Has the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked the U.S. Muslim Lobby?

Major Muslim organizations, including CAIR and ISNA, have convinced Washington and the media that they represent mainstream American Islam. In fact, only about 10 percent of American Muslims express support for these groups, which maintain close ties to the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood, receive lavish funding from the Organization of Islamic States, and work hard to deflect attention away from the threat of radical Islamism. M. Judi Jasser, a Syrian-American activist, explains:

You have to ask yourself not only to what degree Brotherhood-linked individuals influence [what] the administration [says], but also what it does not say. The president, even when talking about an organization as Islamist as ISIS/IS, whose very name epitomizes Islamism, won’t use the term “Islam.” He’ll use the terms “violence,” “barbarism,” and “extremism” instead—that’s clearly coming from Islamists who want the American public to remain numb to the threat of Islamism.

Read more at Mida

More about: American Muslims, CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood

Recognizing a Palestinian State Won’t Help Palestinians, or Even Make Palestinian Statehood More Likely

While Shira Efron and Michael Koplow are more sanguine about the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and more critical of Israel’s policies in the West Bank, than I am, I found much worth considering in their recent article on the condition of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Particularly perceptive are their comments on the drive to grant diplomatic recognition to a fictive Palestinian state, a step taken by nine countries in the past few months, and almost as many in total as recognize Israel.

Efron and Koplow argue that this move isn’t a mere empty gesture, but one that would actually make things worse, while providing “no tangible benefits for Palestinians.”

In areas under its direct control—Areas A and B of the West Bank, comprising 40 percent of the territory—the PA struggles severely to provide services, livelihoods, and dignity to inhabitants. This is only partly due to its budgetary woes; it has also never established a properly functioning West Bank economy. President Mahmoud Abbas, who will turn ninety next year, administers the PA almost exclusively by executive decrees, with little transparency or oversight. Security is a particular problem, as militants from different factions now openly defy the underfunded and undermotivated PA security forces in cities such as Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm.

Turning the Palestinian Authority (PA) from a transitional authority into a permanent state with the stroke of a pen will not make [its] litany of problems go away. The risk that the state of Palestine would become a failed state is very real given the PA’s dysfunctional, insolvent status and its dearth of public legitimacy. Further declines in its ability to provide social services and maintain law and order could yield a situation in which warlords and gangs become de-facto rulers in some areas of the West Bank.

Otherwise, any steps toward realizing two states will be fanciful, built atop a crumbling foundation—and likely to help turn the West Bank into a third front in the current war.

Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian statehood