|Iran, Mid-East Strategy & Arab-Israeli Diplomacy|
PostsThe Bar Kochba Debate
Israel Hayom - Among the historical events associated with "Lag Ba'omer," celebrated in the days ahead, is the Second Jewish Revolt led by Bar Kochba which was a war of national liberation against the Roman Empire. It mostly took place in Judea, during the years 132 through 135, some...Lessons for Israel from captured Iraqi nuclear documents
Israel Hayom - While Israel is naturally focused on the implications of Iran completing its drive toward nuclear weapons, there is another case of one of its bitterest enemies, who tried to accomplish the same goal once before: Saddam Hussein of Iraq. As a result of the 2003 Iraq War, the...The dangers of accepting Iran as a nuclear threshold state
Israel Hayom - It has already been noted many times that one key difference between Israel and the U.S. over Iran is that Washington can wait far longer than Israel before it decides that it has no choice but to use force in order to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. In...Will America act against Iran?
Israel Hayom - In the internal debate in Israel over the subject of Iran, it is generally assumed by many that at the end of the day the U.S. will destroy the nuclear infrastructure of Iran when it becomes clear that sanctions and negotiations have failed. But is that a...The Levy Report and the 'occupation' narrative
Israel Hayom - Looking back over the last two weeks, what appeared to hit a raw nerve with critics of the report of Justice Edmond Levy's committee was not what it had to say about the specific issues for which it was appointed, like zoning and planning in the West Bank,...The Political Battle Over the 'Occupation' Narrative
Weekly Standard - In January 2012, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yaakov Neeman, the justice minister, turned to former Israeli supreme court justice Edmond Levy to head a panel of legal experts that would look into questions of land ownership in the West Bank. The initiative came about when it...Syria and the decline of the UN
Israel Hayom - The crisis over Syria is the third major case of mass murder in the last 20 years in which the U.N. has completely failed to halt the continuing bloodshed. The inability of the U.N. to intervene in the previous crises in Rwanda and Srebrenica (Bosnia) caused many commentators...Why the Six-Day War still matters
Israel Hayom - Forty-five years ago this week, the Israel Defense Forces liberated the Old City of Jerusalem and re-united Israel's capital. Today, most of the battles that took place back then are almost a distant memory. Few recall that on the eve of the Six-Day War most of the brigades...Iran accelerates enrichment
Israel Hayom - Every three to six months the International Atomic Energy Agency publishes a report on the current state of the Iranian nuclear program. The latest IAEA report, dated May 25, is striking in light of the tense negotiations that have been underway between the P5+1 and the Iranians. What...Peacemaking mythologies from Taba to Olmert
Israel Hayom - Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was interviewed last Friday by CNN's Christiana Ammanpour and sought to give his audience the impression that he had been on the verge of a historical peace agreement with Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, and only because of the interference of individuals from the...Goodbye Iraq. Hello Iran
Israel Hayom - Friday December 23, 2011The final withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq this week raises the question of Baghdad's future role along Israel's eastern front. Historically, it is perhaps forgotten that Iraq was once a confrontation state. With remarkable consistency, Iraq, under various governments, dispatched one third of...What will Iran do if Assad falls?
Israel Hayom - Friday October 14, 2011The U.N. reported last week that at least 2,900 people have been killed in the Syrian uprising since it began in March. While part of the international community has been focusing on the tremendous loss of life that the Syrian people have suffered, political...The Return of the Kurdish Question and the Future of the Middle East
YISRAEL HAYOM A critical issue that is being affected by the intention of the US to withdraw from Iraq is what will happen to the Kurdish autonomous areas that are formally still under Baghdad's control. Last week, the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat published a column saying that it might...The Palestinians resurrect the partition plan
Israel Hayom - Newsletter Friday November 25, 2011Whoever thinks that U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 - the famous Partition Plan - from Nov. 29, 1947, is for historians of the Middle East alone, is not aware of the role that the 64-year-old resolution still plays to this very day. As...Erdogan Creates International Complications for Turkey
Israel Hayom, September 23, 2011 While Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been using his anti-Israeli rhetoric to build up Turkey as a new great power in the Arab world, his neo-Ottoman policy is sparking a reaction among other countries that could pose for him serious problems in the period ahead. For Erdogan has...Is Israel Truly Isolated?
