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King Abdullah of Joran caught between a rock and a hard place

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  To watch a video version of this story or listen to a n audio podcast click here . Jordan's King Abdullah is caught between a rock and a hard place. Hamas and its regional supporters, as well as Israeli politicians and vigilantes, are pressuring King Abdullah from both ends of the political spectrum. Iranian-backed Syrian and Iraqi militants seek to draw the kingdom, in which Palestinians account for at least 50 per cent of the population, into the Gaza war. Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran want to turn Jordan into a regional flashpoint and funnel for weapons for Palestinian militants on the West Bank. "The Iranians have instructions to recruit Jordanians and penetrate the Jordan arena through agents. Their recruitment efforts span all segments of society," said Saud Al Sharafat, a former senior Jordanian intelligence official. In support of Hamas , Iranian-backed Iraqi groups in January attacked a US military base , killing three American soldier

Antisemitism threatens Jews, occupation threatens Judaism.

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By James M. Dorsey I hope you enjoy today’s column and podcast. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Paid subscribers help me cover the cost of contributing fact-based analysis and understanding to a debate that has become increasingly polarised and weaponised. To become a paid subscriber, please click on the subscription button at http://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com and choose one of the subscription options. Thank you. To watch a video version of this story or listen to a n audio podcast click here . Israeli historian Yuval Noah Hariri is seeing his worst nightmare unfold before his eyes. “Imagine a world where Judaism discards the spiritual and moral legacy it has accumulated over generations, burns down ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ and sets fire to ‘you shall not covet your neighbor’s house.’ Imagine a world in which ‘Judaism’ becomes a synonym for religious fanaticism, racism, and brutal oppression. Could Judaism survive such a spiritual destruction?” Mr. Hariri ask

The quest for religious reform goes global.

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  By James M. Dorsey I hope you enjoy today’s column and podcast. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Paid subscribers help me cover the cost of contributing fact-based analysis and understanding to a debate that has become increasingly polarised and weaponised. To become a paid subscriber, please click on the subscription button at http://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com and choose one of the subscription options. Thank you. To watch a video version of this story or listen to a n audio podcast click here . For more than two decades, jihadists took pride in place as symbols of extremism and illustrations of the need for religious reform. They made Islam the focus of post-9/11 calls for religious change and moderation. Today, Islam no longer stands alone. One of the world’s foremost faiths, Islam has been joined by most major religions that have long flown under the radar. Numerous recent examples and incidents in an increasingly polarised world that allows religion to

The Greater Middle East is a ticking time bomb – Part 2.

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 By James M. Dorsey I hope you enjoy today’s column and podcast. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Paid subscribers help me cover the cost of contributing fact-based analysis and understanding to a debate that has become increasingly polarised and weaponised. To become a paid subscriber, please click on the subscription button at http://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com and choose one of the subscription options. Thank you. To watch a video version of this story or listen to a n audio podcast click here . This is part two of a two-part series that explores developments autocratic Arab rulers and US policymakers ignore at their peril. This two-part series explores developments autocratic Arab rulers and US policymakers ignore at their peril. The series is based on an essay published in Horizons . Part 1 looked at the region as a whole as well as Hamas’ standing in Gaza eight months into the war. Today’s Part 2 focuses on the war’s potential fallout in Jordan, Saudi Ar