Passing of Brent Scowcroft, USMEP Chair 2001-2011 - A personal reflection from Ambassador Thomas R. PickeringThomas R. Pickering | September 17th 2020

Brent Scowcroft’s death on August 6 marks the almost end of an era. I worked with him, had the honor of knowing him as a friend, and for the last few years, we lived in apartments in the same elders’ refuge in Virginia. Jerrold L. Schecter has written a fine obituary for the Washington Post which you should read and can find here. My recollections are more personal and selective and relate to the region in which we share a special interest. Brent was Henry Kissinger’s deputy and I ran the Secretary of State’s alerting and support syst...

Daniel Levy briefing statement to UN Security CouncilDaniel Levy | July 21st 2020

I would like to thank the Council and the German Presidency for giving me this opportunity to brief you today. As of today, there has been no further Israeli annexation on the West Bank. That does not translate into this being a moment for self-congratulation; keep the champagne on ice. Refraining from de jure annexation must of course carry no reward; avoidance of criminality is normative not prize-worthy. De jure annexation would exacerbate and accelerate existing negative trends, but whether it happens or not, it is a symptom of a deeper crisis – the permanent denial of freedom,...

BRIEFING MEMO - Israeli Annexation in the West Bank: the state of play, dynamics and responsesDaniel Levy | May 22nd 2020

This note will address the local and global, political and diplomatic developments around a potential further extension of Israeli sovereignty in parts of the occupied West Bank, or annexation. This would be a first  act of Israel extending its sovereignty into occupied areas since East Jerusalem was annexed in July 1980 and parts of the Golan Heights in December 1981, and would formalize an ongoing process of extending Israeli control, the application of Israeli laws, and diminution of the possibility of sovereign Palestinian statehood. 

BRIEFING MEMO - Israel’s New Governing Coalition: what happened and what to expect?Daniel Levy | May 22nd 2020

On Sunday May 17th, a new Israeli government took office after 508 days of caretaker rule since parliament formally disbanded the government leading to elections in December 2018. There followed three rounds of inconclusive elections, the most recent being on March 2nd, 2020. The path to a new government and coalition being formed was paved by a split within Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, to join with Netanyahu. The Gantz faction (rump Blue and White party) reached an agreement with Netanyahu to form what is termed a parity government, ...
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