Israel Hayom - "There was an overall attack on Israel, the sense of being under siege was overwhelming. Europe always only gave the support of a broken reed, and now as well. The U.S., despite what often demonstrated weakness on its part, still remained the decisive anchor for supporting...Why the West Cares about Turkey's Diplomatic Conflict with Israel
Yisrael HaYom - Under the surface, there have been growing concerns in the West about the general direction of Turkish foreign policy under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Party. In an extremely important 2004 cable from the US Department of State, revealed by WIKILEAKS, that was described previously in...Al-Qaeda Gains Strength in Sinai
Yisrael HaYom -- At the the height of the Iraq War, the US Intelligence agencies got hold of a secret letter dated July 9, 2005, written by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was then deputy head of al-Qaeda to the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The letter which was...'Land Swaps' and the 1967 Lines
The Weekly Standard -- When President Barak Obama first made his controversial reference to the 1967 lines as the basis for future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on May 19, 2011, he introduced one main caveat that stuck out: the idea that there would be "mutually agreed swaps" of land between the two...The long view in Israel against the 1967 line
Los Angeles Times -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent statement that Israel can't defend itself with borders drawn along pre-1967 lines has been questioned in certain foreign policy circles. These critics have noted that Israel successfully fought two wars, in 1956 and in 1967, while based within those borders. And...Dore Gold: Israel's 1967 Borders Aren't Defensible
The Wall Street JournalIt's no secret that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to lobby the U.N. General Assembly this September for a resolution that will predetermine the results of any Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on borders. He made clear in a New York Times op-ed this week that he will insist...Land for Money: A Worn Out Paradigm
In his interview with the Wall Street Journal on March 8, Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that Israel seek an additional $20 billion in US security assistance given the changes that are occurring in the Arab states. But at the end of the interview he added that since the Obama...How Israel could revolutionize the global energy sector
Libyan oil accounts for less than 2 percent of world oil production, yet the revolt against Muammar Qaddafi has managed to shoot up the price of oil to more than $100 per barrel in the last month. No one knows how long the internal instability in the Middle East will...Will Qaddafi Sit on the Bench of the Accused in the Hague?
This past week, the UN Security Council finally passed a resolution on Libya threatening the Qaddafi regime with sanctions in light of reports of widespread attacks on the civilians ordered by "the highest levels of the Libyan government." It added that these attacks "may amount to crimes against humanity." What...ElBaradei Slips on His Commitment to Peace
Last Sunday there was a very disturbing interview on the NBC News' Meet the Press with the Egyptian Opposition leader, Muhammad Elbaradei, which did not get enough attention. David Gregory, who is one of the most experienced Washington reporters, probed Elbaradei about the future of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of...Is the US repeating with the Egyptian president the errors it made in handling the Shah?
In late 1978, US president Jimmy Carter faced a situation in Iran that looked strikingly similar to what President Barack Obama is dealing with today in Egypt. Massive demonstrations were being held in the streets of Tehran, calling for the ouster of the shah, who had been America's key ally...How the Israelis Interpret Obama's Policy on Egypt
In a striking newspaper column in the liberal Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, its chief diplomatic correspondent, Aluf Benn, writes that if Jimmy Carter went down in history as "the president who lost Iran," Barack Obama will be known as the president who "lost Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt." U.S. policy has indeed...The West Bank's Airspace - The Forgotten Factor of Israeli Security
It should have come as no surprise that in the Wikileaks documents that were published this week, Maj. General Ido Nechushastan, as head of the Planning Branch explained in 2007 to General Jim Jones, that Israel's security requirements in the event a Palestinian state comes into existence would include "control"...The Debate over Defensible Borders in the Era of Missiles
My neighbor on the page where my weekly column appears in Yisrael Hayom, Yossi Beilin, commented last week that Israel was returning to the idea of "defensible borders," which in his words was "anachronistic" and had been "disproven" since it was first introduced through UN Security Council Resolution 242 in...The Sudanese Leadership Deserves the Breakup of its Country
This week's referendum for the independence of South Sudan represents a major blow to one of the worst regimes in the world: the Sudanese government under General Omar al-Bashir, who has been its president. The Khartoum government not only has to renounce control over roughly a third of its territory,...Media: Indecent Proposal
By DORE GOLDShould Obama impose a solution on the parties to avoid a Middle East war? Editors at 'The Economist,' unrealistically, believe this is the answer. Israel is the focus of the cover story on this week's The Economist, the prestigious British newsweekly, that is extremely influential in elite circles...How the Palestinians Hope to Get a State Without Declaring One
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad issued a puzzling declaration last week when he was interviewed in Washington by Danna Weiss on Channel 2. He stated that what he wanted was a Palestinian state, but at the same time he specified that he was not interested in a unilateral declaration...Saeb Erekat Shows His Cards: The Palestinians Will Demand the Return of Refugees
Saeb Erekat is normally a very careful Palestinian spokesman. For years, he regularly appeared on global television networks like CNN, using argumentation crafted to win the sympathy of American viewers. In addition, he also had excellent contacts in the Israeli media and easily could get himself quoted by any political...The Myth that the Iranian Nuclear Program is Slowing Down
On August 19, the New York Times published a major article entitled: "US Assures Israel that Iran Threat Is Not Imminent." The authors claimed that because Iran had been facing increasing problems with its nuclear program the Obama administration concluded that it would take a year or more for Iran...For Israel Security is Linked to Sovereignty
Months before the July 2000 Camp David Summit between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israel had been revising it positions on the subject of borders and security in preparation for final status talks. Martin Indyk, who had just come back as the US ambassador to Israel, recalls in...Israel's Eastern Front after the US Withdraws from Iraq
The hardest challenge for any Israeli leader proposing what political initiatives his government should undertake is anticipating what the Middle East region will look like in the years ahead. In the Middle East, the range of uncertainty about the future is far greater than any other part of the globe....Why Incitement is Ignored
Richard Holbrooke is probably the most accomplished and experienced US diplomat that served in recent years in the US Department of State, and therefore his ideas should be seriously considered. He is responsible for the greatest achievement of the Clinton administration in foreign policy--the Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian...Historical Fiction: Israel is not a colonialist state.
