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  • Commentary posted January 9, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer No ‘Partial Funding’ for UNESCO

    Despite objections and warnings from the Obama administration, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted full membership to the Palestinian Authority in 2011. That decision ran afoul of two U.S. laws, passed in the early 1990s, that prohibit U.S. funding for any U.N. organization that grants membership to the Palestine Liberation…

  • Commentary posted October 23, 2013 by James Phillips Why US aid cuts will backfire in Egypt

    Earlier this month the Obama administration announced it was cutting military aid to Egypt by hundreds of millions of dollars.  The move had nothing to do with the budget battle in D.C. Rather, it was a belated reaction to last July’s military coup against President Mohamed Morsi’s increasingly autocratic Islamist government.  Unfortunately, the administration has taken…

  • Commentary posted October 17, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Negotiations with Iran could start a war

    War is a great leap into the dark. It is a chancy affair to predict when a particular act will end with the troops going over the top. Still, one can't help but worry that President Obama's plan to negotiate with Tehran one more time might bring Israel one step closer to a direct military confrontation with Iran. Here is why. It doesn't take a crystal ball to…

  • Issue Brief posted August 23, 2013 by James Phillips Egypt’s Coup Requires a Cautious U.S. Response

    Egypt’s July 3 coup and the crackdown on President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have sparked renewed calls from Congress for a cutoff of U.S. foreign aid to the new Egyptian government. While there are strong arguments in favor of continuing aid, the Obama Administration cannot continue to deny that what happened in Egypt was indeed a coup, which legally requires a…

  • Commentary posted April 3, 2013 by James Phillips Obama’s Middle East Challenges

    Brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement - for recent American presidents, it’s been the holy grail of foreign policy. Unfortunately for President Obama, a comprehensive accord is just not in the cards for his second term. It won’t be for lack of trying. But the inconvenient truth is that peace is impossible as long as Hamas retains its stranglehold over Gaza.…

  • Commentary posted March 19, 2013 by James Phillips The Bottom Line on Obama's Middle East Mission

    Middle East tensions are rising as President Obama prepares to visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Clearly, Iran will be at the top of the agenda. On Thursday, Mr. Obama announced that Tehran was only about a year away from producing a nuclear bomb. “Obviously, we don’t want to cut it too close,” he noted. Another issue requiring urgent attention: forging a common…

  • Issue Brief posted March 15, 2013 by James Phillips Obama’s Middle East Trip: Security Goals Should Be the Highest Priority

    President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan comes at a tense time in an increasingly turbulent region. High on his agenda will be halting Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts, forging a common policy on containing the destabilizing spillover effects of Syria’s meltdown, and reviving the long-stalled Israeli–Palestinian peace negotiations. The President…

  • Commentary posted November 29, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Palestine and the Peloponnesus

    At some point, Hamas and Israel will have had so many armed confrontations that they’ll have to stop naming the operations and just give them numbers. But don’t think these future conflicts will be indistinguishable from what’s happened so far. At some point, these flare-ups could get worse—a lot worse. Serious Standoff So far the duels between the…

  • Commentary posted November 29, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips The Implications of the U.N. Decision

    As expected, the United Nations General Assembly voted (138–9, with 41 abstentions) to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority from an observer entity to a non-member state observer this afternoon. Because individual governments are not required to comply with General Assembly resolutions, this vote is largely symbolic in terms of how governments regard…

  • Play Movie Israel and Hamas Declare A Cease-Fire - James Carafano on Fox 5 News Video Recorded on November 22, 2012 Israel and Hamas Declare A Cease-Fire - James Carafano on Fox 5 News

    Director James Carafano discusses the logistics of the Israel-Hamas cease-fire and where Hamas has obtained their missiles on Fox 5 News.…

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  • Issue Brief posted August 6, 2012 by Baker Spring U.S.–Israeli Missile Defense Cooperation: Building on the Success of Iron Dome

