One of these day the Obama administration is going to have to figure out a policy for dealing with the unrest in Syria and the Assad regime's brutal repression. Unfortunately, it will probably be after it's too late.
Today's New York Times reports that the crackdown is intensifying, with hundreds now under arrest and the death toll rising.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House reportedly is set to name Steve Simon, the co-author of a comprehensive outline for a Palestinian state, as a top Middle East official.
The Obama administration will tap Simon, a former top National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, to head the NSC's Middle East desk, according to Laura Rozen of The Envoy foreign policy blog on Yahoo.com. Simon would succeed Daniel Shapiro, who by default has become the top administration point man for pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The American Jewish Committee said a government decision to classify campus anti-Semitism as prohibited discrimination is being abused by those seeking to silence criticism of Israel.
You don’t have to work for a Middle East think tank or have a doctorate in international relations to understand that a Palestinian state created through unilateral action can never be anything resembling a real state — even if it is endorsed by the United Nations.
We are relieved that congressional Republicans and the Obama administration were able to avert a government shutdown last week that would have hurt the U.S. economy and disrupted countless services. But there was something deeply disturbing about the process that led the nation to the brink of a shutdown — a politics-plagued process that is only likely to accelerate as Congress turns next to the issues of raising the nation's debt limit and next year’s federal budget.
March 30, 2011
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration said it remains determined to end anti-Israel bias at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The State Department on Wednesday released a fact sheet outlining its accomplishments since rejoining the UNHRC in 2009.
At the time, pro-Israel groups and conservatives criticized the reversal of Bush administration policy of boycotting the council, saying it validated the council's almost near-exclusive focus on Israel.
Since I'm on a tear about the Obama administration's somewhat incoherent foreign policy (And I have to say it's a little less incoherent after Monday night's speech on Libya, which answered some of my questions) , let me ask this: does the president's foreign policy team have a plan for what the U.S. response will be if the Palestinian Authority manages to patch things up with Hamas?
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. intelligence is reportedly considering Hezbollah as a political as well as a terrorist entity.
David Ignatius, a Washington Post foreign affairs columnist with close ties to the Obama administration, reported March 18 that the distinction will appear in a National Intelligence Estimate that is now in its draft stages.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It’s time for the West to woo Latin America -- some will say it's about time.
The United States and Israel appear to be heading toward increasing their focus on the area following years of neglect that has resulted in closer ties between Latin America and Iran -- and gains for the Palestinians. The shift comes amid Iran’s deepening influence in the region, as well as the successes of a Palestinian diplomatic offensive that has seen eight Latin American nations agree to recognize a Palestinian “state” in recent months.
Reports from Israel indicate that the Netanyahu government, under pressure from the Obama administration to come up with some kind of plan to advance the stalled peace process, is floating the idea of abandoning talks for a final agreement with the Palestinians, and instead pressing for an interim agreement that would create a kind of Palestinian quasi-state with temporary borders.