We Can - and Must - Save Tunisia From its Troubling Recent DescentWilliam J. Burns - Washington Post | April 13th 2016

In a region full of upheaval and bloodshed, Tunisia, with its relatively peaceful transition, progressive constitution, inclusive politics, and free and fair elections, has stood as a lone shining example. Five years after igniting the Arab Awakening and inspiring the world, the bloom has come off the Jasmine Revolution. A combination of internal headwinds and regional whirlwinds are extinguishing Tunisian hopes for a consolidated new social contract. “Each of us here is a time bomb,” warned one protest organizer in the town of Kasserine.  With each passing day, disillusion...

How Israel Is Losing AmericaShlomo Ben-Ami - Project Syndicate | July 6th 2016

TEL AVIV – The late American diplomat George Ball once argued that Israel needed to be saved from its own suicidal policies “in spite of herself.” In a 1977 Foreign Affairs article, he called for an even-handed push by the United States for an Arab- Israeli peace. But, while Ball’s realistic position on the Israel-Palestine conflict is not uncommon among US State Department officials, it has remained off-limits for America’s political establishment, which has long upheld an almost sacred consensus on Israel – until now.  To be sure, to some ...

Bibi, Settlements and the ‘Ethnic Cleansing Canard’Lara Friedman - Times of Israel | September 14th 2016

It seems there is no line Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t cross to defend settlements. Israeli law says settlers can’t steal Israeli-recognized Palestinian private land for their own purposes? Netanyahu leaves no principle of rule of law unchallenged in the effor to "legalize" the settlers’ actions. The boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) movement challenges Israel’s legitimacy? Netanyahu jumps on the chance to exploit the BDS threat to legitimize settlements, accusing anyone who differentiates between Israel and settlements of embracing BD...

If Trump Wins, We Could See the Worst of U.S.-Israel Ties on SteroidsDaniel Levy - Haaretz | August 22nd 2016

It is easy, perhaps too easy, to harp on the absurdities of how American politics relate to Israel. It is the satirical material of popular political shows, such as “The West Wing,” in which fictional President Josiah Bartlet once considered framing and mounting a map of the Holy Land from 1709 and got dressed down by staffers: “People would be offended – the map does not recognize Israel.”  In the current election, reality makes fictional scriptwriters seem unimaginative: drafting the Democratic platform became a Basil Fawlty-like exercise in not mentioni...

Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United NationsHenry Siegman - International New York Times | May 19th 2015

The greetings President Obama extended last week to Israel’s new government may have sounded conciliatory, but Mr. Obama no longer entertains any illusions about Israel’s leaders.  In the wake of last month’s election, the longtime peace activists and diplomats who have devoted much of their professional lives to achieving a two- state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are more depressed and demoralized than ever before.  Well before Mr. Netanyahu declared during the recent election campaign that Palestinians would remain under Israeli military occu...

A Pipeline Against PeaceTareq Baconi - Foreign Affairs | January 26th 2015

A Pipeline Against Peace Israel's Recent Gas Deals May Exacerbate Tensions in the Middle East In October 2014, Israel struck a $15 billion gas deal with Jordan—it would export 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas for the next 15 years, starting in 2017, from one of its two newly discovered oil fields in the Mediterranean. This deal was the latest in a string of negotiations that Israel has made in the region. The previous one, in January 2013, was signed with a Palestinian company—a $1.2 billion contract for 168 billion cubic feet of gas over 20 years. Both of these agreements,...

A Guide for the Perplexed: The Iran Nuclear AgreementThomas R. Pickering - Thomas R. Pickering | July 27th 2015

This agreement is arguably the most important and the most complex of this century. It treats with widespread concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. It resolves a serious nonproliferation problem for at least 15 years and likely beyond. It sets U.S.-Iranian relations on a new course. It opens the door of possible change in the Middle East region while at the same time also raising issues for key U.S. relationships there. The agreement between Iran and the P-5 + 1 (Five Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council—China, France, Russia, the Un...
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