    On July 27, President Obama signed into law the United States–Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which is designed to strengthen the qualitative edge of Israeli military forces over its current and future enemies. While the law serves to strengthen this edge in a variety of areas, it pays special attention to improving Israel’s capabilities for defending its…

  • WebMemo posted February 3, 2011 by James Phillips, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Five Steps to Meeting the Crisis in Egypt and the Middle East

    While all eyes are on the political violence in Egypt, the Obama Administration has labored in crisis mode, struggling to stay ahead of the rapidly moving events. Washington’s problem is that publicly the White House appears to be floundering, focusing myopically on events on Tahrir Square rather than exercising real presidential leadership and proactively working to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips The U.S. Must Oppose the Palestinian Statehood Effort at the U.N.

    The Palestinians have announced their intent to use the United Nations once again to bolster their claims of statehood. Last year, the Obama Administration blocked their bid for full U.N. membership by threatening to use its Security Council veto. Now the Palestinians are seeking “non-member state” permanent observer status, which does not require Security Council…

  • WebMemo posted June 5, 2009 by Lisa Curtis, James Phillips Obama's Cairo Speech Stresses Common Interests but Fails to Identify the Common Enemy

    President Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday was an attempt to create deeper understanding between Americans and Muslims throughout the world. However, the feel-good impact of the speech is unlikely to last long or significantly change opinions about America among those who oppose U.S. policies in the Middle East and South Asia. Many Muslims were receptive to…

  • Commentary posted January 9, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer No ‘Partial Funding’ for UNESCO

    Despite objections and warnings from the Obama administration, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted full membership to the Palestinian Authority in 2011. That decision ran afoul of two U.S. laws, passed in the early 1990s, that prohibit U.S. funding for any U.N. organization that grants membership to the Palestine Liberation…

  • Issue Brief posted August 22, 2012 by James Phillips U.S. Should Insist Egypt’s Military Buildup Must Comply with Peace Treaty

    Egypt is preparing a military offensive against Islamist militants in the Sinai who have launched a series of terrorist attacks against Egyptian border guards in an effort to weaken the central government and provoke a war with Israel. This campaign is expected to include armored forces and air strikes in the first major Egyptian military action in the demilitarized Sinai…

  • Issue Brief posted April 4, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer ICC Prosecutor Makes Right Call on Palestinian Declaration, but Grave Concerns Remain

    In an effort to bring international pressure on Israel, the Palestinian Authority declared in 2009 that it would submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes committed in its territory. Three years later, the ICC prosecutor concluded that he does not have the authority under the Rome Statute to initiate an investigation because…

  • WebMemo posted January 2, 2009 by James Phillips Gaza Cease-Fire Must Halt Hamas Rockets

    The crisis in Gaza, provoked by the Palestinian extremist organization Hamas to advance its radical agenda, is likely to worsen in the coming days. After initially showing great restraint after Hamas ended the six-month cease-fire (which it never fully complied with anyway) on December 19 and escalated its rocket bombardment of Israeli civilians, Israel has sought to…

  • Issue Brief posted November 21, 2012 by James Phillips Gaza Crisis: U.S. Should Press Egypt to Rein in Hamas

    Although the current Gaza crisis is in many ways reminiscent of the last flare-up in December 2008–January 2009, there are important differences this time around. Hamas’s terrorist reach now includes Israel’s heartland cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv due to long-range Iranian rockets. However, Israel’s new Iron Dome missile defense system has mitigated this threat. The…

  • Issue Brief posted August 23, 2013 by James Phillips Egypt’s Coup Requires a Cautious U.S. Response

    Egypt’s July 3 coup and the crackdown on President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have sparked renewed calls from Congress for a cutoff of U.S. foreign aid to the new Egyptian government. While there are strong arguments in favor of continuing aid, the Obama Administration cannot continue to deny that what happened in Egypt was indeed a coup, which legally requires a…

