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Trump Administration Not Rushing To Move U.S. Embassy To Jerusalem

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Despite campaign promises, President Trump appears to be putting off any immediate decision on the location of the U.S. Embassy to Israel.

Obama Apparently Giving Up On Quixotic Bid For ‘Middle East Peace’

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President Obama has apparently come to the same realization as many of his predecessors, that trying to craft a legacy by single-handedly bring about “Middle East Peace” is largely a waste of time.

Gaza Cease Fire Extended, But Prospects For Bigger Peace Deal Seem Dim

Gaza Rockets

The two sides in Gaza keep extending the humanitarian cease fire, but remain miles apart on the major issues dividing them.

Gaza Truce Ends As Hamas Refuses To Extend Humanitarian Ceasefire

Gaza Rockets

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

72 Hour Gaza Ceasefire Collapses In Less Than Two Hours

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A glimmer of hope in Gaza is quickly snuffed out.

Israel Rejects Temporary Cease Fire Plan As Gaza Conflict Continues To Rage

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Hopes for a temporary respite in the Gaza conflict faded away today.

Israel Begins Ground Operations In Gaza

Gaza Rockets

The next phase of Israel’s attack on Hamas has begun.

Hamas Rejects Egyptian Cease Fire Deal Israel Had Accepted

Gaza Rockets

An effort yesterday to bring about a cease fire in Gaza came to naught when Hamas rejected the proposal.

Israel Intensifies Attacks On Gaza, Hints At Ground Invasion

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Things look to be going from bad to worse in Gaza.

Israel Hits Hamas In Response To Discovery Of Dead Teenagers

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Not surprisingly, the discovery late yesterday of the bodies of three dead teenagers, one of whom holds dual Israeli and American citizenship, has lead to retaliation against Hamas: The Israeli air force has launched a series of air raids on the Gaza Strip, hours after the bodies of three settlers were found in the occupied […]

Three Missing Israeli Teenagers Found Dead

Israel-Palestine-Flags

A sad end to the story of three missing Israeli boys: JERUSALEM — Israeli military searchers found three bodies believed to be those of the missing Israeli teenagers who disappeared more than two weeks ago in the occupied West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces said on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called an emergency […]

John Kerry Leads America’s Latest Quixotic Quest For Middle East Peace

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Secretary of State Kerry becomes the latest American official to wade into the Middle East’s longest lasting quagmire.

Report: Israel and Hamas Agree To Gaza Cease Fire

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It’s not official yet, and we had similar rumors yesterday that never materialized, but there are reports that Hamas and Israel have agreed to a cease fire in Gaza: (Reuters) – Israel and the Islamist militant group Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a Gaza ceasefire deal, said a Palestinian official with knowledge of Egyptian mediation […]

Israel Seems Headed Toward An Invasion Of Gaza

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The conflict between Israel and Hamas appears to be heading in one unfortunate direction.

Israeli Soldier Freed After Five Years Capitivity

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An Israeli solider that has held by Hamas for five years has been released after negotiations that also resulted in the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners: JERUSALEM — An Israeli soldier held for more than five years by the militant Palestinian group Hamaswas traded on Tuesday for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails […]

Turkish Ambassador: Hamas Should Play A Part In “Final Solution” Of Middle East Conflict

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A rather odd choice of words today from the Turkish Ambassador to the United States: In an unfortunate turn of phrase, the Turkish ambassador to Washington twice said Friday that the terrorist group Hamas is a necessary and important part of the “final solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Final solution” was the phrase Adolf Hitler […]

Another Observation about the Flotilla

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Andrew Exum: for the sake of argument, and putting ourselves in the shoes of an Israeli naval commander, let’s assume the most malevolent of motivations for the people participating in the peace flotilla. If I am in charge of doing that for the Israeli Navy, I am going to assume these people are smart and […]

Three Scenarios in the Gaza War

Today seems to be the day for presenting three scenarios. Tony Karon, writing at Time.com, presents three scenarios under which the Gaza War might end. The first scenario is regime change in Gaza: Given Israel’s long-term goal of ousting Hamas in Gaza, some key military and political leaders have urged that it expand the goals […]

True North

From the Toronto Star: OTTAWA—Canada stood alone before a United Nations human rights council yesterday, the only one among 47 nations to oppose a motion condemning the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. The vote before the Geneva-based body shows the Stephen Harper government has abandoned a more even-handed approach to the Middle East in favour […]

Tactics and Strategy in Gaza

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Very nearly since the beginning of the hostilities between Israel and Hamas that flared up two weeks ago and are ongoing critics have been saying that, not unlike the Israel-Hezbollah War in 2006, Israel was fighting towards a tactical victory and a strategic loss in Gaza. In a short piece for the Center for Strategic […]

