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Open Think Tank Articles

October 13, 2011 | Israel's Old Road is Rapidly Fading as Times Change in Middle East

John Taylor: While the Jewish state remains the strongest military power in the Middle East, it is increasingly isolated in a region undergoing dramatic political change. Israel needs to adopt a policy of engagement and dialogue with its neighbors in order to safeguard its position in the region.

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February 2, 2011 | What Europe Must Do to Ensure a Two-State Deal

Muriel Asseburg and Jan Busse: Questions still abound as to the EU’s position regarding Palestinian statehood. European policymakers must make key decisions to ensure the peace process becomes viable.

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June 23, 2009 | Winning the War on Terrorism

Andreas Michael Bock: Terrorism is able to thrive when it has the support of local people. Therefore, in order to win the war on terror, it is vital to win the loyalties and convictions of the people. An initiative outlined by US President Barack Obama in his Cairo speech, intends to strike terrorism at its Achilles’ heel by removing the people’s voluntary support of terrorist groups.

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April 20, 2009 | Middle East Peace: Back to Oslo - with Egypt

Memo 15: There is little disagreement among Atlantic Community members that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be prioritized on the international agenda. Our members believe pursuing a two-state solution and initiating domestic reforms are critical in securing the long desired goal of peace.

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March 16, 2009 | The Middle East Conflict after the Gaza War

Roland Popp: The strategic effects of the Gaza War have been remarkably small. Israel’s strategy of isolating Hamas continues to focus on short-term conflict management and fails to open up new prospects for resolving the Middle East conflict.

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March 3, 2009 | How to Solve the Middle East Conflict?

Editorial Team: The violence in Gaza, the elections in Israel and the choice of Netanyahu to lead government negotiations has kept the Middle East conflict on the transatlantic agenda.
Articles on this website have made suggestions which range from allowing Israel and Palestine into the EU to making Israel the 51st state of the US and Palestine its second Puerto Rico. However, we would like to narrow down the medium-range solution possibilities to three different peace plans.

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January 8, 2009 | Leadership In Gaza: Craven and Dysfunctional

Manuela Paraipan: The conduct of Hamas in the ongoing conflict in Gaza is jeopardizing any prospect of peace. They betray hypocrisy, cowardice and a total lack of respect for the Palestinian people. So long as such appaling leadership persists, there can be no resolution to this bloody conflict.

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November 19, 2008 | Priorities for German-American Cooperation This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Jackson Janes: The executive director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies tells that Russia, energy security, climate change, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the financial crisis are all pressing issues to be addressed jointly by Germany and the United States under an Obama administration.

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February 25, 2008 | EU Expansion to Israel and Palestine

Leon Hadar: The EU should put its money where its mouth is and work towards inviting both Israel and Palestine to join the EU. With the election of a new US president, Europe could gain more control in the Middle East, but only if it simultaneously accepts more responsibility.

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February 22, 2008 | Transatlantic Security Agenda 2008

Benjamin Lucas Schoo: Vote now on what prominent security related issue the governments on both sides of the Atlantic should focus their attention on! We have identified 4 major tasks for 2008 and ask you to select which of these should be at the top of the transatlantic agenda. You can vote now on the right side.

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November 28, 2007 | America Holds the Key to Mideast Peace

Anatol Lieven: I put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into perspective and I argue that the greatest hope lies in American patriotism and the extent to which the US establishment takes the threat of Islamist terrorism seriously.

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October 31, 2007 | Going to Annapolis: The Challenge

Colette Avital: For the Annapolis peace conference to be successful, the outcome must focus on the substance of a permanent peace. A mechanism of negotiations should be set in motion for the issues of borders, refugees, Jerusalem, and security, among others, and the peace process should be accompanied by tangible measures on the ground.

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June 15, 2007 | Middle East Must Make Its Own Peace

Rudolf Adam: I warn that US influence on Israel is not enough to make peace. Forty years after the Six-Day War, domestic Israeli politics are the key to normalizing relations between settlers and Palestinians. The United States and EU should recognize that their powers here are limited.

