence for terrorism, condone and approve of terrorism. ¬†They have a heavy fist.

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History Tells a Tale Regarding Agreements with Iran

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen
December 3, 2014 | American Thinker

A movement is afoot on Capitol Hill to "force" President Obama to submit any agreement between the United States and Iran to lawmakers, even if it isn't a treaty that requires ratification. The administration, not surprisingly, says there is no reason to do so.  It is also not terribly surprising that the president -- a half-term Senator -- is not conversant with the 1972 Case Act (1 U.S. Code § 112b - United States international agreements; transmission to Congress). It is more surprising that those who disagree with the president in this case don't appear to have looked it up.

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The Hollow Coalition

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
November 5, 2014 | Foreign Affairs

Three months since U.S. bombs first struck Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in Iraq, the Obama administration has touted its 62-country coalition as a crowning achievement. Although this number might seem impressive, however, it is misleading. Of the 62 nominal allies for Operation Inherent Resolve (as the campaign is now called), only 16 have actually committed military forces, and only 11 have conducted offensive operations to date. Many appear willing to pay lip service to U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of ISIS, only to ignore his subsequent call to arms.

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