Showing posts for "U.S. foreign policy"
Senator Rand Paul has tried to attain some pro-Israel credentials by introducing S. 2265, the “Stand With Israel Act of 2014.” The bill would cut off every cent of aid to the Palestinian Authority unless various conditions were met. As Paul put it, “Today, I introduced legislation to make all future aid to the Palestinian government conditional upon the new unity government putting itself on the record recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and agreeing to a lasting peace.” The bill covers “the Palestinian Authority, or any affiliated governing entity or leadership organization.” Read more »
Secretary of State Kerry has put enormous effort into the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Most recently, there has been talk of a three-way deal wherein Israel releases 426 prisoners (some of them murderers, and some of them citizens of Israel), the United States releases the spy Jonathan Pollard, and the PLO agrees to stay at the negotiating table for a year. Read more »
As a former official of the George W. Bush administration, I’ve always been amazed and amused by the foolish trope that that administration believed in military power and bullying, as contrasted with the Obama administration’s belief in diplomacy.
It’s getting to be a habit. For the Ukrainians facing Russian aggression, we shipped MREs: meals ready to eat.
For Syrian rebels facing Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Assad’s armed forces, we are shipping ambulances and medical kits. To be more exact, Foreign Policy reports that “The State Department is about to begin delivering tens of millions of dollars worth of new assistance into Syria, including ambulances, communications gear and Toyota pickup trucks for the country’s beleaguered rebels. The so-called non-lethal assistance effort for rebels has included buses and pickup trucks, blankets, 550,000 packaged military meals and, just last month, about 1,000 medical kits.” Read more »
When the Kerry negotiations fail to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace, many observers in Europe and even some in the United States will attribute the disappointment to Israel and especially to “Israel’s right wing government” under Prime Minister Netanyahu. Read more »
You can’t always get what you want, the Rolling Stones once told us. But you can, actually, in a push poll: a poll designed to elicit a certain result and then advertised as achieving that result.
This past week the Atlantic Council released a poll it had sponsored about U.S. relations with Cuba. Here’s one key aspect of the poll: When respondents were told “Cuba continues to have a dismal human rights record. The Castro regime represses virtually all forms of political dissent through detentions, arbitrary arrests, beatings, travel restrictions, forced exile, and sentencing dissidents in closed trials,” we find that 33 percent this was a “very important” reason to keep the current U.S. policy and 17 percent said it’s “somewhat important,” for a total of 50 percent. And 43 percent the human rights abuses make it somewhat important or very important to change the policy. Read more »
Pressure Points tracks developments in the Middle East and democratization and human rights issues globally.