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Global Must Read Articles

January 30, 2012 | Iran is a Distraction From Palestine

President Netanyahu has turned the Iranian threat into a convenient distraction away from Israel’s settlement policy. ++ He has taken advantage of President Obama’s preoccupation with the presidential elections. ++ Both Israel’s center and left parties have now adopted a policy of unilateral disengagement from Palestinian issues. ++ The end of negotiations for a two state solution is a “badge of

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September 23, 2011 | UN Vote Will Lead to Violence in the Middle East

Regardless of the outcome, a UN vote on Palestine will result in violence in the Middle East. ++ The US and Israel’s push to convince Security Council members to abstain from voting is a short-term solution for postponing conflict in the region. ++ Protests in Israel and Palestine over the UN vote could lead to another Arab-Israeli war. ++ Instead of voting, the Security Council should pass a

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September 22, 2011 | Why Israel Needs An Independent Palestinian State

Since the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, Israeli leaders have failed to embrace a far-sighted vision on the Israel-Palestine conflict. ++ To reinitiate the peace process, Israel should accept that only an independent Palestinian state will bring lasting peace to the region. ++ The UN vote on Palestinian statehood is an opportunity for Israel and its allies to improve relations with the

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September 19, 2011 | "Ten Reasons for a European 'Yes'"

The UN vote on the status of the Palestinian state presents a unique opportunity for Europe to play a decisive role in global affairs. ++ The EU should put aside national differences and vote as a union for the recognition of the Palestinian state. ++ Voting “yes” on Palestinian statehood is in line with European values and reaffirms Europe’s commitment to a two-state solution. ++ By supporting

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August 31, 2011 | Israel Should Intervene in Syria

By intervening in Syria, Israel could seize the opportunity offered by “the convergence of moral imperatives and strategic goals”. ++ This would oppose the passive precedent Israel has set in the Arab Spring, but offering a corridor for Syrian refugees via the Golan Heights could prove a “diplomatic coup” for Jerusalem, weakening the Assad regime while isolating Hezbollah

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August 10, 2011 | US Must Back Palestinian Bid for Statehood

With Israel evidently unwilling to negotiate, a UN vote on Palestinian recognition is the only road to creating a state. ++ Statehood alone will not resolve Israeli-Palestinian tensions, but the “long overdue” recognition would bring a level of equality to Palestinian negotiations with Israel and a measure of stability to the region. ++ Moreover, “the recognition of group identity is

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October 14, 2009 | Palestinians Victims of Leadership Failure

In the latest round of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal exchanged insults in televised speeches, leaving the US peace envoy looking like “a travelling salesman trying in vain to sell hair-restorer to two bald men fighting over a comb.” ++ The continued subjugation of the Palestinian people is the direct result of a failure of leadership on behalf of

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October 8, 2009 | US-Containment Policy is Main Hazard for Peace in the Middle East

The Obama administration’s middle east policy is largely unsuccessful due to its containment policy towards Iran. ++ The „US’ moves meant to contain the power of Iran, are the main stumbling block on the path to a US-brokered two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.“ ++ In order to reach sustainable peace in the greater middle east, and particularly in Israel and

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August 25, 2009 | Middle East: A Peace Guide for the Muslim World

Months after President Obama’s speech in Cairo, it is still upon Muslim states to react. ++ Being the first US President credible enough to be accepted by the Palestinians, Obama called on Muslim countries to finally implement true democracy. ++ They must: 1. Convene an Arabic special summit offering Israel full diplomatic acceptance in exchange for the end of settlements; 2. Support Iraq

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August 12, 2009 | The Two-State Solution Solves Nothing

The Israeli-Palestinian consensus on the two-state solution has little meaning. ++ It is “a catchphrase divorced from… issues it is supposed to resolve.” ++ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sticks to demands for a Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and the expulsion of Palestinian refugees. ++ Hamas pleads for a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, and full

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August 6, 2009 | Palestine: Trendsetter for Accountable Governments?

