Saturday, November 10th, 2018
According to The Secret Anglo-French War in the Middle East by Prof. Meir Zamir, British Intelligence provoked the Arabs to invade Israel in 1948. The link is to an episode of the Tel Aviv Review podcast featuring Zamir.
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018
Pinhas Inbari sheds new (to me) light on the roots of Palestinian nationalism, arguing that the similarities to Syria’s schisms are more than parallels but in fact the same issue: pan-Arabism (Fatah, Ba’athists) vs pan-Islamism (Hamas, ISIS).
Sunday, August 19th, 2018
On nationalism old and new. In Tablet, the prophetic columnist David P. Goldman discusses Yoram Hazony’s new book The Virtue of Nationalism.
Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
Newsweek excerpts Ronen Bergman’s upcoming book about the Mossad, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. The chapter recounts an Egyptian missile program being developed by ex-Nazi engineers (comic-book nefarious!).
After failing to subvert it with mail bombs and intimidation, Israel recruited a high-living Hitler favorite and produced enough evidence — echoes of Netanyahu’s recent evidence cache on Iran’s nuclear program — to persuade the German government to take benign steps to intervene and halt the program.
The institutional fallout included Isser Harel’s ouster, the IDF coming in to rebuild, and it seems the resignation of Ben-Gurion himself.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
In the wake of America’s withdrawal from the Iran deal, an Israel-Iran war is unlikely but still…
Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
Ehud Yaari in The American Interest: “Israeli inaction came face-to-face with Iranian proactivity, and Israel now finds itself counting its losses even as the Syrian war winds down.” It seems we have been fighting the last war.
Thursday, April 12th, 2018
Two pieces that capture the current state of play in the tinderbox that is Syria: “The Extraordinarily High Stakes in Syria” by Noah Rothman in Commentary (whom I usually find hard to read for some reason); and “How Putin’s Folly Could Lead to a Middle East War” by Jonathan Schanzer in Politico.
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
Covering Hamas’s border assault, The New York Times has run two rather spectacular photos by Gazan photographer Mohammed Salem. I realize that such imagery is what this whole nasty malarkey is for, but a great pic says many things.
Friday, March 30th, 2018
Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
It’s a bolt from the red, white and blue: John Bolton is to be National Security Advisor.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
11 years on, Israel’s military censor is permitting interviews with participants in the attack on Syria’s clandestine nuclear facility.
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
As a warplane is downed for the first time since 1982, Israel reevaluates its strategy vis-à-vis Syria.
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.
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.
Sunday, September 10th, 2017
As the weaker party, an itchy trigger finger makes sense for North Korea, argues this MIT-based expert.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
In Commentary Magazine Lazar Bergman summarizes Netanyahu’s cautious, patient geopolitical successes. And in the same issue, this more biographical piece by Seth Mandel.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
The Guardian interviews Brunhilde Pomsel, Goebbels’ secretary, now 105, who retired in 1971 as executive secretary to the director of programmes at Germany state broadcaster.
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.
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016
Who is the enemy to engage, Iran or ISIS? Lee Smith has an answer: Iran, because you can’t defeat ISIS without the Sunnis on board, and you can’t get Sunnis on board against ISIS until you demonstrably tamp down Iran.
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.”
Monday, August 18th, 2014
“Israel is wrong in shirking responsibility for the consequences of its actions and in laying them at Hamas’ door,” writes B’Tselem. “Israel and Hamas are each responsible for their own actions.” This should be self-evident.
Despite it all, Israelis must own this:
B’Tselem’s list of Gazans killed at home during Operation Tzuk Eitan.
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.”
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
In case it’s of interest/relevance, a translation of Hamas’s charter.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Nahum Barnea tells us more than we knew before about Hamas’s tunnels and how Israel chose to ignore them to date. It is thoughtful, analytic, regretful pieces like this that give me hope.
Thursday, July 24th, 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, May 29th, 2014
Garry Samore, President Obama’s White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction Arms Control and Counterterrorism from 2009 to 2013, discusses in detail negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
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.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
David Horovitz interviews Yossi Klein Halevi about his new book, Like Dreamers: The story of the Israeli Paratroopers who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. The friendship between these two gifted greying Anglo-Israelis is warming.
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
Sunday, February 17th, 2013
Not that this article needs anybody else to promote it, as it’s also the cover story on Esquire, but it’s like watching Zero Dark Thirty through one of the other characters.
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).
Monday, November 19th, 2012
Walter Russell Mead explains why Americans tend to view Israel’s actions so differently than does the rest of the world. In brief: “In America, war is not a sport.”
Sunday, November 18th, 2012
Gershon Baskin, the man who negotiated Gilad Shalit’s release, writes in the New York Times that he believes it was a mistake for Israel to kill Ahmed Al-Jabari, as a long-term ceasefire was in the works.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review: The challenge is Sharia.
Friday, August 17th, 2012
The Vlady-Bibi Tapes by Michael Ledeen. BIBI: “Well maybe you shouldn’t have built that nuclear reactor, or arranged for them to get your antiaircraft missiles.” VLADY: “I didn’t sell them antiaircraft missiles.” BIBI: “You sold the missiles to Chavez in Venezuela, and he sent them to Iran, as you well know. That was the deal, wasn’t it?”
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Bret (Stephens) on what lessons to take today from the Six Day War.
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.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012