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? Sunday, November 19, 2017


A Ceasefire Could Be Imminent

Despite the possibility of disappointing an Israeli populace eager for a massive blow to Hamas, Netanyahu might prefer the less costly ceasefire.

Lessons for the World from a New Gaza War

Can Israel sustain this situation? Of course, that is basically the framework in which it has been living and prospering for 64 years. Is it preferable? Of course not. What is the world going to do to make it better? Nothing.

Israel, Hamas, PA Encounter the Paradigm Shift

No summary of today’s events would be complete without mentioning the backstory on the IDF’s operation name.

Saudi Editor: Israel Trying to Save Assad, Drown the Region in Chaos

Not an entirely unreasonable foreign policy direction for the embattled Jewish state.

Next Stop: Obama Puts his Trust in Negotiations with Iran

The most important foreign policy effort President Barack Obama will be making over the next year is negotiating with Iran. The terms of the U.S. offer are clear: if Iran agrees not to build nuclear weapons, it will be allowed to enrich a certain amount of uranium, supposedly for purposes of generating nuclear energy (which Iran doesn’t need) and other benefits, supposedly under strict safeguards.

Microsoft CEO: Israel Is the High-Tech Country

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #171

Israel Under Fire: The New Paradigm

Attacks from Gaza on Israel have ramped up significantly in the last several days. An Israeli patrol was hit by what was thought to be a roadside bomb on Tuesday (three were wounded), near the border fence with Gaza. On Saturday, terrorists in Gaza fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep with four infantrymen in it, as the patrol operated in the area of the roadside bomb attack. The four soldiers were wounded, one severely. More than 80 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since the attack on the jeep on Saturday, 10 November. At least three Israeli civilians were injured in the rocket attacks. Geography is beginning to rear its head again, as Israel has also sustained incursions into the Golan from Syria in recent days.

Israel Facing Weak US Economy, Foreign Policy, Following Elections

With President Barack Obama reelected there is every reason to believe that he will continue the tax, regulatory, and economic policies of his first term. That means the U.S. economy is unlikely to improve quickly, steadily, or even at all during the next four years. The problem is not just Obama’s own strategy on these issues but also the lack of business confidence in his plans.

The Broader Implications of the Petraeus Resignation: Personal Behavior and Public Office

Originally published at Rubin Reports. General David Petraeus was the hero of the victorious surge strategy in Iraq. But he also has the distinction of...

What Obama Should Have Done in the Last Four Years and Won’t Do in...

Over and over again I’ve written about what President Barack Obama should do. Now the voters have given him a whole new chance. He could take it and change his policy. I don't believe he will do that but let me lay out both what he's been wrong and what he should do, just in case Obama is seeking a different approach.

Obama Administration Secret Talks with Iran Confirmed

The story was broken by Alex Fishman, defense correspondent of Yediot Aharnot, Israel’s largest newspaper. Fishman is considered to be a reliable reporter with good sources in the Israeli government.

Dick Morris: Romney by a Landslide: 325 – 213

Morris says all the baby-blue states Democrats have grown to love and think of as their own (with the exception of Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina) are really pink states. Romney is going to sweep them, and end up with 55% to Obama's 45% of the national vote, if not an even wider margin.

The Sunni-Shia Conflict Will Be The Major Feature of Middle East Politics for Decades

Once upon a time, Arab nationalism ruled the Middle East. Its doctrine saw Arab identity as the key to political success. Some regarded Islam as important; others were secular. Yet there was no doubt that national identity was in charge. All Arabs should unite, said the radical nationalists who ruled in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, to destroy Israel, expel Western influence, and create a utopian single state in the region. Instead, of course, the period was characterized by battles among the radical Arab states for leadership. The less extreme ones sought survival through a combination of giving lip service to radical slogans, paying off the stronger regimes, and getting Western help.