Hamas’ War Crimes

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In a short New Atlanticist piece on “Hamas’ War Crimes,” I remind people that, while Israel isn’t the only party in the ongoing conflict in Gaza whose conduct deserves scrutiny. By flouting rules designed to protect noncombatants from the ravages of war, they themselves are making it more probable that their own people will be […]

Hamas Is Not An Iranian Proxy

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Ever since the Israeli attacks on Gaza began, some of the more hawkish elements among the punditry, such as Robert Kagan, have been claiming that Israel is not attacking Hamas so much as it is attacking Iran. Kagan states: Israel has just embarked on a land invasion of the Gaza Strip after a week of […]

Israeli Ground Forces Move Into Gaza

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As no doubt everyone knows by now, the IDF has moved tanks and troops into Gaza to attack Hamas directly. Israeli tanks and troops launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip Saturday night with officials saying they expected a lengthy fight with Hamas militants in the densely populated territory after eight days of punishing […]

No, This Isn’t the Crisis

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In the comments thread to James’s post about the recent Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza, a commenter wondered if that were the crisis that VP-Elect Joe Biden warned about. No, it isn’t. Foreign policy has a way of overwhelming most American presidencies. Our constitution is written that way and Barack Obama’s presidency is very […]

Israel Attacks Hamas in Gaza

Hamas Complex Destroyed Photo

Not surprisingly, the massive Israeli strikes into Gaza are the prime topic of conversation in the blogosphere. The basic facts, as reported by the NYT: Waves of Israeli airstrikes destroyed Hamas security facilities in Gaza on Saturday in a crushing response to the group’s rocket fire, killing more than 225 — the highest one-day toll […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Affirmative)

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On January 23, 1980 President Jimmy Carter enunciated what became known as the Carter Doctrine. He stated, “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by […]

Mahdi Army Transforming into Salvation Army?

Muqtada al-Sadr Disbanding Mahdi Army?

The Mahdi Army might soon be the Iraqi equivalent of the Salvation Army, Gina Chon reports for the Wall Street Journal. Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — long a thorn in the side of the U.S. military and Iraqi government — intends to disarm his once-dominant Mahdi Army militia and remake it as a social-services organization. […]

Fulbright Scholarships Restored for Gaza Students

Fulbright Scholarships Restored for Gaza Students

A bureaucratic SNAFU almost cost seven Palestinian students their ability to study abroad on prestigious Fulbright scholarships. The U.S. has reinstated the Fulbright scholarships of seven Gaza Strip students blocked by Israel from leaving the Hamas-ruled territory, the State Department said Monday. The students were informed Thursday that their scholarships for the upcoming academic year […]

Rachael Ray, Donut Terrorist

Rachel Ray, Donut Terrorist Photo

Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an ad spot featuring Rachael Ray wearing a scarf around her neck because some thought it was a subtle nod of support to Palestinians. Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic […]

More Allegations in Olmert Corruption Case

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Prosecutors in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s ongoing corrpution case have added taking cash bribes from a U.S. businessman to Olmert’s ever-expanding list of allegations: State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, speaking at a Supreme Court hearing, said investigators suspected New York businessman Morris Talansky had given Olmert “dollars, in cash and in envelopes, during brief meetings […]

McCain’s Hamas ‘Hypocrisy’

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Jamie Rubin, formerly Bill Clinton’s State Department spokesman, takes to the pages of the Washington Post to call out John McCain for hypocrisy in claiming that Barack Obama wants to “appease” Hamas. Riffing on John Kerry’s famous gaffe, the piece is subtitled, “McCain Was for Talking Before He Was Against It.” McCain is the last […]

“Hamas’ Worst Nightmare”

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Sean Hackbarth reports on a recent weblogger conference with John McCain. I don’t know if my colleague James participated in this one, though I know that he has in the past. What Hackbarth highlighted from the conference, and no doubt everyone else will, too, is this: Jennifer Rubin asked if Obama has given an unhelpful […]

Mullen: We ‘Will Have to Deal with Iran in the Very Near Future’

Mullen: We 'Will Have to Deal with Iran in the Very Near Future' Atlantic Council

Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a very profound statement at Monday night’s Atlantic Council awards dinner that has received virtually no press notice: That we “will have to deal with Iran in the very near future.” Here’s the context: We also live in a time where Iran routinely […]

Aksa Brigades Call for Murder of Palestinian PM

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The al Aksa Martyr Brigades put out a leaflet advocating the assassination of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for “collaboration” with Israel and the US. This was the first time the group has openly […]

Most Saudis Oppose al Qaeda

Most Saudis Oppose al Qaeda

A recent survey of Saudi Arabian adults finds a complicated view of America, terrorism, and freedom. Most Saudi Arabia citizens interviewed in a poll oppose terrorism and want closer ties with the United States. But many Saudis remain opposed to making peace with Israel, according to what researchers call an unprecedented survey of the kingdom. […]

