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Diplomacy

Briefs

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

The next step in the Trump shibboleth-marauding strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appears to have just happened: The President has threatened the Palestinians with withholding aid if they continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table.

These were merely tweets, a new lower level of presidential statement, but nonetheless they’re another demonstration to the Palestinians that they do in fact have things to lose by maintaining the conflict indefinitely. It seems a softening up before negotiations begin so that this time they will finally actually end with a deal.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

In Mosaic, Martin Kramer tells the tale, set over lunch in Ein Kerem, of the closest Jerusalem ever got to internationalization. (At one point I found the internationalization of Jerusalem a heady and exciting notion—providing of course that the UN move its HQ there.) A most vivid history op-ed piece.

Monday, December 18th, 2017

This investigative piece by Josh Meyer in Politico depicts a DEA investigation into global Hezballah criminal activity undercut by an Obama Administration hell-bent on a deal with Iran.

Monday, December 11th, 2017

There has never been a West European post-Second World War policy in [the Middle East] except to await the American position and then stake out something more favourable to the Arabs.

Conrad Black, “The Palestinians should take what they can get while they can”

 

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Yes, yes, yes — another nice one by Evelyn Gordon. Unusually, Trump’s UN speech did not even mention the Palestinians. The omission is the first diplomatic suggestion to them that they may have something to lose by intransigence. To date, the only policy I can think of that has served this purpose is settlements.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

InspireConversation is the parenting blog of, together with his wife, Jason Greenblatt. He is the presidential envoy who accompanied Israel’s Head of Security Services to Jordan to defuse the recent Israeli embassy crisis there.

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Efraim Inbar provides the background to the hugely significant first-time-ever visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister.

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Scimitar

Peter Niesewand

♦♦

In a bookstore this thriller paperback jumped out at me due to its familiarity; I had read it or author Peter Niesewand’s previous thriller Fallback decades ago as an early teenager and remembered it positively.

It’s Americans versus Russians towards the end of the Cold War, and disarmament talks are going on, but the Soviets have been cheating and using secret weapons in Afghanistan. Turns out this author did indeed spend time in Afghanistan, hence the persuasive veracity of the book’s second half. He was a white Rhodesian, a political prisoner, who became a rather glamorous and celebrated foreign correspondent for The Guardian. Sadly he died at the very young age of 39 — Wikipedia says from a disease he contracted in Afghanistan.

It’s fun to read this sort of thing once in a while, even if the protagonists are a bit plasticky. The passage of time arguably gives it more value, as it captures the concerns and conflicts of a particular period.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Dispensability of Allies by George Friedman — probably the only required reading on President Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, even if it is rather dismal.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Good point, yes. If under Trump it’s between the symbol of a U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem or the reality of continued building throughout the city—as it may well come down to—then the choice is clear, writes Nadav Shragai.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The world’s most (only?) prescient columnist takes a step back to show us where Russia and China are similar and different to America. This article is one for these new times, to be sure.

Ian Buruma on Brussels. I found it a pretty exciting city so when I saw this article I jumped on it (plus I vaguely remember being impressed by something else this fellow wrote) and it’s pretty sweeping and fun.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

The New York Times attempts to embarrass Trump’s new appointment by linking to eight of incoming American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s columns in Arutz Sheva as if his words alone are enough to horrify. I for one though agree with everything he writes in these, except perhaps in “Time to Regroup on Iran” where he suggests hitting Hamas harder — not sure about that. I’m with him on J Street, and there’s great stuff on what he dubs the two-state narrative.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, talks to Die Zeit about Germany’s own debt relief and the proper way forward now.

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Perhaps most useful for its fulsome array of interesting links, nonetheless this essay into the Anglo-American way of empire goes the furthest I know in explaining why they’re the worst except for all the others.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies summarizes its 8th annual conference. They seem in agreement with the international view that progress with the Palestinians is the key.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

In tandem with Robert Kagan’s recent piece on post-WW2 Pax Americana, Lee Smith suggests Obama is (mistakenly) pursuing a balance of power rather than hegemonic arrangement in the Middle East.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Perhaps the most frightening thing about this much-lauded essay on America’s post-WWII hegemony is that it was written at all, that our world order is receding so far so fast that we, or at least Robert Kagan, can see outside it.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Jonathan Spyer bracingly articulates the Right’s two fundamental arguments for the inevitability of the failure of John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Dore Gold recounts Iran’s first ‘charm offensive’: its use of the tactic of khod’eh, ie, “tricking one’s enemy into a misjudgment of one’s true position”, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini waged a successful deception campaign from exile in Paris.

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Galei Zahal (IDF Radio)‘s Arab Affairs correspondent looks acutely at the Syrian civil war from Hezballah’s perspective. It’s all-out Sunni-Shiite confrontation.

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

INS Rahav follows Dolphin, Leviathan, Tekumah and Tannin as Israel’s, among other functions, Made in (and partially paid for by) Germany doomsday device. What a thing.

Peres and the Pope as covered by the Voice of America (Reuters). This meeting has not gotten much coverage.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

“On the Festival of Freedom, we are taking an important step toward energy independence,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced, as Israel’s Mediterranean natural gas fields turn online (FT registration required).

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Israel is finally addressing Syria’s systematic murder and torture of its own civilians.
They are our neighbors and I hope we apply our ingenuity and power
to bettering their circumstances.

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The power shvitz in the basement of the Finnish embassy in Washington.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

“ A world that places any value on the idea of universal human rights
should no longer overlook North Korea’s enormities. ” —The Economist

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Dore Gold’s Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs summarizes the gradual thawing of China-Israel relations as China matures.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

There’s a name for something I’ve always wanted to do and lacked the gumption and follow-through and doubted it: Radical Honesty. The FAQ.

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

“European “normality” was based to a large extent on West German “abnormality”. Now that the reunified Germany is becoming more “normal”, it is undermining European “normality.” A sobering analysis of Deutsch affairs by Tony Corn.

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

What’s there to disagree with in The Third Man, Elliott Abrams’ account of the Obama-Bibi-Abbas fracas.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Walter Russell Mead waxes deep on Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. “…The people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul.”

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

 
 

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