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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

Gaza Attack 2

A glimmer of hope in Gaza is quickly snuffed out.

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.

Palestinians Present Statehood Application To United Nations

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We may have entered a new and dangerous phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At U.N., Obama Says There Are No Shortcuts To Peace

Barack Obama

President Obama explained his position on the Palestinian statehood resolution today, but one wonders if anyone listened.

Rick Perry’s Odd And Alarming Critique Of U.S. Mideast Policy

Rick Perry at Podium1

Rick Perry’s speech criticizing the President’s policies in the Middle East raised more questions than it answered.

Mike Huckabee: If Palestinians Want Their Own Country, They Should Go Take Over An Arab One

Israel Palestine Flags

Apparently, this is what passes for foreign policy analysis among potential candidates for the GOP nomination in 2012: JERUSALEM (AP) — Potential 2012 U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Tuesday that if Palestinians want an independent state, they should seek it from Arabs — not Israel. The evangelical minister and Fox News host said Jews […]

Obama Seen As Biggest Impediment To Middle East Peace

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Israelis and Palestinians don’t agree on much these days, but they do agree that Barack Obama hasn’t helped the peace process at all since coming to office.

What Does Snack Food Have To Do With Keeping Weapons Out Of Gaza ?

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That’s the question raised by yesterday’s announcement that Israel would now allow snack food and drinks to be imported in to the Gaza Strip: Israel is easing its Gaza embargo to allow snack food and drinks into the Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials said Wednesday, following an international outcry over Israel’s raid on an aid flotilla. […]

What Could Possibly Go Wrong ?

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Iran enters the fray over Gaza: Iran has warned that it could send Revolutionary Guard naval units to escort humanitarian aid convoys seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza – a move that would certainly be challenged by Israel. Any such Iranian involvement, raised today by an aide to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali […]

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 […]

Is Obama’s Treatment of Netanyahu Anti-Semitic?

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In answer to the question, “Why has Barack Obama treated Netanyahu so ‘rudely’?”, Glenn Reynolds responds: Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really. This is absolutely absurd. First of all, I wouldn’t characterize the President of the United States not completely kowtowing to […]

Quote of the Day – Bernanke Edition

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“Y’know, you can’t wish these things into being.” – Dan Drezner, commenting on Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s “eliding of the international dimension of policymaking.” Much of the commentary I’m seeing on responding to major crises — whether we’re talking about the global financial crisis, energy, climate change, or Middle East peace — these days ignores […]

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 (Neg. Rebuttal)

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Since this is my last entry in the debate, I’d like to thank Bernard Finel for what I think has been an excellent, interesting, and informative debate. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do when I was moved to propose this debate: I’ve established that complete disengagement with the Middle East (the resolution of […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Aff. Cross)

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Question 1 (Finel): You write: “I believe the evidence speaks clearly: the increased U. S. engagement in the region has overall been a stabilizing force.” What is the precise benefit to the United States of this increased stability? Are American interests in the region more or less secure today as a result? Or is this […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Neg. Cross)

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Question 1: What evidence do you have that reducing our “footprint” and “fingerprint” will result in a reduction of radicalism in the Middle East? BERNARD FINEL: Obviously, it is impossible to prove a hypothetical, so there is no direct evidence to support my contention that reducing our visibility will reduce radicalism. Indeed, I don’t think […]

Obama Offends 1.5 Billion Muslims

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Writing at the San Francisco Chronicle, George Bisharat charges that Barack Obama unnecessarily offended the world’s Muslims by pandering to the Israel lobby. On his first day as the presumptive Democratic candidate for president earlier this month, Barack Obama committed a serious foreign policy blunder. Reciting a litany of pro-Israeli positions at the annual meeting […]

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 […]

Obama’s Jewish Problem

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While much has been made of Barack Obama’s problems with white working class voters, especially in Appalachia, a more problematic trend may be signs of trouble with Jewish voters, a strong if relatively small part of the Democratic base. Today’s NYT features Jodi Kantor’s story, “Many Florida Jews Express Doubts on Obama.” On Thursday, Mr. […]

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 […]

Counterinsurgency Dulling Combat Skills?

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Thomas Ricks reports that Matt Matthews, a historian at the Army’s Combat Studies Institute, has written a new report concluding that “five years of fighting insurgents in Iraq may also have dulled U.S. soldiers’ skills at more conventional combat.” The study, apparently, isn’t a case study of the U.S. military but rather the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah […]

Acireman Foreign Policy

Policy Review

I’d like to bring an article in the Hoover Institutions’s publication, Policy Review, A Moral Core for U.S. Foreign Policy by Derek Chollet and Tod Lindberg, to your attention. In the article the authors note that …after two successive presidents of opposite political parties (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) have argued that spreading American […]

News You Can Use

Butterscotch Pudding

Megan McArdle observes that, “When I tuned into the morning news yesterday, the BBC was covering the Gaza strip. Fox News was teaching people how to make homemade butterscotch pudding.” I gather that she disapproves of Fox’ choice. But, really, learning about the latest bizarre chapter in Palestine will have precisely zero practical consequence. By […]