American Hubris in the Middle East

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I was listening to a discussion on the Diane Rehm Show this morning on the Annapolis Mideast Peace Conference this morning, featuring Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief for Al-Arabiya TV, Glenn Kessler, diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post, and Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and director of the Saban Center. It was, as […]

Defining ‘Success’ for the Annapolis Conference

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Like most analysts, Peter Brookes sees little chance that the Annapolis Conference will solve the longstanding Arab-Israeli crisis. He does think, however, that it is already a resounding success. The bulk of his column is devoted to the obstacles that will almost surely prevent much substantive change. Several major players have an interest in keeping […]

Condoleeza Rice’s Highs and Lows

Condoleeza Rice's Highs and Lows Photo

While Condoleeza Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State is, so far as I’m aware, not set to expire for another fourteen months, the AP has nonetheless rolled out a story on Rice’s Highs and Lows. Interestingly, the listed highs are pretty substantial and the lows seem to be almost entirely happenstance. Among the lows: Getting […]

Palestinians Seeking Israeli Citizenship

As the reality of Palestinian autonomy takes hold, with a permanent division of Jerusalem a likely outcome, thousands of Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem calling to set up an appointment with the Interior Ministry to apply for an Israeli citizenship will discover the next available interview date is only […]

Israeli Soldier Exposes Breasts to Flee Interrogation

Israeli Soldier Exposes Breasts Photo

Now, here’s a headline you don’t see every day: “Soldier flees interrogation by exposing breasts.” An IDF soldier fled an interrogation room by exposing her breasts to a stunned officer. The soldier was interrogated at the Biranit army base on the northern border after she refused to undergo a drugs test. A short while after […]

Islamofascism

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Monday’s essay by Christopher Hitchens defending the term “Islamofascism” drew quite a bit of blogospheric reaction. Matt Yglesias responds to it with what amounts to a straw man and yet backhandedly makes a valid point. [The term] provide[s] a spurious patina of unity and sameness to diverse phenomena involving Muslims Behaving Badly so that al-Qaeda, […]

Israel Frees 255 Palestinian Prisoners

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Israel freed 255 Palestinian prisoners in an attempt to strengthen the hand of Fatah in its power struggle with Hamas. Israel released more than 250 Palestinian prisoners Friday, aiming to bolster embattled President Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with the Islamic militants of Hamas, which took control of Gaza by force last month. Several […]

Al Qaeda Leadership in Iran?!

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The National Intelligence Estimate reportedly finds that the Salafist Sunni terrorist group al Qaeda has been reconstituted in Shiite theocracy of Iran. One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where the American intelligence community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Green Eggs and Hamas Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Losing The War Against Radical Islam?

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Fareed Zakaria notes that there are several hopeful signs in the fight against Islamist terrorism, including the capture of important leaders and several schisms threatening to break apart alliances in Iraq and elsewhere. Moreover, he argues, the jihadists face numerous structural problems. The split between Sunnis and Shiites—which plays a role in Lebanon as well—is […]

Arab Agenda

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Marc Lynch has been keeping track of the major agenda items at the wide circulation Arab media — specifically, “al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya programs (since they are the two most-viewed TV stations with a region-wide audience) and the content of major Arab op-ed pages” — for several years in an effort to track anti-Americanism and the […]

Yasir Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize Stolen

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Rioters around the Palestinian territory have looted and ransacked the homes of several Fatah leaders, living or otherwise. Most notably, the late Yasir Arafat’s home was stripped clean, including his Nobel Peace Prize. Enraged Fatah leaders on Saturday accused Hamas militiamen of looting the home of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City. […]

Palestinian Coup

UPI International Editor Claude Salhani contends that Hamas’ taking control of Gaza by force is even more catastrophic than most observers realize. The violent confrontation between warring Palestinian factions unfolding in Gaza is far more than a civil war. It’s a coup d’etat accompanied by a civil war. And it’s also the most serious, most […]

Hamas Uses Mickey Mouse to Teach Terror

Mickey Mouse: Jihad leader? He looks like Mickey Mouse and sounds like Mickey Mouse, but what he’s saying is hardly the fairytale stuff of Disney. A Mickey Mouse look-alike named Farfur is teaching Palestinian children the ABCs of terror on Hamas’ official television station, Al-Aqsa TV. On the weekly program “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” Farfur and a […]

Air Travel Becomes Mass Commodity, Service Declines

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Air travel is getting steadily worse, David Lazarus laments in the San Francisco Chronicle, with airlines charging more while taking away or charging for all comforts and amenities from coach passengers. They’re now charging for movies and meal, both of which were included in the ticket price not long ago, and a few carriers are […]

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