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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.…

  • 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…

  • Play Movie Israel & Hamas - Peter Brookes on Hannity Video Recorded on November 16, 2012 Israel & Hamas - Peter Brookes on Hannity

    Senior Fellow Peter Brookes discusses the latest on the Israel-Hamas conflict on Hannity.…

  • 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…

  • Testimony posted September 21, 2012 by James Phillips Safeguarding Israel’s Security in a Volatile Region

    Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia September 20, 2012 My name is James Phillips. I am the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official…

  • 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…