Monday, March 27, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The Opposite of a Two-State Solution Is Not One State - Shoshana Bryen
The so-called “two-state solution,” to subdivide the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea between independent Israel and independent Palestine, fails the tests of logic and history. And it ignores the Kingdom of Jordan – whose participation is required for any stable, long-term arrangement.
There are presently three “states,” or at least three governments, west of the Jordan: Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Gaza. Pro-Israel “two-staters” think Gaza and the West Bank territory should become one state with Israel as the other, assuming-for-no-reason that it is Hamas that will disappear. Hamas vociferously disagrees. Assuming-for-no-reason that a single PA-governed state does emerge in both places, Israel would be left divided north from south by a corridor across the country so Palestinians could access both parts of their state. Arab armies tried multiple times to sever Israel’s waist in pursuit of conquest -- this would have Israel do it for them.
The Palestinians -- at best -- would have a split rump state squeezed between a hostile Israel and a more hostile Jordan. But the only thing Hamas and the PA appear to agree on is that the State of Israel is the one that has to do the disappearing. They believe the establishment of Israel in 1948 was a mistake by the international community that needs to be rectified. Hamas believes it should be through violence and bloodshed; the PA would negotiate Israel away through the “right of return.” A nasty Hamas-Fatah civil war in 2007 was never concluded, and the PA government rightly fears Hamas more than it does Israel -- in fact, the IDF and Shabak (Israel’s internal security agency) are what keep the PA in power.
The arrangement that might have the best chance of working for America’s two regional allies -- Israel and Jordan -- is King Hussein’s old confederation. The Palestinians would have to live with something less than independence (independence is not part of the Oslo Accords), but could have political and economic benefits they do not now possess. And if Gaza has to remain on the outside, West Bank Palestinians will have more security than they now have.
It is not time to push for a confederated solution – or any solution – and it is unlikely the Arab states will soon come forward and meet their obligations under Resolution 242. But broader thinking is more likely to produce results than the illusory “two state solution,” and in fact, leaves two states – Israel and Jordan – where two were intended to be.
Monday, March 20, 2017
The U.S. Is Back - Eyal Zisser (Israel Hayom)
- The Middle East is already feeling the change. The U.S. is once again taking an active role in the region and, more importantly, Washington is once again standing by the allies and friends it had abandoned.
- Despite being portrayed as an enemy of Islam, the election of President Donald Trump was greeted with a sigh of relief in the region. America's allies were fed up with former President Barack Obama's administration, which turned its back on them during tough times and did not hesitate to criticize them and even question their legitimacy.
- The Obama administration was obviously biased in favor of pro-Islamic elements in the region, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It also courted Iran and tried to appease it. This all created an unbridgeable gulf between Washington and its old friends.
- Last week, Trump hosted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia's interior minister, whose associates declared it a historic turning point in the countries' bilateral relations. Similar voices have been heard in Cairo and in Ankara.
- Trump is also sending additional forces to Syria to strengthen the American hold on its eastern part. This is designed to help deal a crushing blow to Islamic State and provide a counterweight to the Russian presence, and even more importantly, to the Iranian presence there.
- Trump has also tried to have the Israelis and the Palestinians resume direct talks without accepting the prerequisites set by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The writer, vice rector at Tel Aviv University, is former director of its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Iranian Official Boasts of "Guerilla Movement" within the U.S.
- Candice Malcolm
In a new video, Hassan Abbasi, a senior advisor to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who now runs a security policy division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is seen boasting about a "guerilla movement" of Iranian agents living and working in the U.S.
Abbasi claims there are over two million Iranians in the U.S., and that Iran is leading a clandestine army of potential martyrs within the U.S.
"We have identified the United States' Achilles' heel," said Abbasi. "We [know] all their ground, naval, air, technological and other vulnerabilities."
Abbasi said that while only a handful of Saudis carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Iranians are even better organized and more committed to waging war against the West.
View the video