Despite the unflattering picture painted by the UN’s recent Arab Human Development report, conditions in the West Bank are improving. ++ This is due to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s governing model, which adheres to the idea “that an Arab leader’s legitimacy should be based not on slogans or rejectionism or personality cults or security services, but on delivering transparent, accountable

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July 28, 2009 | American Answer Needed to Mideast Problems

As both the Israeli and Palestinian parties have settled on a two-state solution, the US must now show them the way. ++ The rivals’ ability to negotiate bilaterally has reached its limit. ++ “An American proposal that offers clear parameters for all the issues at hand” could break the stalemate. ++ Negotiations must be accompanied by continued construction of a Palestinian state

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July 8, 2009 | Israel's Sea of Enemies

Biden’s words giving Israel the green light for a military strike should Iran obtain nuclear capabilities caused public discomfort. ++ Yet anything less would be irresponsible: Jewish history taught Israel it cannot wait for the worst case scenario - realization of Ahmadinejad’s threat of a nuclear attack. ++ The West must give the checks and balances of Israeli democracy the respect they deserve

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June 29, 2009 | Iran Gives the US Another Chance at Israel Peace

The Obama Administration should use the upheaval in Iran to “creep away from the corner into which it has painted itself in the Arab-Israeli peace process” - that is, insisting on a total “freeze” in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and even
East Jerusalem. ++ This approach of “raising the stakes” even though Israel is making an effort is flawed because it is politically unnecessary. ++

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June 16, 2009 | Israel Comes Around to Two-State Solution

For the first time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned the Palestinian state as a solution for the Middle East. ++ Some commentators have labelled this as “a great step for Netanyahu.” ++ “He wants to appease Obama by joining his peace mission.” ++ Although Netanyahu is prepared to accept the possibility of a two state solution, he has refused to back down on Israeli

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June 10, 2009 | Arab Peace Initiative an Historic Opportunity for Israel

Even though the momentum for peace in the Middle East Peace is supported by the Arab world and the US, Israel is hesitating. ++ The Arab
Peace Initiative - a tactical and strategic regional plan - may bring Israel peace, prosperity, security. ++ The two state solution is the best way forward. ++ Other alternatives -“one state for two nations” or the current de facto reality of “three states for

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April 29, 2009 | Iranian President Considering Obama's Olive Branch

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have softened his stance on Israel after saying his country would recognize the State of Israel - if Palestine signed a two-state peace deal. ++ The Obama Administration has extended an olive branch and the jailing of an Iranian-American journalist on spy charges last week may have been a maneuver by the regime to manufacture a crisis in order to test

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April 3, 2009 | Bleak Economic Future for Palestinian Regions

The conflict with Israel and the inner political crisis have set back the Palestinian autonomous areas a long way. Furthermore, the promise of the international community at the most recent donor conference in Sharm el-Sheikh to support the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip with 4.5 billion US dollars cannot solve the main problem: a constantly growing number of young people urgently needs work.

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March 26, 2009 | A New Dawn for Arab Unity?

The Arab League’s annual meeting could mark the beginning of a new chapter in Arab unity as the Iranian threat brings Arab states closer. ++ But regional politics might point in a different direction as a “Cold War” is being waged: the “muddled and divided Arab response to the Israeli assault on Gaza” made this a profound reality. ++ Those seeing Doha as a potential

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March 2, 2009 | Sharm el-Sheikh Conference Key to Middle East

The focus will be on the reconstruction of Gaza. ++ It would be wrong to focus only on this problem as there are many other issues that have come out of the recent conflict. ++ Many refugees have fled to a Lebanese camp in Nahr al-Bared. ++ Despite problems, this camp gives the chance to provide a durable, long term solution, but only if money is available. ++ Establishing a new order in such

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February 2, 2009 | Personal Chemistry No Solution to US-Israeli Division

The Netanyahu-Clinton relationship in 1996-99 was seen as a clash of personalities. ++ Clinton campaigned for Peres, and Netanyahu retaliated, supporting Christian conservatives in the US. ++ All this affects the elections in Israel, with Livni pushing a line that she would be better for talking to Obama. ++ But the clash was mainly on politics, and the gap between Israeli and US policies will

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January 26, 2009 | Oxfam and Other Charities Guilty of Anti-Israelism

Mark Thomson, DG of the BBC, has refused to broadcast the appeal of Disaster Emergency Committee for aid for Gaza, fearing that it would ruin the corporation’s impartiality. ++ The BBC itself is actually a clear pro-Palestinian institution but several of the charities that make up the DEC, Oxfam among others, are strongly anti-Israeli and guilty of “gross ideological bias.” ++ “Violence against

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January 22, 2009 | Solution Lies In "Isratine"

