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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The future of Spanish Jewry


Should Jews leave Spain? Following last Thursday’s jihadist attack in Barcelona, Barcelona’s chief rabbi, Meir Bar- Hen, told a reporter that he is urging his community members to flee Spain for Israel. “I tell my congregants: Don’t think we’re here for good, and I encourage them to buy property in Israel,” he said. “This place is lost,” he warns, adding,…

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Trump and the Jews


On Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter of support to the American Jewish community in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday. On the surface, his move made sense – the largest Diaspora community is concerned about the growing profile of viciously antisemitic forces on the Right. But at a deeper level, Rivlin’s move was detrimental.…

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Netanyahu’s great challenge


Over the weekend, it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports legislation that would change the procedure for declaring war. The bill, supported by the government as well as by Netanyahu’s opponent and former finance minister Yair Lapid, involves implementing lessons learned from past experiences. Under the suggested law, the government will provide the security cabinet with blanket authority…

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America’s strategic paralysis


On Thursday morning, for the second time in so many days, North Korea threatened to attack the US territory of Guam with nuclear weapons. Taken together with Pyongyang’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, and the US’s Defense Intelligence Agency’s acknowledgment this week that North Korea has the capacity to miniaturize nuclear bombs and so launch them as warheads…

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Preparing for the post-Abbas era


PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas scored a victory against Israel at the Temple Mount. But it was a Pyrrhic one. Days after the government bowed to his demand and voted to remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, Abbas checked into the hospital for tests. The 82-year-old dictator has heart disease and a series of other…

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Losing and winning the Temple Mount


Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet caved in to the demands of the PLO and its partners in Hamas, the Islamic Movement, Jordan, Iran and Turkey by agreeing to remove metal detectors and other security screening equipment from the Temple Mount. The equipment was installed last month in response to Palestinian incitement and acts of jihadist…

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