Browsing Category : Posts

Pining for fig leafs


Friday, long-time US diplomats and Middle East experts Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky published an article in Foreign Policy expressing “buyers’ remorse” over Saudi Arabia’s newfound willingness to take the lead in regional affairs. Titled, “Donald Trump has unleashed the Saudi Arabia we always wanted – and feared,” Miller and Sokolsky note that for generations, US policymakers wanted the…

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Iran’s very good week


You have to hand it to the Iranians. They don’t play around. Just hours after President Donald Trump gave his speech outlining the contours of a new US policy toward Iran, senior Iranian officials were on the ground in Iraq and Syria not only humiliating the US, but altering the strategic balance in Iran’s favor. Last Friday Trump said that…

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Breaking Israel’s Imperial Court


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an applause line that should have brought the house down in his speech at Wednesday’s official ceremony celebrating 50 years of settlement in Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Netanyahu was speaking before a crowd of thousands in Gush Etzion, which was destroyed by the Arab Legion in the War of…

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Yair Netanyahu and the angry left


Yair Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 26-year-old son, has been getting some harsh press in recent weeks. Yair walked (or toddled) onto the stage of public life when he was five years old as he and his then two-year-old little brother Avner accompanied their parents, Bibi and Sara, into the Prime Minister’s Residence for the first time in 1996. For…

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The State Department’s strange obsession


The law of Occam’s Razor, refined to common parlance, is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. If we apply Occam’s Razor to recently reported positions of the US State Department, then we can conclude that the people making decisions at Foggy Bottom have “issues” with Jews and with Israel. Last Friday, JTA reported that the State Department…

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When great institutions lie


Over the past week, two major US institutions have produced studies that discredit their names and reputations as credible organizations. Their actions are important in and of themselves. But they also point to a disturbing trend in the US in which the credibility of important American institutions is being undermined from within by their members who pursue narrow partisan or…

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North Korea’s ultimatum to America


The nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea entered a critical phase Sunday with North Korea’s conduct of an underground test of a thermonuclear bomb. If the previous round of this confrontation earlier this summer revolved around Pyongyang’s threat to attack the US territory of Guam, Sunday’s test, together with North Korea’s recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable…

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The strategic case for Kurdistan


If the leaders of Iraqi Kurdistan aren’t intimidated into standing down, on September 25, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan will go to the polls to vote on a referendum for independence. The Kurds have been hoping to hold the referendum since 2013. Whereas Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu restated his support for Kurdish independence earlier this month in a meeting with…

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The politics of protesting unelected politicians


The big story in Israel over the past several weeks has been the protests outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, which have grown in size and bitterness over the past month. For the past nine months, every Saturday night protesters have gathered outside Mandelblit’s apartment building in Petah Tikva to demand that he indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The…

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Netanyahu’s empathy for Trump


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attacked by the media for not jumping on the bandwagon and condemning US President Donald Trump for his response to the far-right and far-left rioters in Charlottesville earlier this month. It may be that he held his tongue because he saw nothing to gain from attacking a friendly president. But it is also reasonable to…

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