As difficult as it might be to believe in view of the events of the last decades and the recent activity in Gaza, hatred between Jews and Muslim is a recent phenomenon. ++ Both descendents from Abraham, they not only coexisted but due to their cruel history of repeated persecution frequently “found refuge with one another.” ++ Thus, long lasting peace is not unreachable but may only be possible

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January 21, 2009 | Europe Responsible For War in the Middle East

Is the massive reconstruction aid currently being sent by Europe to the Middle East mere compensation for having been unable to prevent the recent Gaza War? ++ If the Palestinians lived in their own state, they wouldn’t need humanitarian aid. ++ “By not recognizing a freely elected Palestinian government, Europe has actively undermined the creation of one.” ++ Preventing the Palestinian people

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January 14, 2009 | Peace Talks With Hamas? An Illusion

Another war in the Middle East and the same question re-emerges: To what extent should Hamas be engaged in peace talks? ++ The answer is none. ++ No discussions can be held with a group which - despite differences - views Hezbollah as a role model and firmly believes Jews are “a cosmological evil” and that “God is opposed to a Jewish State in Palestine.” ++ On the contrary, if there is a tiny

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January 12, 2009 | Overactive, Mr Sarkozy?

Taking office upon a promise of “a rupture” with French national and foreign policy, Nicolas Sarkozy differentiates himself from his predecessors through the active role he assumes in the international arena. ++ The current crisis in Gaza is a crisis which may well “measure up to Sarkozy’s metabolism.” ++ His different approach towards the US and Israel — he publicly stated that he

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January 12, 2009 | Failures of Statecraft: Bush and the Middle East

A series of failures during the eight-year Bush administration are culminating in the current Gaza war. ++ Bush failed to capitalize on Arafat’s nationalistic and peace making potential; he then shunned Iran despite vital intelligence aid during the Afghan war. ++ Furthermore, “Bush insisted on holding Palestinian elections in January 2006,” resulting in a Hamas victory; militarily backing

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January 9, 2009 | In Spite of Defiance, Hamas Faces Defeat

Hamas will not receive expected support from Hezbollah. ++ Palestinians have often been instigated to fight by others promising support, only to be left alone. ++ The relative accuracy of Israel’s bombings shows intelligence from within Gaza, from paid informers but also those opposing Hamas. ++ 50 Fatah-supporters were tortured by Hamas last week. ++ The war cannot change the regime in Gaza, but

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January 8, 2009 | Palestinians Must Strategize Media Campaign

Palestinians in Gaza need international support to protect their rights and lives. ++ This support is won through media campaigns, and the Palestinians and Hamas are losing. ++ Hamas’s aggressive rhetoric consistently plays into Israel’s hand: warning that Gaza would be a “graveyard” for Israeli soldiers and talk of killing Jewish children all support Israel’s claimed “security concerns.” ++

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January 7, 2009 | Is Israel Losing Its Own Game In Gaza?

Three weeks after Hamas fired rockets on Israel, the latter’s retaliation plan seems to be producing a boomerang effect. ++ The Israeli people are wary of a ground invasion which threatens the lives of Israeli citizens; international public opinion condemns Israel’s attack as ‘disproportional’ and ‘non-discriminatory,’ and the usual US support might not be as

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January 6, 2009 | UN Must Condemn Palestinian Abuse of Civilians

Palestine’s exploitation of its refugees and use of children as human shields are among the most shameful practices in the Israel-Palestine conflict. ++ The international community has for years sustained these abuses: the UNRWA perpetuates the misery of Palestinian refugees, doing nothing to dismantle camps or help them rebuild their lives, acting as “facilitator for the

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January 5, 2009 | Three-State Solution Ought to be Considered

The war in Gaza is evidence that the current governance paradigm has failed the Palestinian people. ++ It is bizarre that a two-state solution continues to be advocated; “instead, we should look to a three-state approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty.” ++ The suboptimal character of this solution is clear, as

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December 17, 2008 | Turkey Knows How to Mediate In the Middle East

Over the last year Turkey has accomplished more in the Middle East than the entire transatlantic contingent. ++ Last week Erdogan negotiated with the Afghan and Pakistani presidents over economic projects, in which both countries are interested. ++ The Turkish Parliament is not only preparing further projects in the Gaza strip, but is also promoting talks between Israel and Syria regarding the

