8:44 AM, Nov 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
You won't find the British royals in the holy land. Elliott Abrams calls it, "The bizarre story of the refusal of British royals to visit Israel, while they are constantly in the Arab world, continues."
"[T]he Queen has never set foot in Israel and Prince Charles set foot there briefly only once, for the Rabin funeral," Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, observes.
"By contrast, in just the month of November 2014 we found Prince Andrew and Prince Harry at what the Foreign Office must have considered a diplomatic necessity: the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Prince Andrew also visited Saudi Arabia (at the request of the Foreign Office, it was announced).
"And Prince Harry also visited Oman. Now with all due respect, Oman is a country of 3.6 million people with a GDP of $80 billion. Israel is a country of 8 million people with a GDP of about $300 billion. No point in laboring the comparison, but one might add that Prince Charles visited Oman in 2013 and the Queen herself visited there in 2010."
According to Abrams, there are 3 reasons to explain why the British royals refuse to visit Israel.
"There are really only three logical explanations. The first is that the British royals only like to visit royals, and try to stay away from republics. But Prince Charles has visited Egypt time after time, so there goes that theory. The second possible explanation is fear–fear that any kind of royal visit to Israel would harm the UK, for example if Arab lands retaliated by cutting trade with Britain. This is silly. Prince Charles visited Jordan last year and could easily have helicoptered over for a day in Israel. Princes Andrew or Harry could have stopped by while in the Middle East as well. Given the current tacit alliance of Israel and the Gulf monarchies against Iran and ISIS, the likelihood that such visits would have harmed the UK is impossibly small. The third possible explanation for the continuing refusal of the British royals to set foot in Israel is that either they or the Foreign Office harbor deep and undying enmity toward the Jewish state."
1:05 PM, Jun 25, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Why were the words of Fouad Ajami “never welcomed in the cultural salons of Beirut and Cairo?” asks Samuel Tadros in Tablet magazine.
1:41 PM, Jan 22, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
The Middle East Media Research Institute translates a recent article by Saudi columnist Khalaf Al-Harbi, published in the Saudi government daily Okaz, arguing that the number of Arabs Ariel Sharon “killed is nowhere near that of those who died at the hands of Arab rulers, especially since the onset of the Arab Spring.”
8:18 AM, Sep 19, 2013 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Against the expectation of many observers, social change continues in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Recent reforms have particularly affected the status of women. At the end of August, the Saudis took a remarkable and surprising step by criminalizing domestic violence. As reported in the London Independent, the Saudi cabinet “passed a ban on domestic violence and other forms of abuse against women for the first time in the Kingdom’s history.”
7:15 AM, Sep 4, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Lost in the debate over responding to Bashar al-Assad’s use of nerve gas is the fact that the United States has other interests in the Syrian civil war, like mitigating the effects of the war on Syria’s neighbors—Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Israel—and countering the regional ambitions of Assad’s key ally, Iran. Unfortunately, the president has consistently failed to advance these arguments over the last two years. The White House has also been consistent in one other respect: It has repeatedly blamed others for its failures.
After a week's worth of fighting in Syria, the Islamic resistance licks its wounds.3:16 PM, May 24, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
For over a week now, the Syrian town of Qusayr in Homs Province has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the two-year conflict. The struggle for Qusayr, says besieged President Bashar al-Assad, “is the main battle” in all of Syria.
12:11 PM, Feb 12, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Fox News reported yesterday that Chuck Hagel, who has been nominated as the next secretary of defense, failed to “disclose at least two recent speeches on the subject of the Arab-Israeli conflict” in paperwork filed with the Senate.
2:54 PM, Nov 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Smith, told the Arabic news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat that American foreign policy will now change after President Barack Obama's reelection. Smith made the comments at an election night party at his residence.
5:30 PM, Jul 31, 2012 • By NOAH POLLAK
The press is having fun today amplifying the complaint of Palestinian "negotiator" Saeb Ereikat that comments Mitt Romney made in Jerusalem yesterday are "racist." What was Romney's offense? In the course of expressing amazement at Israel's economic miracle, he merely pointed out that cultural differences lead to differences in economic performance.
8:05 AM, Jun 22, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The death last week of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Nayef Bin Abd Al-Aziz, aged 78 and heir to his half-brother, King Abdullah Bin Abd Al-Aziz, was not immediately foreseen by the Saudi public.
10:22 PM, Jun 16, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Saudi Arabian crown prince Nayef Bin Abd Al-Aziz, designated heir to King Abdullah Bin Abd Al-Aziz, died Saturday in Geneva, where he was receiving medical treatment. Nayef, 78, headed the country’s ministry of interior and was deputy premier in the royal cabinet. He was named crown prince last year.
2:33 PM, May 21, 2012 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz last December called for promoting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the Saudi kingdom, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman, into a unified body, which has been described as a “super-state.” The Saudis and the other GCC members are currently engaged in discussions intended to bring closer coordination, if not fusion, within the council.