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  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians to…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Israel Signs the Arms Trade Treaty: Unhelpful Appeasement for Implacable Enemies

    Last Thursday, Israel signed the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a treaty that supposedly prevents nations from arming terrorists and mass murderers. But in reality, the treaty’s advocates spend most of their time vehemently criticizing Israel, and, of course, the United States. Israel is understandably tired of the relentless criticism of the way it defends itself from…

  • Commentary posted August 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. An Assault on Sovereignty in Israel, Ukraine

    At a conference in Israel earlier this month, the White House's Middle East coordinator, Philip Gordon, spoke the magic word: sovereignty. Unfortunately, for the White House, it's just a word. From Israel to Ukraine, today's crises show what happens when the world forgets what sovereignty requires. Speaking in Tel Aviv, Gordon urged Israel to "end the occupations and…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by James Phillips Gaza Crisis Illuminates a Grave New World

    The eruption of the third Gaza war since 2008 is yet another manifestation of the growing threat posed by Islamist militants within an increasingly unstable Middle East.  In recent years, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist revolutionary groups have made major gains in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen.  They have exploited the chaos of the…

  • 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…

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  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by James Phillips Gaza Crisis Illuminates a Grave New World

    The eruption of the third Gaza war since 2008 is yet another manifestation of the growing threat posed by Islamist militants within an increasingly unstable Middle East.  In recent years, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist revolutionary groups have made major gains in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen.  They have exploited the chaos of the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians to…

  • Commentary posted March 5, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama Risking a Showdown Between Iran and Israel

    Small wars can spiral into big ones. And President Obama is giving the world a lesson in how to start - inadvertently - a small war. The Nobel committee should be thinking about a process for recalling prizes. The prospective small conflict involves Iran and Israel. The former is blustering, but right now, neither nation can be much interested in going toe-to-toe. …

  • Backgrounder posted January 15, 2010 by James Phillips An Israeli Preventive Attack on Iran's Nuclear Sites: Implications for the U.S.

    Abstract: Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions are ominous in light of its hostile foreign policy and longstanding sup­port for terrorism. But Iran's repeated threats to annihilate the state of Israel while it develops the world's most dan­gerous weapons have created an even more explosive situ­ation. If diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation fail, Israel may see no other…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 August 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. An Assault on Sovereignty in Israel, Ukraine

    At a conference in Israel earlier this month, the White House's Middle East coordinator, Philip Gordon, spoke the magic word: sovereignty. Unfortunately, for the White House, it's just a word. From Israel to Ukraine, today's crises show what happens when the world forgets what sovereignty requires. Speaking in Tel Aviv, Gordon urged Israel to "end the occupations and…

  • 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 April 5, 2010 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How to Alienate Allies and Flatter Foes

    In Israel a few weeks ago, Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed when his hosts announced plans for new housing in a disputed area of Jerusalem. It’s certainly a breach of diplomatic protocol to announce a controversial project while an ally is visiting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu realized this, and immediately apologized. But cooler heads didn’t prevail in…

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  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians 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…

  • 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…

Find more work on Israel
Find more work on Israel