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December 10, 2008 | The Opportunity for Human Rights

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo lost the US its position as champion of human rights. ++ As a result, democracy and rights activists face a global backlash. ++ Obama can close Guantanamo and stop torture by executive order. ++ The US undermined the rule of law in Pakistan with Musharraf, and must now help those who would restore it. ++ Activists in Egypt need help, and the Israel-Palestine conflict

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December 3, 2008 | "Try Tough Love, Hillary"

In view of the upcoming Israeli elections next year, PM Olmert has stated that disputes with Palestine and Syria need to be settled by giving up parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. ++ In return, Palestine must compromise on the right to return to a “new viable Palestine” and must be willing to renounce terrorism. ++ A two-state deal close to the 1967 borders will not be accomplished without

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November 26, 2008 | Syrian-Isreali Peace is the Key to Success

Instead of focusing on an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, Obama should invest in Israeli-Syrian negotiations. ++ Talks between Syria and Israel will focus on “withdrawal, peace, security and water - and the gaps are clear and ready to be bridged.” ++ Cementing such a deal would restructure the whole region in favor of US interests, giving Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran less options.

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November 25, 2008 | Solving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Obama’s administration should continue President Bush’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ++ The US could benefit from such a solution by regaining Arab governments support in dealing with regional challenges. ++ President-elect Obama should push for “1967 borders, with reciprocal and agreed-upon modifications; compensation in lieu of the right of return for

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October 15, 2008 | Europe on Deck In Palestine

Europe is showing willingness to take greater part in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but willingness isn’t readiness. ++ The EU must first stop treating Israel with sensitivity, while simply treating Palestine like a poor country. ++ Israel shuns EU involvement, claiming Europe is soft on terror and rampant with anti-Semitism; thus, its role has always been defined by the US and Israel.

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September 30, 2008 | McCain's Policies Favor Israel

McCain’s perception of the Middle East conflict deems Israel a critical ally. ++ McCain accepts the military facet of the conflict, while Obama considers diplomacy the tool to triumph over a minority of Islamic extremists. ++ The root cause of Islamic terrorism is also disputed: McCain believes it is an ideological conflict, and Obama assumes that it is driven by poverty and despair. ++ Obama

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September 29, 2008 | Livni's Election may Further Peace Process

Tzipora Livni is the newly elected leader of the Kadima party and may become Israel’s prime minister. ++ She represents those who favor a two-state solution instead of a Greater Israel, because they just want to live safely. ++ It is likely that she would negotiate “with pragmatic Palestinians and offer them full sovereignty in exchange for full peace.” ++ If Livni wins the elections and

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September 25, 2008 | UN Should Further One-State Solution

The peace process based on the two-state solution is stagnant and one alternative which is increasingly popular among Palestinians and some Israelis is an unitary state, providing both parties equal rights. ++ Abbas and Bush still support the two-state solution, but they are on the wrong track. ++ It is up to the UN to act, but the one-state proposal can only be discussed at the organisation if

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September 23, 2008 | "A Peace From the Bottom Up"

The Bush administration’s attempt at reconciling the Palestinian problem has been a dismal failure. ++ The peace process is unlikely to restart anytime soon; a plethora of elections, scandals, and spoilers will preclude a substantive, top-down agreement from taking shape. ++ A different approach is needed – one that works towards the “construction of a healthy and vibrant

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August 28, 2008 | Palestinians Should Challenge Hamas, not Israel

It is the Hamas’s illegitimate rule that prevents progress between Israel and the Palestinians, not Israel itself. ++ However, Palestinian protesters stick to the anti-Israel dogma and do not question the extremists’ destructiveness even though they need to ask Israel more and more often for help. ++ Therefore, “it is time to realize that bashing Israel will not build Palestine.” ++

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August 18, 2008 | Burnish Legacies with Intensive Peace Effort

There is a wide gap between declarations that a two-state solution is vital for Israel’s security, and actually doing something about it. ++ Both Olmert and Bush have a few months left in offices: they will not go down in history as great leaders, but can still burnish their legacies by truly engaging in the peace effort. ++ They should freeze the expansion of Jewish settlements, cease

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August 8, 2008 | Palestinian Civil Society is the Key to Peace

