A recent research project I initiated on Israeli settlement policy seems to have created an unholy alliance. After the findings were criticized by both Yesha Council and PLO representatives, a new voice now entered this debate: Lara Friedman, Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now (APN). Here’s a generalization with which I am comfortable: whenever the PLO, Peace Now, and Yesha agree on anything, hold on to your wallet. Read more »
Last September, 2013, after President Obama changed his mind at the last minute about attacking the Assad regime to punish it for the use of sarin gas, the United States entered into an agreement with Russia that was supposed to get all chemical weapons out of Syria and prevent a recurrence of these war crimes. Read more »
Criticism of construction in Israeli settlements has grown in the last five years, not least in Washington–but in this same period Israel has been focusing more and more of the construction in less and less of the West Bank. In a new article at the Foreign Affairs web site entitled “Facts on the Ground: Inside Israel’s Settlement Slowdown,” Uri Sadot and I explain the story Here are some excerpts: Read more »
Will the crisis in Iraq lead to a rapprochement with Iran? Will the effort to strike a nuclear deal expand into a broader agreement?
That is the nightmare of many of our allies in the Middle East, including the Gulf Arab states, Jordan, and Israel. My colleague Max Boot in his blog today explains why it is a dangerous idea to think that we have common interests with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. At the Commentary Magazine web site, Max has written “Getting Fooled by Iran in Iraq.” Here is an excerpt: Read more »
Just days after the fall of Mosul, chaos is spreading in Iraq. The New York Times reports that:
Sunni militants extended their control over parts of northern and western Iraq on Wednesday as Iraqi government forces crumbled in disarray. The militants overran the city of Tikrit, seized facilities in the strategic oil refining town of Baiji, and threatened an important Shiite shrine in Samarra as they moved south toward Baghdad. Read more »
The fall of Mosul, Iraq to a terrorist group should change the American perceptions of developments in the Middle East. Although the Obama administration has spent its efforts in the region on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that front is actually stable: no one is predicting or expecting a massive collapse into violence. Read more »
Pressure Points tracks developments in the Middle East and democratization and human rights issues globally.