With Israel facing extraordinary challenges in the Mideast, it is losing a key advocate in the White House.
Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to five presidents, once was derided as one of “Baker’s Boys” during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker. More recently, though, he has been viewed as a confidante and friend of Israeli leaders. He is leaving his post at the end of the year, an implicit signal that the U.S. effort to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse is on hold until after the 2012 election.
From the settlements to the military and beyond, anxiously waiting for what comes next.
Kiryat Arba — About 40 people, including many children, rallied at the entrance to this Jewish settlement next to Hebron this week to tell the world that the Land of Israel belongs to them.
Like just about everyone else in the Middle East, these settlers are preoccupied by the specter of what will happen after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas makes his plea Friday to the United Nations Security Council — one that is essentially a unilateral declaration of independence.
Prospects for unraveling of peace treaty seen increasing, though both sides dialing back pressure.
Tel Aviv – For decades, Israel’s border with Egypt has been calm, even sleepy. Civilians regularly drive the military patrol road alongside a rusted barbed-wire fence barely standing in the sand dunes, perhaps the best evidence of a peaceful border.
But amid the fallout from a brazen attack by Palestinians along the border that left eight Israelis dead last week, Israeli analysts see the area as a growing threat and are wondering whether Cairo is capable of restoring the calm that existed.
In contrast to the “Arab Spring” that began last winter and spread among Mideast countries, with violent protests leading to deadly confrontations over autocratic rule, the “Israel Spring” that has captured the attention and pulse of the Jewish state is, in a sense, a reinvigoration of democracy and an impassioned call for a return to social justice.
Ahead of UN showdown, both sides face internal protests.
Ramallah, West Bank —With less than two months to go before battling for votes on a United Nations resolution on statehood, Palestinian and Israeli officials share a common domestic woe: both have been weakened politically by a homegrown economic uproar.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been grappling for more than two weeks with an escalating revolt of the middle class over the cost of living. Starting with a tent city set up by Tel Aviv young professionals frustrated over high rents, the grass-roots revolt has widened to include students, doctors and teachers.
Imagine what the world reaction would be if Israel, in order to suppress civilian demonstrations among Arabs, were to unleash its army, killing up to 150 unarmed people in a few days of fighting in Israel proper or the West Bank.
Westchester forum deals with Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. views,
and what it means to be ‘pro-Israel.’
Who is to blame for the lack of progress in the now-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and what should be done about it were issues sharply debated during a panel discussion on Sunday evening in Westchester among Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester), former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and J Street co-founder Daniel Levy.
The jury is still out on how Egypt and the broader
Arab world’s upheavals will affect Israel.
Tel Aviv — One month after democracy protests in Egypt touched off a wave of popular upheaval around the Middle East, Israeli officials and analysts are cautioning that regional instability is so high and so fluid that it’s too early to say how it will affect the Jewish state.
After Egypt’s wondrous revolution the Middle East will never be the same again. Egypt is so large and so consequential that such profound political change there is bound to impact everything, including the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Is it a threat to peacemaking or an opportunity?
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