Regarding the issue of Palestine, Israel, the US, and the free world overemphasized the aim to have a strong partner in the peace process, and in doing so even supported corrupt and violent leaders. ++ But the path towards peace must pursue a radically different approach and must be linked to strengthening Palestinian civil society and the rule of law in the Palestinian territories. ++ The

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August 6, 2008 | New Sect Widens Palestinian Dispute

As the chasm between Hamas and Fatah appears to widen, another organisation called Hizb ut-Tahrir emerges. ++ It has the aim to reestablish an Islamic Caliphate to govern the whole Muslim world under Islamic law, but opposes the use of violence and tries to gain supporters through education instead. ++ Even if Hizb ut-Tahrir does not stand in elections yet and is opposed by Fatah in the West

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August 1, 2008 | Olmert's Resignation Will Disrupt Peace Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unexpectedly announced he will resign from his post in September. ++ The decision was a result of corruption accusations which made it increasingly difficult for him to fulfil his duties and prompted calls for his resignation. ++ The US State Department declares his departure will not affect American efforts to schedule some kind of peace agreement with PA by

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July 25, 2008 | A One-State Solution for Israel and Palestine

Some scholars recently advocated a single-state solution, based on the idea of justice, during a public debate. ++ The delivery of justice would require conditions in which Palestinians could lead normal lives in their homeland. ++ But the realization of such an idea would mean the end of the Zionist project. ++ Moreover, it would require of Israeli society to face its heterogeneous character

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July 8, 2008 | Global Nonpolarity: A New World Order

Globalization means that international affairs no longer occur in a bipolar, unipolar, or even multipolar world, but rather “under conditions of nonpolarity.” ++ In this nonpolar world, coordination between actors is increasingly difficult, and agreements are rarely reached. ++ The problem of Iran, currently Israel’s top concern, will unlikely motivate the international community to act in

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June 26, 2008 | A Palestinian State From the Bottom up

Representatives at the Berlin Middle East Conference reaffirmed their commitment to the US-initiated peace process in Annapolis. ++ Yet the approach has been changed. ++ The creation of an efficient security mechanism aims at setting the preconditions for the Annapolis “two-state solution.” ++ A major investment in the Palestinian police and judicial structures would enable the creation of a

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June 19, 2008 | The Paradox of Middle East Moderates

The guiding idea that empowering moderates in the Middle East will squelch the appeal of radicals is faulty reasoning. ++ First of all, defining a “moderate” is impossible. ++ A social “moderate” in Egypt, for example, calls for less religion in society, but condones suicide bombings as a legitimate means of diplomacy. ++ Secondly, the record has shown that moderates do

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May 29, 2008 | Palestinian Concerns Over Syrian-Israeli Negotiations

Although the recent negotiations between Israel and Syria give an encouraging push to the peace process in the Middle East, some Palestinian faction leaders and analysts expressed concerns about this issue. ++ They believe that focusing on an Israel-Syria peace track would have a negative impact on both direct talks with the Palestinian National Authority and indirect talks with the Islamic Hamas

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May 8, 2008 | Israel at 60, and Beyond

In a sort of ‘State of the Union’ address, the Jerusalem Post marks the 60th anniversary with the struggles, triumphs, and miracles that have brought about the first geographically defined Jewish civilization since millennia. ++ Accompanying these successes are, however, huge challenges for the next 60 years. ++ Israel struggles with its own definition of Jewishness, religious

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May 8, 2008 | Carter Accuses Israel of Human Rights Violations

After a research visit to Israel, former US President Jimmy Carter implores the international community to condemn Israel for what he considers “terrorism” against Palestinians. ++ Recent strikes against civilians, massive plans for Israeli housing projects in Palestine, and increasing roadblocks on the West Bank suggest that Israel is not holding up its end of the peace process

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May 6, 2008 | The Threat of the New Middle East

The old Middle East and the secular nationalism that went along with it is being replaced by a new, modern Middle East in which political Islam and anti-Western nationalism play a decisive role. ++ There is now a serious threat of “a confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia for sub-regional supremacy, and between Iran and the US for regional hegemony.” ++ The entire state system in the

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April 30, 2008 | Negotiation Over Isolation

