by Derek Davison A former senior analyst for Mossad, Yossi Alpher, told an audience in Washington Thursday that Israel sees the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) as an “urgent” national security concern, but the context of his talk at the Wilson Center implied that the extremist Sunni group does not top any Israeli list of
by Thomas W. Lippman
To understand why Israel and Hamas keep fighting, and why Secretary of State John Kerry was unable to forge a permanent peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, it helps to do some homework. Read Volume 8 of the State Department’s “Foreign Relations of the United States” series [...]
by Emile Nakhleh
Does repression force Islamic parties to moderate? This is the key question Shadi Hamid raises in his seminal book on political Islam, governance, and Islamist “illiberal” democratic ideology.
Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy In a New Middle East is a first-rate, thorough, yet controversial study of what drives [...]
by Thomas Lippman
Has King Abdullah backed away from his longstanding refusal to have anything to do with an Iraqi government that includes Nouri al-Maliki? Reporters who were in Jeddah when Abdullah met with Secretary of State John F. Kerry Friday seemed to think so, based on a background briefing by the [...]
by Marsha B. Cohen
Israel is putting up more than its usual security measures for the arrival of an important person, Pope Francis, who will be visiting the Holy Land May 24-26. He’ll be the third pope to visit Jerusalem since the 1967 Six Day War.
The pontiff will begin [...]
by Thomas Lippman
For the United States, Saudi Arabia, other supporters of the rebels in Syria, and for the rebels themselves, this has been a month of fast-paced, intense diplomatic and political activity. It is tempting after so much time and so many deaths to dismiss all the events [...]
by Larry Wilkerson
Now that we have heard Secretary of State John Kerry’s emotional plea for us to believe the still rather ambiguous intelligence on chemical weapons use in Syria, there are far more substantive answers to be sought from the Obama administration.
Putting aside the remaining ambiguities as [...]
by Mitchell Plitnick
It’s time to ask some tough questions about US policy regarding Egypt. The most pressing being what that policy is, exactly?
I agreed with the easily assailable decision by the Obama administration to refrain from labelling the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi a coup. It still [...]
by Wayne White
Until now, most foreign military assets flowing into Syria have come from Russia, Iran, or Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. Arab and Western military aid to the rebels has been far less: lower in volume, composed of lighter weapons, and somewhat erratic. Now that Washington has tipped its hand, its [...]
by Charles Naas
At last the Obama Administration has found a reasonable Syria policy. The critics will continue to insist that the US provide arms to the rebels, but it will be difficult to get more traction for this while the initiative with the Russians holds out hopes, although slender, for the beginning of [...]
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