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Middle East

Anti-Netanyahu Protests Rock Israel

Politically speaking, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a much better place a few months ago than he is today. Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud Party and Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, was riding high after forming a national unity government with his centrist rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party, and … Read More

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Middle East

Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait Thirty Years On

Thirty years ago yesterday, Iraq invaded Kuwait, sparking an international crisis that culminated with the first Gulf War. On August 2, 1990, 120,000 Iraqi troops, spearheaded by an armored force of hundreds of tanks, thundered into Kuwait in a universally condemned invasion.┬áIn one fell stroke, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gained control of 20 percent of … Read More

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Middle East

Israel And Hezbollah Have A Big Score To Settle

Observers are still scratching their heads over the uncertain outcome of Israel’s latest armed clash with Hezbollah late last month. Israel and Hezbollah have been bitter enemies since the 1980s, having fought a guerrilla war until Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and a month-long war in 2006. On occasion, they have clashed in … Read More

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Middle East

U.S. Fights Uphill Battle To Extend Iran Arms Embargo

With a United Nations arms embargo against Iran expiring on October 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has let it be known that the United States will “exercise all diplomatic options” to extend it indefinitely. It’s doubtful whether the United States will succeed in depriving Iran of new weapons. Two major powers oppose Washington’s … Read More

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Middle East

Turkey’s Tense and Mercurial Relationship With Israel

During the first week of July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Hagia Sophia, a popular museum in Istanbul that was originally a cathedral and then a mosque, would be repurposed as a mosque again. In a rhetorical flourish, he added that Hagia Sophia’s reconversion was a precursor to “the liberation” of the Al-Aqsa … Read More

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Middle East

Annexation Is Now Problematic

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much-vaunted election campaign pledge to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank has so far turned out to be little more than a rhetorical flourish. Netanyahu assured supporters he would begin implementing his promise on July 1. Seventeen days on, nothing seems to have happened, and he has been reduced … Read More

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Middle East

Peter Beinart’s Utopian Binational Plan Is Unrealistic

I was not entirely surprised by Peter Beinart’s recent disavowal of the two-state solution and his advocacy of a binational state or a confederation of states in place of Israel. The left-leaning, iconoclastic American Jewish writer and political activist long ago broke with the dogma that Jews are obliged to support Israel whether it is … Read More

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Middle East

Israel And Iran Wage A Shadow War

It’s no secret that Israel is doing everything in its power to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, but it’s an open question whether Israel was responsible for recent explosions that damaged two Iranian nuclear sites. A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, disclosed that these blasts caused “significant damage” to advanced equipment, … Read More

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Middle East

Israel Delays Annexation

Contrary to some expectations, July 1 turned out to be an uneventful day in Israel. It came and went without a much-anticipated announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would unilaterally annex a substantial portion of the West Bank, home to 2.5 million Palestinians and 450,000 Israeli Jews. He had said he would launch … Read More

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Middle East

A New Reality In Israel-U.S. Relations

There was a time in American politics when Israel could usually count more on Democrats than Republicans for understanding and support. But since the accession of Donald Trump to the presidency, the pendulum has swung the other way. In fact, this is a historic process that has actually unfolded incrementally over the decades. A Democratic … Read More