Gazans Knock Down Border, Flee to Egypt

Gazans Knock Down Border, Flee to Egypt

Massive numbers of Palestinians are fleeing to Egypt. Tens of thousands of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from Gaza Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile barrier dividing the border town of Rafah. The border breach was a dramatic protest against the closure of the […]

Aksa Brigades Call for Murder of Palestinian PM

Prime Minister Salaam Fayad Photo

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. […]

James Jones Appointed Middle East Special Envoy

General James Jones Atlantic Council Photo

Former Marine Commandant and Supreme Allied Commander James Jones will be appointed as Special Envoy for Middle East Security, AP reports. A former NATO commander is expected to accept a role as adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on security issues related to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a peace accord, officials […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rice Calls for Palestinian State

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The United States has, more explicitly than before, called for a Palestinian state. Saying the time is now for a Palestinian state, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday prodded Israel and the Palestinians to agree at a U.S.-sponsored conference this fall on how and when to start formal peace talks. In one of her […]

France to Rejoin NATO Military Command

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All signs point to France rejoining NATO’s military structure more than forty years after declaring its independence and kicking the alliance headquarters out of Paris. Norman Polmar provides some background: France is expected to soon rejoin NATO’s military command after a 40-year absence. The French government withdrew from the NATO military structure in 1966 (although […]

Rudy Giuliani’s Dangerously Stupid Foreign Policy Vision

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Foreign Affairs is giving each of the major 2008 presidential candidates space to write a manifesto of their views on international relations. Rudy Giuliani has weighed in with “Toward a Realistic Peace.” [Also at RCP.] It is not particularly realistic — let alone Realist — and certainly does not contemplate peace. Highlights: “We have responded […]

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 […]

Why Lefty Bloggers Are Owed a Living Redux

Susie Madrak, under the attention-grabbing headline “No More Dead Bloggers,” laments “the utter injustice of a Democratic political system that is very, very happy to take the money and volunteers the blogosphere sends its way” and yet returns only “Bubkis” to the non-A-listers. There is not even a little doubt in my mind that, if […]

Brown Becomes PM, Blair Middle East Envoy

Gordon Brown Becomes British Prime Minister Photo

It’s official: Gordon Brown is the new PM. Former Treasury chief Gordon Brown became British prime minister Wednesday, promising “a new government with new priorities,” after Tony Blair left office with a legacy of economic prosperity overshadowed by the deeply divisive Iraq war. Power changed hands traditionally and quietly behind closed doors in Buckingham Palace […]

Fred Thompson’s UK Speech

The text of Fred Thompson’s speech to the London Policy Exchange, which I referenced earlier, is up at Townhall. Some excerpts: Differences of party and domestic policy are incidental, compared to the bigger considerations that define Britain and America as allies. On both sides of the Atlantic, what matters most are the commitments we share, […]

More Directions on Iraq

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Back in December of last year I hosted something I referred to as a “blog colloquium”, “Directions on Iraq”. At that time I attempted to recruit contributors who could present practical alternatives other than slogging through for dealing with the situation in Iraq. I received several dozen polite refusals (and a good number of tacit […]

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 […]

Gaza Becoming More Like Somalia

An unsigned report from StrategyPage: Gaza is becoming more like Somalia, with multiple armed groups struggling like gangsters to control their turf. Into the mix has come Islamic fundamentalist groups, who want to control every aspect of peoples lives. Thus nearly a hundred businesses and organizations, believed to be “un-Islamic” have been attacked recently in […]

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 […]

Islamic World’s Attitudes on US Strongly Negative

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US Public Diplomacy: A long row to hoe in the Islamic World Worldpublicopinion.org a project of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, has recently published an public opinion poll on attitudes toward the US, terrorist organization, and a generalized ‘clash of civilizations’. [The link is to a 28-page PDF document. […]

Obama’s Israel Problem Obscures His EU Problem

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Several reports this morning mention Barack Obama’s omission of Israel from the list of America’s top allies in last night’s debate, which didn’t strike me as a particularly big deal. Foreign Policy‘s Blake Hounshell, though, makes a good argument why it might be: Moderator Brian Williams asked Obama who he considered the United States’ top […]

Hamas Declares Truce with Israel Over

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Hamas has announced the end of its truce with Israeli. Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells toward Israel on its independence day Tuesday, and said they considered it the end of a five-month truce with Israel. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, whose Hamas-led government negotiated the cease-fire with its militant wing, […]

Carter Center Advisors Resign Over Apartheid Book

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The protests against Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid continue to mount, with yesterday’s resignations of fourteen members of the Carter Center Board of Councilors. In their resignation letter, they tell Carter, “You have clearly abandoned your historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side.” It’s not clear why they […]

Death of the Arab Nation-State?

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Yoav Fromer expands the Iraq as Humpty Dumpty meme at TNR, perhaps even more soberly: Despite utopian visions of an Arab nation-state with a modernized economy, social justice, and constitutional republicanism, the reality was sobering. Failed central planning, lack of capital, excessive military expenditures, and inadequate education–among other factors–cut short grandiose plans. The result plunged […]

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