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saudis Global conflict 

Our Saudi Arabian frenemy

Saudi Arabia is our new best friend, right? Unfortunately, no. But my goodness, it’s complicated. The Arab and Muslim world is in flux and chaos. The need to halt Iran’s drive for regional hegemony, and the resulting Shia dominance over the Sunni Islamic world, has driven the Saudis into a tacit alliance not only with America but also, even more remarkably, with Israel. With the UAE, the Saudis are now also leading an economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar, the Sunni Gulf state which is nevertheless allied to Shia Iran…

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blake_dante_hell_xxiv_thieves Global conflict Videos 

Honour among thieves?

An extraordinary clash recently occurred at the UN between representatives of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The two states that between them are responsible for the fanatical Islamic thinking and jihadi violence that currently menaces the world faced off across a table and each denounced the other as terrorists. You can watch this astonishing spectacle here. Of course, both protagonists are correct about each other. The Iranian was right to link Saudi Arabia to al Qaeda and Isis. The fact that Saudi Arabia is now a bitter enemy of al Qaeda…

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corbyn Global conflict Instant Articles 

The red-black-green-Islamic axis

Throughout the west, many are bewildered by the way in which so-called progressives support people and causes which are inimical to their own supposed ideals and beliefs. People observe with as much bafflement as revulsion the violence on campus directed at people with conservative or pro-Israel views in order to deprive them on freedom of speech; the refusal of feminists to condemn the oppression of women in the developing world; the further silence of those committed to gay rights or resistance to tyranny over the persecution of gay people or…

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stop-war Britain Global conflict Instant Articles 

It’s not just Jeremy Corbyn who’s got this so very wrong

There is understandable anger and revulsion at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s speech today drawing a link between the Manchester bombing atrocity and British foreign policy. It is, of course, a frequent claim by Muslim terrorists that they are only killing western civilians because the west has killed civilians in the Islamic world. Indeed, they often specifically target for attack children and young people – as they did in Manchester and as they have often done in Israel – in revenge for what they claim to be the killing of their…

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trump-in-saudi Global conflict Israel USA 

Trump joins up the dots

Now it becomes clear why President Trump selected as the destinations of his current tour Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome. He is re-setting the foreign policy debate around the factor which is both fundamental and at the same time systematically ignored. He is reframing it as a conflict over religion. Not that he is describing it in Samuel Huntington’s terms as a war between civilisations. He reportedly told his son-in-law and key strategist Jared Kushner to construct a tour around the theme of reconciliation and world peace. Nevertheless, he’s doing something…

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The banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus; Jan Victors, 1840s Global conflict Israel USA 

A parable for our times

Today and yesterday (depending on where you are in the world) observant Jews have been celebrating the festival of Purim by reading the megillah of Esther. This is the story of the Persian king Ahasuerus, commonly identified as Xerxes I, who went along with the plan hatched by his vizier Haman to exterminate the Jews. Ahasuerus was then persuaded out of this by his Jewish queen Esther, who was urged on by her brother Mordecai, and hanged Haman instead. Witty folk have been comparing Ahasuerus to Donald Trump. This is…

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Saudi forces on parade Britain Global conflict 

Our arms sales help keep Iran’s plots in check

The war in Yemen, however, poses yet more complex questions. Holding our noses to ally with unpleasant and illiberal regimes against Islamist terror might well be in Britain’s national interest. But Saudi Arabia is the originator of the Wahhabi extremist ideology which gave rise to the Sunni Islamist onslaught against the free world in the first place. So how can the West regard it as its ally against Islamist extremism? The answer should be a dual response: ban all Saudi-funded activity in Britain, but ally with the desert kingdom against…

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