Can Romney Win? A Tale of Three Maps

Clearly, neither candidate has been able to get even close to the needed 270 electoral votes. They've been stuck with these numbers since the debates, and the numbers show that the country, both on a national and on a state-by-state level, thinks both candidates are equally qualified for the job. That, by itself, is a big advantage for Romney.

Mordechai Kedar: Iran has Defeated the US in Iraq

Saddam fell, the evil regime that he established fell with him and the people of Iraq could finally breathe freely.

A Short Guide to the Benghazi Issue: What is it Really All About?

There is a debate over the causes of terrorism and anti-Americanism in the world. One possible view is that the principal problem is that of genuine conflict. The adversaries hold certain ideological ideas—say, revolutionary Islamism—to which American society and policies are antithetical. The collision (as with Communism, Nazism, and aggressive Japanese militarism in earlier decades) is inevitable. The United States is inconveniencing the totalitarians both because of what it does (policies) and because of what it represents (freedom, democracy, capitalism).

The West’s Deaf Ears for the Real Moderate Arabs

One of my most fun professional memories was when I walked endlessly, circling round and round and round that hall in Algeria in November 1988 with a burly, no-nonsense, and brilliant newspaper correspondent named Youssef Ibrahim, who was then working for the New York Times. Friendly, funny, sarcastic, and with absolutely no illusions or romanticism about the absurdities of Arab politics and the idiocies of Arab political ideology, Ibrahim’s only shortcoming is that there are not one thousand more exactly like him. If he was the kind of person leading Arab countries and people they would be far more prosperous, peaceful, happier and democratic.

Congratulations to Hamas

The visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip is certainly an important landmark on the course that the Hamas movement has been advancing since it took over the Strip in June of 2007. Hamas is trying its utmost to establish the independence of the Gaza Strip, vis à vis the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt, the Arab world and everyplace else as well.

Why Economic Development as a Panacea for Middle East Problems is a Myth

A reader asks: “I agree that democracy and economic development are not panaceas for the Middle East, just as they are not for any other location on the planet. But aren't they a start? And since it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time, does it hurt to at least pay lip service to doing things to bring the rest of the Middle East into the 21st century? And what would those things be in your opinion?” As you noted, both candidates in the presidential election spoke of economic development as a top priority in their Middle East policy. This sounds good to voters but is pretty meaningless.

Hurricane Biberman

The short announcement by the two men last night—there were no questions from the reporters in the room—described a logical union of Likud, with its 27 seats in the outgoing Knesset, and Yisrael Beitenu, with its 15 seats, to create a powerful new party with the potential to attract more seats than its sum total of 42.

They Got it Right: America is Their Enemy

One of President Barack Obama’s main themes has been to convince Middle Eastern Islamists and Arabs generally that America is not their enemy. But the reason this strategy never works is that the radicals, be they Islamists or nationalists, know better. They see the United States as their enemy and they are right to do so.

Attacks on Israel and One on an Arms Factory in Sudan

In the early dawn of 24 October, an arms factory in Sudan was attacked in the Yarmouk Industrial Complex approximately 6 miles south of central Khartoum. Video of the exploding building makes it clear that it was an arms factory, with an extended series of powerful secondary explosions characteristic of ammunition dumps. A Sudanese official claims that four Israeli aircraft conducted a strike on the factory.

Bayonets, Horses and Ships, Oh My

Romney sees the Navy as a core element of our enduring strategic posture. For national defense and for the protection of trade, the United States has from the beginning sought to operate in freedom on the seas, and, where necessary, to exercise control of them. We are a maritime nation, with extremely long, shipping-friendly coastlines in the temperate zone and an unprecedented control of the world’s most traveled oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific.

Romney’s Structural Handicaps and Third Debate Strategy

A full analysis of the foreign policy aspects of the third debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Remember that the idea that someone “won” the debate in terms of an outside observer’s standpoint or even based on a poll is misleading. The only important thing is whether either candidate swayed additional voters to his side.

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