The New Republic -- The argument that Israel is a colonialist entity is often marshaled to undermine the Jewish state's legitimacy. The theme has certainly permeated Western academia, almost uncritically. For decades, it has been employed against Israel in one international forum after another. In 1973, the U.N. General Assembly...After the Obama-Netanyahu Summit
Palestinian reaction to the Obama-Netanyahu summit has not received adequate attention. The head Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, refused to accept the call coming out of the Washington meeting for direct negotiations between the parties. Instead, he demanded that, as a precondition, Israel accept the idea that it must start any...Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza is Legal, Necessary
The continuing demand that Israel should agree to an investigation -- with international involvement -- of its interception of a Turkish-led flotilla to Gaza last week presupposes that Israel did something fundamentally wrong. At the United Nations, the Security Council issued a presidential statement which lent its political weight to...Palestinian Rockets and the Limits of Israeli Deterrence
The news last week that the Obama administration was asking the US Congress to approve $205 million for the "Iron Dome" rocket defense system was an important development. Israel has gone through two wars in 2006 and 2008 in which both Hizbullah and Hamas launched rockets at Israeli civilians living...The Genocide Debate
Last month, President Barack Obama found himself in a tight spot on the question of whether the mass killings of Armenians in World War I should be called an act of genocide. As a candidate to the presidency, he promised to apply the the term genocide to the Armenian case....The Myth of the 1967 Borders
In rejecting, the proposal for a Palestinian state with temporary borders, that Haaretz reported last Friday, Abu Mazen insisted that the only basis for any future political arrangements with Israel is "the 1967 borders". He is not the only one today talking about the 1967 lines. President Carter's, national security...Averting Nuclear Terror
President Barack Obama's nuclear summit in Washington largely focused on how the international community can prevent nuclear terrorism. Since the 9/11 attacks, this has been a special preoccupation of the US intelligence establishment for good reasons. One month after the attacks, George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told President...The Dangerous Implications of Dividing Jerusalem
In the last decade, one of the areas in the peace process where Israeli governments--as well as American administrations--failed was anticipating the "day-after". Those who advised Ariel Sharon to adopt the disengagement from the Gaza Strip probably did not anticipate that after Israel withdrew, the rate of yearly rocket fire...Obama and Israel: A Global Perspective
Israeli commentators on the tense relations between the US and Israel are missing a central point. Some are suggesting that Obama is inexperienced and is prone to making mistakes when dealing with the Middle East. It is typically asked: doesn't Obama know that he will only harden the Palestinian position...Diplomatic Dispute Obscures Israel's Invaluable Help to U.S. Military
Originally printed in the Washington Examiner: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to speak about U.S.-Israeli strategic ties during his speech at Tuesday's AIPAC conference. During the recent bilateral tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, a vicious rumor began to spread that the U.S. feels that Israeli...The Dangerous Bias of the UN Goldstone Report
Published in US News and World Report: Last year's report by the U.N. Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza War, known more popularly as the Goldstone Report, is not going away. Originally, it was the initiative of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, which named South African Justice Richard Goldstone to...Taking Back Human Rights
Israel finds itself increasingly in an adversarial position today on the issue of human rights, constantly defending itself from the newest report of Amnesty International or the UN, like Goldstone Report. Reportedly, "Turkish human rights" groups have sought the arrest of Defense Minster Ehud Barak during his visit to Ankara....What Happened to the Jordan Valley?