Policy in Washington favors punishing and boycotting governments and political factions who do not adhere to US mandates. ++ This approach gives leaders little incentive to moderate their policies. ++ “In the Middle East, as in Nepal, the path to peace lies in negotiation, not in isolation.” ++ Recently, after discussions with Jimmy Carter, Hamas leaders made progress towards enhancing the

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April 30, 2008 | Israel: Peace at Home Vital for Regional Stability

Israel’s amazing development over the last 60 years into a regional leader necessitates ending the conflict at home. ++ A strategic alliance with moderate Sunni Arabs in the Middle East is contingent upon Israel’s ability to live peacefully alongside a Palestinian state. ++ At the same time, Palestine must accept and respect its Israeli neighbors. ++ Only in this manner will the

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April 22, 2008 | Improving America's Image in the Arab World

Recent Arab public opinion polls confirm a “gap between the aims of American policies and Arab public perceptions of the US.” ++ They also highlight that the US could improve its image by brokering peace between Palestine and Israel and by withdrawing from Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. ++ While US policies are clearly opposed, middle ground could be found regarding democratic values and

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March 31, 2008 | Getting the US out of Iraq is the Smart Thing to Do

US disengagement in Iraq will increase long term stability in the region. ++ Al-Qaeda is not behind most of the insurgency. ++ Disengagement should include serious dialogues with Iraqi leaders and those of neighboring areas, including Iran. ++ Overall goal of US strategy should be to stabilize the Middle East by ending the war in Iraq, negotiating with Iran, and leading Israel and Palestine to

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March 13, 2008 | Israel: Make Peace with Syria, Palestine Will Follow

Eventually the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be settled by the formation of two states. ++ Bringing Hamas into negotiations is one option to speed up process. ++ Making peace first with Syria would end confrontation with Hizbullah and Hamas, and create settlement with Palestinians. ++ The biggest obstacle towards a peaceful resolution is the Bush administration, which refuses to allow talks

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March 11, 2008 | Creating the Conditions for Negotiations and Peace

Given the current logic of violent retaliation which dominates actions of the weak and divided political systems in Palestine and Israel, there is no foreseeable end to the conflict. ++ Yet if an end to the strangulation of Gaza, a cease-fire with Hamas, and security cooperation with Egypt and Abbas are achieved and followed by democratic elections, most Israelis will show moral commitment to

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February 25, 2008 | Europe and Annapolis: A Focused Agenda

Failure to make the most of the Annapolis process would be fatal for both Israel and the international community. ++ The US needs to be “the major responsible supervisor of the negotiation process.” ++ The EU must move beyond its traditional role of paymaster and focus on state building and economic reconstruction in Palestine. ++ The EU must simultaneously demand concrete results from other

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January 18, 2008 | Bush's Middle East Tour

In his visit to the Middle East, President George W. Bush, in an unusual note of diplomatic urgency, has insisted that Israel and the Palestinians conclude a peace accord before he leaves office in early 2009. Speaking with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders six weeks after hosting a conference in Annapolis, Bush tried to force the change that has yet failed to materialise on the ground.

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October 29, 2007 | Route to Success in Annapolis

Henry A. Kissinger dampens hopes on the outcome of the meeting on the Palestinian peace process in Annapolis. Even if parties manage to agree on the Taba Plan of 2000—essentially Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders—the implementation remains uncertain. Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors have shaky domestic positions. Additionally, it needs to be clarified what the willingness by several

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June 11, 2007 | Sarkozy and the Arab world: French policy at the crossroads?

New French president Nicolas Sarkozy could initiate a historic shift in French Middle East policy, says Pascal Boniface, director of the IRIS Institute for International and Strategic Relations.

For forty years, French policy has been viewed as pro-Arab, an approach which has been attributed to French commercial interests and a large Muslim population. According to Boniface, however,

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April 12, 2007 | Yaakov Amidror Warns Israel's Defeat in Lebanon Will Come Back to Haunt Them

Since Israel failed to declare victory in the 2006 war in Lebanon, the Shi’a axis (Iran-Syria-Hezbollah) has only grown stronger and will continue to do so once the US withdraws its troops from Iraq, or Iran builds a nuclear warhead. So writes Yaakov Amidror of the Israeli Army in his account of the outcome of the war. Despite religious conflict with Sunni countries in the region, the revitalized

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Should NATO intervene in Syria?



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