News and Analysis (2/1/13)

As Syria’s rebels agree to peace talks on the condition Asaad has no role in the transitional government, Israel’s continuing big stick policy provokes rhetorical reactions in Syria and around the region, but no real consequences for Israel:

On the same  day that the U.N. publishes its findings on Israeli war crimes in violation of the Geneva conventions …

… Lindsey Graham ironically challenges Chuck Hagel to “[n]ame one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing due to pressure by the Israeli or Jewish lobby.”  For starters, Mr. Graham, how about your attempt to  intimidate Chuck Hagel?

With the recent violence threatening Egypt’s efforts to establish democracy and the opposition has renounced violence and the government wants talks without preconditions:

Robert Spencer is typical of those who “want the First Amendment to work only in their favor. They cry foul any time anyone writes something critical of their work, condemning the supposed infringement on their freedom of speech, yet they turn around and try to bully critical voices in far more aggressive ways than any action directed at them:”

“University of North Carolina sociologist Charles Kurzman … doesn’t deny that law enforcement plays a role in disrupting and deterring homegrown U.S. Muslim terrorism…. But he remains surprised by the disconnect between the scale of the terrorism problem and the scale — and expense — of the government’s response”:

Between a rock and a hard place, the Mali natives are glad to be rid of the puritanical Islamists, but now fear massacre at the hands of the army:

Organisers of this event … reject the notion that women only wear hijabs at the insistence of a father or a radical member of the family. This day, then, is about showing the world that women can choose the hijab willingly”:

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