A Defining Moment in American-Israeli Relations

Regardless of the intended purposes of Israel's blockade on Gaza, the tragic incident surrounding the flotilla has brought the blockade into international focus, and Israel will find itself under increasing pressure from foes and friends alike to lift the blockade in the coming weeks.

June 9, 2010 Read more

When Reason Is Forsaken

It is always easier to assess a situation like the Gaza flotilla fiasco in hindsight. The Israeli, Turkish and European governments and the aid organizations involved have all made a series of grave mistakes, and what we are left with are mores lives lost, no resolution to the blockade, and a tarnished image for all sides involved in this ugly predicament.

June 3, 2010 Read more

Prerequisites for the Success of Proximity Talks

This year, May 15th came and went without too much noise, relatively speaking. While the 62nd anniversary of the state of Israel was celebrated with fireworks and praise by Israelis throughout Jerusalem, noticeably absent was Mahmoud Abbas' speech commemorating what is known by Palestinians as the "Nakba" or catastrophe.

May 28, 2010 Read more

A Self-Defeating Fixation

Qatar's offer to carry out infrastructure reconstruction projects in Gaza in exchange for re-opening up Israel's diplomatic mission in Doha would have been a positive development for both sides. The rejection of this offer by the Israeli government is both short-sighted and self-defeating.

May 24, 2010 Read more

Common Strategic Interests: Balancing Support for Israel Against Other American Interests

As the Obama administration is reviewing how to restart the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the depth of its involvement, the parties on all sides of the conflict are looking to see the real nature of the US-Israeli relationship, and whether the current tensions run deeper than what may appear. Although US' and Israel's strategic interests seem to have diverged in the past few months, there is no denying that their ultimate goals for the region are both interlinked and complimentary. While both nations would like to see an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and have high stakes in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, their problems lay mostly in their miss-assessment of each other's concerns and priorities. But since very little progress, if any, can be made to unlock the Arab-Israeli Gordian knot without direct and active American involvement and a willing Israeli government, the Obama and Netanyahu administrations must demonstrate a better appreciation of each other's shifting strategic priorities. They must now find a way to agree on a modus operandi to end the festering Arab-Israeli conflict and rein in Iran's nuclear threat bearing in mind that time is of the essence.

May 11, 2010 Read more

The Arab Peace Initiative: Now Or Never

It has been almost a year now since President Obama set out for Cairo to deliver what has been seen as one of the largest overtures by the US to publicly engage the Middle East. Unfortunately, despite the high hopes that this new administration garnered and the continuous efforts of high level American officials to put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, there is little fruit to bear on the ground. More often than not, the diplomatic breeches and hurdles to even get to the negotiating table have consumed the headlines, and one year later the multilateral relations in the region seem tepid at best. The repeated failures of the bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and Syria may be attributed to a number of factors, including a deep seeded mistrust that has not been addressed, concerns over the long-term security and domestic political constraints to make the required concessions to reach an agreement. Yet while all of these elements contributed to the despondent current state of affairs, the one critical missing ingredient has been the absence of a comprehensive framework for peace representing the collective will of the Arab states.

May 4, 2010 Read more

Iran’s Nuclear Program And Israel’s Options

Much has been written and argued about what Israel can do to effectively address Iran's nuclear program, which Israel views as a credible existential threat. Most Israelis believe that Iran is determined to acquire nuclear weapons and they remain skeptical about the prospect of a diplomatic solution to neutralize the Iranian threat. There is hardly any public discussion in Israel concerning the acceptance of a nuclear Iran, and the question of the nation's course of action is willingly left to the defense cabinet and a small group within the intelligence establishment.

April 29, 2010 Read more

Taking Responsibility for the Palestinian Refugees

President Barack Obama's meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians' President Mahmoud Abbas last September fuelled speculation that there would be palpable progress in the Middle East peace process. Yet so far all attempts at reconciliation have yet to be translated into action.

April 9, 2010 Read more

Time To Change The Status Quo

Through all these ups and downs-and the criticisms that have ensued-one thing remains clear: the dynamics of the US-Israeli-Palestinian axis have shifted and a new momentum has been generated as a result.

March 24, 2010 Read more
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