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  • Issue Brief posted August 23, 2013 by James Phillips Egypt’s Coup Requires a Cautious U.S. Response

    Egypt’s July 3 coup and the crackdown on President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have sparked renewed calls from Congress for a cutoff of U.S. foreign aid to the new Egyptian government. While there are strong arguments in favor of continuing aid, the Obama Administration cannot continue to deny that what happened in Egypt was indeed a coup, which legally requires a…

  • Issue Brief posted March 15, 2013 by James Phillips Obama’s Middle East Trip: Security Goals Should Be the Highest Priority

    President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan comes at a tense time in an increasingly turbulent region. High on his agenda will be halting Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts, forging a common policy on containing the destabilizing spillover effects of Syria’s meltdown, and reviving the long-stalled Israeli–Palestinian peace negotiations. The President…

  • Issue Brief posted November 21, 2012 by James Phillips Gaza Crisis: U.S. Should Press Egypt to Rein in Hamas

    Although the current Gaza crisis is in many ways reminiscent of the last flare-up in December 2008–January 2009, there are important differences this time around. Hamas’s terrorist reach now includes Israel’s heartland cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv due to long-range Iranian rockets. However, Israel’s new Iron Dome missile defense system has mitigated this threat. The…

  • Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips The U.S. Must Oppose the Palestinian Statehood Effort at the U.N.

    The Palestinians have announced their intent to use the United Nations once again to bolster their claims of statehood. Last year, the Obama Administration blocked their bid for full U.N. membership by threatening to use its Security Council veto. Now the Palestinians are seeking “non-member state” permanent observer status, which does not require Security Council…

  • Issue Brief posted August 22, 2012 by James Phillips U.S. Should Insist Egypt’s Military Buildup Must Comply with Peace Treaty

    Egypt is preparing a military offensive against Islamist militants in the Sinai who have launched a series of terrorist attacks against Egyptian border guards in an effort to weaken the central government and provoke a war with Israel. This campaign is expected to include armored forces and air strikes in the first major Egyptian military action in the demilitarized Sinai…

  • Issue Brief posted August 6, 2012 by Baker Spring U.S.–Israeli Missile Defense Cooperation: Building on the Success of Iron Dome

    On July 27, President Obama signed into law the United States–Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which is designed to strengthen the qualitative edge of Israeli military forces over its current and future enemies. While the law serves to strengthen this edge in a variety of areas, it pays special attention to improving Israel’s capabilities for defending its…

  • Issue Brief posted April 4, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer ICC Prosecutor Makes Right Call on Palestinian Declaration, but Grave Concerns Remain

    In an effort to bring international pressure on Israel, the Palestinian Authority declared in 2009 that it would submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes committed in its territory. Three years later, the ICC prosecutor concluded that he does not have the authority under the Rome Statute to initiate an investigation because…

  • Backgrounder posted March 15, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How the U.S. Should Respond to Russia's Unhelpful Role in the Middle East

    Abstract: Russia is pursuing a Middle Eastern policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the Middle East, even at the risk of Islamist terrorism, which is a growing problem in Russia. It views the recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa as an American conspiracy to undermine Russia and friendly regimes in the region. Russia’s Soviet…

  • Issue Brief posted March 2, 2012 by James Phillips The Obama–Netanyahu Summit: Time to Present a Common Front Against Iran

    When President Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on March 5, the Iranian nuclear issue will dominate their agenda. The two leaders have starkly different perceptions of Iran’s evolving nuclear threat and how best to confront it. Both governments have publicly aired their differences in the run-up to the meeting, with the Obama…

  • WebMemo posted February 6, 2012 by James Phillips, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. If Israel Attacks

    Israel has signaled once again that it is weighing an attack, if all else fails, to halt Iran’s advancing nuclear weapons program as an act of anticipatory self-defense. This time, more officials in Washington and other capitals are listening. Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that Tehran will retaliate against the U.S. in the event that Israel launches a strike.…

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Find more work on Israel