Bin Laden is gone now, dispatched from this earthly realm in 2011 by the Navy’s lethal SEAL Team Six. Yet we remain mired in the seemingly endless fighting in the Middle East, and the rationale for that is in dire need of clarification, if not justification.
Amidst the breakdown of their negotiations with the Palestinians and a wave of terrorist attacks rolling across the country, Israelis will gather on the evening of October 31 in Tel Aviv to honor the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated 20 years ago. And they will continue to wrestle with the meaning for Israel’s future of his life and tragic death.
In exercising its right of self-defense in the Six Day War, Israel seized from Syria the Golan Heights, a strategically important plateau that looms over northeastern Israel, rising sharply from the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee to a height of more than 3,000 feet. Since June 1967 a powerful consensus has prevailed in the international community, including the United States, that the Golan is occupied territory.
On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 5:00pm ET, General James Mattis and Admiral Gary Roughead will participate in a panel discussion entitled: "2016: International Security Challenges and U.S. Readiness." The discussion, moderated by Hoover Senior Fellow Peter Berkowitz, will analyze international security challenges in the year ahead, including the Middle East and Indo-Pacific regions, and how the United States is prepared to deal with them.
In an extensive interview with Barack Obama in the April issue of The Atlantic, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg recounts a rebuke that the president delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader had been explaining “the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives,” when Obama cut in.
A few years ago on a lazy Friday afternoon, my friend Ronit Vardi—a veteran journalist and longtime resident of this frenetic city perched between the Mediterranean and the Middle East—looked askance when I told her that I was headed to Jerusalem to teach a seminar on Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
President Donald Trump’s penchant for entwining reckless utterances and sound pronouncements was on vivid display at his joint White House press conference last month with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is still too early to determine which will predominate in administration policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Over the summer, Trump administration officials Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew efforts to resolve the conflict over the West Bank—as the international community and the Israeli left refer to the land Israel seized in fending off Jordan’s attack in the Six Day War.
Even beyond its extraordinary success in launching high-tech companies chronicled nine years ago in the best-selling “Start-up Nation,” Israel is an innovation capital of the world. But the inspiring story of its inventors and entrepreneurs and their discoveries, devices, and services that have benefited the Jewish state and people around the globe has not been fully told.
Despite no shortage of foreign policy challenges, President Trump appears intent — like the last three occupants of the Oval Office — on mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His administration has proceeded with laudable circumspection, insisting that the aim is not to impose a settlement but to assist the sides in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. By seeking still less than that, Trump may be able to achieve much more than his predecessors.
James Comey is a legend in his own mind. He expressed part of the legend to Donald Trump when, according to one his memos, he told the president on January 27, 2017: He could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves.
In mid-May, freelance journalist Ahmed Abu Artema, an organizer of "Gaza’s Great Return March," emphasized in a New York Times op-ed the peaceful intentions of a movement that has sparked violence since late-March and led to dozens of Palestinians killed and thousands injured by Israel in defense of its border.
In mid-July, by a vote of 62-55, with two abstentions, the Knesset passed the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. The legislation — Basic Laws in Israel enjoy constitutional status although only a simple parliamentary majority is needed to pass or repeal them — reaffirmed principles set forth in the country’s May 1948 Declaration of Independence.
“The situation for 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is worse now than it has ever been since the start of the Israeli military occupation in 1967,” according to “The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion.” The report, published by a coalition of non-government organizations, describes an alarming shortage of humanitarian and commercial supplies in Gaza. Drinking water and electricity fall well below demand. Sewage flows into the Mediterranean Sea. With unemployment around 40 percent, the economy is collapsing.
The first decade of the 21st century called into question the United States’ capacity to advance freedom and democracy abroad. The century’s second decade has provoked controversy about the relation between nationalism and liberal democracy. Greater attention to the preconditions for and impact of freedom and democracy, and to the persistence and varieties of nationalism, would contribute to the formulation of a foreign policy for the third decade of the 21st century that would be more suitable to U.S. interests and principles.
In the United States, conservatism and liberalism — often to the consternation of conservatives and liberals — are ineluctably intertwined. This turns out to be true of foreign affairs as well as of domestic affairs. Attention to this entwinement helps bring into focus the key question concerning the contemporary dispute about the post-World War II international order and the United States’ role in maintaining it: What policies best advance America’s interest in conserving freedom?
The presidential race has started extremely early this year. That may or may not be a good thing; Americans may get sick of politics before next November...
“While in Beijing, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom [Ghebreyesus] extolled China as a model in the war against SARS-CoV-2, better known as ‘coronavirus,’” reports Josef Joffe in The American Interest. “According to China’s state media, he [the director-general] gushed that ‘China’s speed . . . and efficiency . . . is the advantage of China’s system.’”
The yearlong controversy over the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights illustrates the potency of the intolerant and uncivil passions afflicting the nation. It also underscores the urgency of the commission’s report, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented to the public last Thursday in a speech in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center and in a Washington Post op-ed.
Between June 24 and July 22, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a series of speeches on the China challenge. In mid-July -- after the national security adviser’s and FBI director’s speeches but before the attorney general’s and secretary of state’s speeches -- the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights released a draft report.