The Six-Day War's Legacy in Sinai

The Six-Day War's 50th anniversary will generate an overabundance of commentary about the war's legacy on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Most scholarship will focus on the continued challenges of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem, however there are valuable lessons that Read more

Trump in Israel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  President Donald Trump was in Israel for all of twenty-eight hours, and yet even within that short window of time he managed to till a significant amount of discursive soil. Dozens of analysts and commentators will offer their thoughts Read more

Erdogan, Jerusalem, and the End of the Honeymoon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statements at the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf (held in Istanbul) received international media coverage when he attacked Israeli policy in Jerusalem, compared the situation in the West Bank with Apartheid South Africa, and called for Read more

The Curious Case of Michael Flynn, Turkey, and Israeli gas

President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn has been at the epicenter of an ongoing story for the last few weeks. While I don't want to rehash what has already been reported, I did find one particular nugget Read more

My initial thoughts on the #IranDeal

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran, Israel |  

Since the outset of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the most visible and vocal opponent to a nuclear accord. But while he has lobbied repeatedly before the United Nations and US Congress in the last six years, these efforts have yet to yield the desired results. Worse, disputes over the details of the deal and the nature of Iran’s regime contributed to the souring of US-Israeli relations. I don’t think his grandstanding contributed to the negative aspects of the deal, but they certainly didn’t help. Read more

Severing a final link between Israel and Iran

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran, Israel |  
(Courtesy of tachbura.co.il)

(Courtesy of tachbura.co.il)

The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline is not commonly known to most Israelis, let alone people who live elsewhere in the world. I daresay few Iranians are familiar with the project, which was a joint venture between Israel and Iran back in the 1960s under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the two countries have engaged in a bitter and secretive compensation dispute over the pipeline, but today the proceedings may have taken an important step forward. Read more

The French Twist

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran, Israel |  

Israel is abuzz with news of France’s unexpected obstruction of a potential agreement between the P5+1 and Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. It is difficult to remember a time when the French were praised by the Israeli press, decades perhaps. The maneuver couldn’t have come at a better time either – it was a welcome distraction to the public feud between the Obama Administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a range of issues, but none more important then the threat of a nuclear Iran. Now (at least publicly) there is another voice of caution against a hasty deal. Read more

Guest Post: Rationalizing Rouhani by Rob Pinfold*

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran |  

Once again, for those of us cursed with a compulsive thirst for Middle-Eastern news, Iran is the talk of the town.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly has reignited the debate regarding the appropriate strategic framework for dissuading Iran’s regime from pursuing uranium enrichment.

The ‘hawks’, desperate to maintain an uncompromising position vis-à-vis ‘The Iranian Threat’ immediately dismissed Rouhani’s speech as gesture politics, intended to sugar-coat the relentless march of a doom-mongering, fanatical regime towards a nuclear conflagration.

By contrast, the ‘doves’ seized upon Rouhani’s conciliatory dialogue to suggest that an ideological paradigm shift has finally taken place within the Iranian regime, empowering so-called ‘moderates’. The dovish engagement strategy has been stunted for many years, faced with the reality of bumbling incoherencies, racist fulminations and oft-stated desire by Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to ‘wipe Israel from the map’.

Quite simply, where there was Ahmadinejad, there is now Rouhani; finally, there is someone to talk to who appears sane and not bent on annihilating regional neighbors. Read more