Speaking before Israel's ambassadors from around the world two months ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained his view about how to create effective security arrangements in the event of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. He decided to stress that to safeguard the demilitarization of the West Bank, it was vital for...Obama's Struggle With Israel over Jerusalem
The Obama administration has decided to escalate its disagreement with Israel over its construction plans for new housing in eastern Jerusalem to a level that has rarely been witnessed before. It has employed all levels of the administration to critique Israel, from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to presidential adviser...The Two Faces of the West's Ties to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is clearly emerging as one of the most pivotal allies of the West in the struggle against Iran. For example, the Saudis, along with the UAE, are offering to supply China with oil, in order to replace any Iranian oil that it might lose, should Beijing support new...The Hidden Agenda Behind Those Charging Israel with Apartheid
The organizers of "Israel Apartheid Week" (March 1-March 13, 2010) are hoping to replicate what they claim was an unprecedented success for their cause last year when they sponsored events in 40 cities around the world. They have one central problem in making their case. The arguments against their charge--...Why Washington Does Not Want to Admit to the Severity of the Iranian Nuclear Program
At first glance it seemed very strange that when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran was enriching its low-enriched uranium from 3.5% up to 20 %, the Obama administration did not seize upon this declaration and use it to strengthen its case at the UN for instituting painful sanctions...Fareed Zakaria on Iran
Fareed Zakaria often has good insights on US foreign policy but he seems to get Iran totally wrong. Recently he wrote (February 22) an op-ed in the Washington Post, in which he asserted that a nuclear Iran could be deterred. He bases his argument on the shift in power inside...The Frightening Side of a Nuclear Iran
In the corridors of power in Washington, it is increasingly recognized privately that the US will not be able to halt the Iranian nuclear program and therefore the Obama Administration's Plan B is to rely on deterrence. They hope that the US and its allies can deter Iran the same way...The Dangerous Illusion of Relying on Deterrence Against a Nuclear Iran
The US and its allies are planning to ratchet up severe sanctions against Iran, in light of the decision of the leadership of the Islamic Republic to rebuff Western diplomatic offers and to go ahead with domestic enrichment of its low-enriched uranium to the 20 per cent level. This new...The Diplomacy of Delegitimization
Anyone analyzing what Israel's adversaries are planning should read the writing of Professor Richard Falk carefully. A former professor of international law at Princeton, where he defended the use of violence by Vietnam War protesters and supported the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, he was recently appointed by the...New Revelations About Goldstone's Report Seriously Undermine its Credibility
With Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah Halevi -- Studying the recent statements of Col. (ret.) Desmond Travers, the Irish military man who sat on the Goldstone panel, I couldn't believe what I was reading, when he argued that Israel used thermal sensitive UAV's to look inside of Palestinian homes in...Should Barack Obama Be Compared To Jimmy Carter?
Just when President Barack Obama is facing mounting criticism over his domestic agenda for the US, one of the leading American journals of international relations, Foreign Policy, published a cover story for its January/February issue comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter, who is widely perceived as having been a failed president....Bin Laden Connects Al-Qaeda Attacks to US Support for Israel
This week, Osama bin Laden took down from the shelves an old argument from his radical Islamic library, namely that Israel is the reason why al-Qaeda is presently trying to attack the US. In an audiotape broadcast on al-Jazeera on January 24, bin Laden took credit for the attempted airline...Israel's Forgotten Rights in Jerusalem
Israel has not yet declared its detailed positions in future talks with the Palestinians, and for understandable reasons. At this point, the government is justly focusing on the Iranian issue, which constitutes an existential threat. This is the context in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conducted his visit in Washington...U.S. Policy on Israeli Settlements
The Obama administration's tough, confrontational rhetoric on Israeli settlements raises a number of specific questions: Were Israeli settlements a violation of international law? Were Israeli settlements a violation of agreements and an obstacle to further progress in any future peace talks? Did the administration envision Israel withdrawing completely to...The Expansion of Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Jihadi Groups in Gaza: Diplomatic Implications
In the West there is a growing trend to view Hamas as separate from al-Qaeda in order to open a political dialogue with Hamas, but is this view correct? In its annual survey of terrorist threats to Israel during 2009, the Israel Security Agency noted the spread and buildup...
May 19, 2013The Bar Kochba Debate
September 7, 2012Lessons for Israel from captured Iraqi nuclear documents
August 31, 2012The dangers of accepting Iran as a nuclear threshold state
August 17, 2012Will America act against Iran?
May 19, 2013The Bar Kochba Debate
September 7, 2012Lessons for Israel from captured Iraqi nuclear documents
August 31, 2012The dangers of accepting Iran as a nuclear threshold state
August 17, 2012Will America act against Iran?
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