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Mouth of the Crocodile River iPhone 6S Monday, September 26th, 2016.

Top Hat & Defence Ministry
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Top Hat & Defence Ministry iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Mouth of the Crocodile River
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Mouth of the Crocodile River iPhone 6S Monday, September 26th, 2016.

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Regional Affairs

Briefs

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Who showed up, who stayed home, and who broadcast a weather program while Erdoğan spoke at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit condemning America’s recognition of Israel’s capital. Jordan was there but Saudi, Egypt and the UAR weren’t.

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Tom Gross lays out the case for optimism over an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal happening sooner rather than later. To me this is utterly obvious and almost straightforward but as usual it’s the precise opposite of how the Western media portrays things to be.

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”

Conrad Black and Caroline Glick publish their Trump Declaration responses. Black says it all so well while Glick argues that this was a masterstroke on many levels. Conrad, Caroline: you’re with me.

Also Abraham Ben-Zvi briefly compares Trump’s defiance of his own government regarding Israel to that of Truman and Kennedy, rather propelling The Donald into the pantheon.

Marcus Pretzell is one German member of the EU Parliament who supports the declaration and says other do too but fear to speak up.

Finally, Rashid Khalidi’s response illustrates the unhappy thrashings-about of the opposing side.

 

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

On the eve of US recognition of Israel’s capital, very much in-the-loop Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks (three paragraphs at a time!) to the Global Politico podcast.

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.

In a nice interview about his book, the great Yanis Varoufakis reviews what happened during the Greek bailout negotiations.

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Trump Ends Support to Anti-Assad Rebels. Trump’s empty embassy move promise was it seems a symbolic harbinger of things to come. By letting Russia control what happens in Syria near Israel’s border, Trump is betraying the fundamental security interests of ally Israel, not to mention doubling down on its dereliction of superpower duty, which means abandoning American long-term interests.

Modi and Netanyahu, India and Israel’s prime ministers, are a match made in history. By Jonathan Spyer in The American Interest.

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

“Gazans today are more moderate than West Bankers on the key question of permanent peace with Israel,” reports David Pollock at The Washington Institute based on what he calls “reliable data from a new survey conducted there May 16-25 by a professional, independent Palestinian pollster.” I thought it might augur hope for an eventual end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but 44% of Gazans and 55% of West Bankers still believe the conflict “should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated”. And 46% of Gazans blame Israel for their economic woes while only 4% blame Egypt. [via dailyalert.com]

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.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This is fascinating: Turks residing in liberal Europe voted far more heavily for Erdogan’s authoritarian referendum — about 70/30 — than did Turks at home, about 50/50. Far less still did Turks in the USA and the UK vote for it — about 84% and 80% against respectively. A measure of ideological/cultural integration?

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.

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Thank you, Evelyn Gordon, for providing some clarity for those now afar over why so many Israelis are supporting Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter for killing subdued terrorist Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

“The Kemalist era in Turkish history lasted for almost 100 years, but finally came to an end in the last 18 hours.” A great balance between up-to-the-minute reports and historical background, Walter Russell Mead live-blogs the failed Turkish Coup.

Friday, June 17th, 2016

As part of a series of articles on Israel in Foreign Affairs, Aluf Benn worries from the center-Left about crumbling social and political norms while Martin Kramer expresses satisfaction about ever-strengthening strategic might [requires registration, only 1 free article].

Friday, February 19th, 2016

In the wake of what seems to this layman to be unwisely tepid Western support, the Kurds of Iraq are building a relationship with Iran.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Quite the sentence, this, from Walter Russell Mead: “Products of meritocratic selection who hold key positions in the social machine, the bien-pensant custodians of post-historical ideology—editorial writers at the NY Times, staffers in cultural and educational bureaucracies, Eurocratic functionaries, much of the professoriat, the human rights priesthood and so on—are utterly convinced that they see farther and deeper than the less credentialed, less educated, less tolerant and less sophisticated knuckle-dragging also-rans outside the magic circle of post-historical groupthink.”

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

A week in Berlin, where all anyone can talk about is refugees, and the author observes: “All this moral unction reminds me of the reality-challenged 1920s in Europe, which gave rise to the very ugly 1930s.”

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The latest Troika loan package is an “exact repeat of the self-defeating policy that caused Greek debt dynamics to spin out of control in the last two…” rues this astute, outraged commentator. What with the Iran deal as well, we seem these last couple of days to be watching the West’s self-immolation.

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.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The 4th Arab capital is in our hands, declared one Iranian parliament member, referring to Sana’a, Yemen. “Three Arab capitals [Beirut, Damascus and Baghdad] have already fallen… and belong to the Iranian Islamic Revolution.”

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Israel’s INSS thinktank looks at “realizing the strategic opportunity created in the wake of Operation Protective Edge,” ie, reconstruction of Gaza. “Even if it seems that the prospects are slim,” they sensibly write, “the effort is important in and of itself.”

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

“Even a just war should be supported unfeverishly.” Leon Wieseltier articulates my own disquiet. “A provocation does not relieve one of accountability for how one responds to it.”

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Not only isn’t the Israel Broadcasting Association listing the names of the child fatalities from the Gaza bombings but refusing to let B’Tselem pay for an ad doing so. And the Attorney General has upheld the decision. This seems to me a mistake. We must fully own these deeds.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Read this serious analysis of the conflict in Gaza so far by Amos Yadlin, director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Michael J. Totten and Samuel Tadros discuss Egypt’s failed revolution. Tadros concludes that the US should withdraw aid in order to shock the
Egyptians into getting real.

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

According to the reputable Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, led by Dore Gold, ISIS is an Iranian surrogate.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Beyond bracin’, stormin’ Norman Podhoretz eviscerates the Palestinian position in the wake of the Kerry talks collapse.

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Devising tailor-made rules of international law for application only where Israel is concerned undermines international law and can have an insidious and corrosive effect on the rule of law in general.

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Sorry, but more David P. Goldman, this time at Tablet with “Dumb and Dumber” (not his title) on recent US Middle East policy. He begins: “Errors by the party in power can get America into trouble; real catastrophes require consensus.” Like liberals, neocons got mugged by reality.

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The horror, the horror. Spengler looks at Syria. What we’ve seen so far, he says, are merely the preliminary skirmishes of Sunni-Shi’ite war.

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.

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I like what the Middle East has become. The inevitabilities are being processed and Iran is more isolated than ever.

Thomas PM Barnett

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).

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

“The Bashar al-Assad regime commits atrocities that are designed to be unforgivable,” Spengler postulates, “in order to persuade their base to fight to the end.” His conclusion? “Let the Alawites have their enclave, and let the Sunni Arabs have a rump state, minus the Syrian Kurds, whose autonomy would be an important step towards an eventual Kurdish state.” Me, I’d be willing to wager just three things about the Middle East in 50 years: there will be Israel, there will be Kurdistan, and there will be Arabs. PS — Doesn’t Goldman look like Gary Oldman playing James Baker III?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Dense, readable, utterly informed, worth re-reading almost as if literary: “How to End the War in Gaza: What an Egypt-Brokered Cease-Fire Should Look Like” by the inestimable Ehud Yaari (now requires registration).

 
 

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