What Will Happen When Israeli Stonewalling Meets President Trump? Daniel Levy - Haaretz | May 18th 2017

It apparently befalls every new American president to be greeted as a potential messiah by moderates in both the Israeli and Palestinian political class. The flipside also holds – that hardliners, especially on the Israeli side, go into a defensive crouch any time a U.S. president launches himself (it is invariably a ‘him’) at the Holy Land.
It is hardly surprising, then, that even before the intelligence leaks to Russia episode, the Israeli media had whipped itself up into quite a frenzy in advance of President Trump’s visit, which comes in the wake of having al...

Why Trump’s Loose Lips May Be ‘Extraordinarily Dangerous’ — To Israel And Us Daniel C. Kurtzer - The Forward | May 16th 2017

The care and handling of intelligence information is as much art as anything else. It has been estimated that 70% or more of “finished intelligence” — that is, the reports and analyses that go forward to policymakers — derives from open sources and diplomatic reporting, meaning that much of what a policymaker reads can also be found in the media. The art of intelligence is to understand the value that is added by the nuggets of information gained from human or other sources. In this respect, the whole finished product must be treated as sensitive because of the way the ...

Hamas Gets an Ideological MakeoverDaniel Levy - The National Interest | May 5th 2017

Palestinian leaders hit the headlines twice this week—once on May 3, when President Mahmoud Abbas was welcomed to the White House by President Trump and two days earlier, on May 1, when outgoing Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal launched the movement’s new “Document of General Principles and Policies” at a press conference in Doha. The Washington presidential summit understandably garnered more attention, but it is the Hamas Doha document that may well be remembered as having a more significant and lasting impact on the Palestinian future and even on prospects for ...

Trump has to make a big call on Middle East peaceHanan Ashrawi - CNN | May 3rd 2017

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will visit the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Donald Trump and his administration. While the meeting signals the administration's commitment to dialogue and engagement with the Palestinians, it could also present a valuable opportunity to explore meaningful and effective ways to establish a just peace by ending the occupation and ensuring the establishment of a viable sovereign Palestinian state. If Trump is truly committed to "striking a deal," then it is imperative he distance himself from the repeat...

The Trump Reversal the World NeedsShlomo Ben-Ami - Project Syndicate | May 2nd 2017

Six years after the fall of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya remains mired in conflict and political chaos. Devoid of any central authority or national security structure, the Libyan state now exists only in name. It is time for a new approach – one that the United States should actively support. To be sure, Libya does have an internationally recognized government: the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), born of the December 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat, Morocco, under the auspices of the United Nations. But not only did that government recei...

The risks of the Trump administration hollowing out American leadershipWilliam J. Burns - Washington Post | April 19th 2017

On the surface, much of President Trump’s foreign policy seems to be reverting to the mainstream upon first contact with reality. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific use of chemical weapons produced a quick military response, applauded across partisan lines in Washington. Relations with Russia have settled to predictably adversarial depths. The administration is full of appropriately reassuring words about NATO, and the one-China policy was safely back in place for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Senior national security appointments have been mostly traditionalis...

Why We Need Political IslamShlomo Ben-Ami - Project Syndicate | April 4th 2017

US President Donald Trump has put on the back burner an executive order that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. He should leave it there permanently. Inclusive governments that are seen to represent the overwhelmingly devout Muslim societies of the Arab world are a vital antidote to global jihadism. To be sure, the Muslim Brotherhood has not always fully embodied democratic values. In Egypt, for example, President Mohamed Morsi’s government treated democracy as a winner-take-all proposition – and was ousted after little more than a year. But addressi...
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