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Our Defenders at the CIA Our Defenders at the CIA
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Jonathan Neumann | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

News flash: Top-secret intelligence memos written during the last years of the Bush administration describe covert activities—in intelligence parlance, a "false flag" operation—by Israeli Mossad officers, posing as American CIA agents.
The Persian Puzzle The Persian Puzzle
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A synagogue in today's Jerusalem bears the name "Hajji Yehezkel." Yehezkel is Ezekiel, and Hajji is the Persian term for one who has fulfilled the Islamic precept of going on pilgrimage to Mecca. Who was this Ezekiel, and how did he earn his improbable honorific?
Iran Iran
Monday, March 1, 2010 by | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Iran's nuclear program marches on: an existential threat to Israel—target of Tehran's declared genocidal intent—and an immense strategic challenge to the United States and the West as well as to Muslims, Arabs, and others with a stake in geopolitical stability. The Iranian regime has made no bones about seeing this moment as an historical hinge, marked by the rout of American influence and the rise of Tehran as the region's dominant power. As Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed last week at his meeting in Damascus with the complaisant Bashar al-Assad, Hassan Nasrallah, and Khaled Mashal, the Americans "have reached a dead end. They once...
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Jewish Armenia Anna Borschevskaya, Jerusalem Post. Only in 1996 did the discovery of a cemetery provide evidence of Jews in pre-modern Armenia.  But new research shows that Armenia was a safe haven for Jews during the Mongol invasion.
Out of the Frying Pan Jonathan Spyer, Fathom. With Sunni Islamists increasingly dominating the Free Syrian Army, Israel may soon face a new Syrian regime allied with Hamas and Egypt—and no less hostile than Assad.
Good Mullah, Bad Mullah Michael Segall, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The mullahs trumpet their internal divisions, dangling the lure of compromise.  But there will be no compromise as long as Iran thinks it is winning the contest for regional hegemony.
Is Hizballah History? Samuel Helfont, New Republic. A new history of Hizballah lays bare how the self-styled liberation movement has increasingly subjected Lebanon to Syrian and Iranian domination—and alienated its Sunni former allies.
Round Two Shai Feldman, National Interest. As prime minister for a second term, Netanyahu will claim a stronger mandate to strike Iran’s nuclear program.  But President Obama looks set to use his second term to prevent an Israeli attack.
The Fight for Azerbaijan Alex Vatanka, Foreign Affairs. Although Azerbaijan has deep historical connections with Iran, it shares Israel's desire to keep the Islamic Republic at bay.  So, both Iran and Israel are working hard to win its heart.
The Sheikh and I Michael Janofsky, Los Angeles Review of Books. "For the better part of a year, I was the Sheikh’s blogger; or the Sheikh was my avatar. . .  I suppose this is the point where I should say I’m Jewish."
From Cyrus to Ahmedinijad Norman Berdichevsky, New English Review. Liberated by Cyrus, protected by the Sassanids, and even favored for a time by the Mongols, Jews had a relatively good time in Persia—until Shia Islam became dominant.
A Stiff-Necked People Ehud Barak, Prospect. "Israelis are a stiff-necked people," admits Ehud Barak in a farewell to electoral politics.  But that is what it takes to survive in a tough neighborhood.
The Rocket Racket Continues Lee Smith, Weekly Standard. With Israel in control of maritime routes and the Assad regime in chaos, Hizballah's weapons stockpile has been systematically degraded.  But Hamas is having no such trouble.