Can Israel Fight A War On Three Fronts? A Nightmarish Scenario

Although Prime Minister Netanyahu is known for his focus on the Palestinian and Iranian threats to Israel’s national security, in recent months he has increasingly sounded the alarm over Iran in particular rather than the Palestinians. As the defeat of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria is all but inevitable, Netanyahu’s main concern now is…

March 15, 2017 Read more

Questions And Answers About Some Of The Raging Events In The Middle East

In a recent conversation I had with students, faculty, and alumni at New York University just before the start of my program “Global Leaders: Conversations with Alon Ben-Meir” on November 3, I had the opportunity to answer some questions concerning the turmoil in the Middle East and America’s role in the world. The following is…

November 17, 2016 Read more

The Arab Uprising: An Impediment Or An Opportunity For Peace?

There is an ongoing debate in and outside of Israel as to whether or not this is the right time to forge peace with the Palestinians in light of the regional upheavals and instability. The peace process, at this juncture, is hopelessly frozen while the expansion of the Israeli settlements and the continued internal Palestinian…

August 13, 2012 Read more

The Syrian Crisis: Pitting Russia Against The U.S.

The latest UN resolution sponsored by Western powers (the United States, England and France) designed to increase the pressure on Assad and force him to step down was once again rejected by Russia and China, making it abundantly clear that all diplomatic efforts have come to a dead end. If Russia, the main proponent of…

July 30, 2012 Read more

Syria: The International Travesty

After fifteen months of relentless slaughter, the developments in Syria, with shockingly inordinate amounts of slain women and children, have demonstrated the international community’s ineptitude and contemptible moral bankruptcy in the face of horrific carnage. The failure to stop the crisis stems from the international community’s unwillingness to take stern measures to end the killing while it continues to take cover under the Annan plan and mouths countless verbal condemnations of the Assad regime, knowing full well that they will not succeed. Those that can change the course of events in Syria, including the US, EU, Turkey and the Arab League, have shamefully demonstrated the most startling shortsightedness coupled with wishful thinking in the face of insurmountable odds.

With the suspension of the observer mission in Syria, Mr. Annan has conjured yet another “ingenious” reformation of his beleaguered plan by calling for the creation of a “Syria Contact Group” that perplexingly includes Iran and Russia, who have and continue to provide President Assad with the means by which he slaughters his own people. While Mr. Annan is genuinely trying to end the killings by diplomatic means, his desire to preserve his reputation as an international mediator continues to stand in the way. Annan’s new plan (like the previous ones) will soon prove futile. Meanwhile, thousands of more innocent Syrians will die due to the West’s inability to garner the moral courage to decisively act.

June 25, 2012 Read more

Why Attacking Iran Is Becoming More Likely

The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program during the past few months have produced nothing more than a diplomatic dance in the face of persistent Iranian ploys for time coupled with intransigence on key issues. In failing to reach a negotiated settlement, the conflict with Tehran is inching closer toward a point of no return, where Israel might decide that the circumstances warrant a unilateral attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Although there are other scenarios under which Israel may decide to attack Iran, chief among them is Israel’s fear that Iran is close to reaching what Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak terms, “a zone of immunity.” Under such circumstances and given more time, Iran would be in a position to store much of its previous enriched uranium, as well as its high quality centrifuges, deep inside the mountain base of Fordow, thus becoming completely immune from aerial bombardment.
    
This objective, which Tehran is hard at work in seeking to achieve, limits how much time Israel would have before it acts. This Israeli concern makes the continuing diplomatic efforts coupled with sanctions advocated by the Obama administration unviable options and might in fact be extremely risky to pursue. The Netanyahu government is absolutely convinced that Iran will continue to play for time as it has over the past several years, during which time Tehran has considerably advanced its nuclear program in defiance of the IAEA and in spite of severe sanctions.

June 19, 2012 Read more

Syrian Kurds: Time To Assert Their Rights

Regardless of what may come out of Kofi Annan’s peace plan to end the internal conflict in Syria, and whatever may emerge from the Arab League meeting this week in Baghdad, the prospect of Assad’s fall offers the Kurdish minority in Syria a historic opportunity to gain equal political and civil rights. Given the totalitarian nature of Baathist rule under Assad, the regime’s fall in Syria will take the entire system of government down with it, much like Saddam’s Iraq in 2003. But unlike Iraq’s Kurds who have enjoyed virtual autonomy since 1991 when the United States enforced a no-fly zone over northern Iraq, Syria’s Kurds are less organized and more divided. Syrian Kurds need to close ranks, fully join the Syrian people in pursuit of freedom, and not allow this historic window of opportunity to slip away.

March 27, 2012 Read more
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