Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why Iraq Is in Turmoil. By Fareed Zakaria.

Why Iraq is in turmoil. By Fareed Zakaria. Fareed Zakaria GPS, January 11, 2014.

What went wrong in Iraq? Video. Panel with Rashid Khalidi, Richard Haass, Meghan O’Sullivan, and Peter Bergen. Fareed Zakaria GPS, January 10, 2014. Transcript.







Zakaria:

Here’s a startling statistic: more than 8,000 Iraqis were killed in violent attacks in 2013. That makes it the second most violent country in the world, after its neighbor Syria.
 
As violence has spread and militants have gained ground in several Middle Eastern countries, people have been wondering how much this has to do with the Obama administration and its lack of an active intervention in the region. The Wall Street Journal and a Commentary magazine opinion piece have both argued this past week that the Obama administration's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq is directly responsible for the renewed violence in that country. They and others have also argued that because it has stayed out of Syria, things there have spiraled downward.
 
Let me suggest that the single greatest burden for the violence and tensions across the Arab world lies with a president – though not President Obama – and it lies with an American foreign policy that was not too passive but rather too active and interventionist in the Middle East. The invasion and occupation of Iraq triggered what has become a regional religious war in the Middle East. Let me explain how, specifically.
 
From March through June of 2003, in the first months of the occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration made a series of catastrophic decisions. It authorized the disbanding of the Iraqi army and signed onto a policy of deBaathification, which meant that anyone in Iraq who had been a member of the top four levels of the Baath Party – the ruling party under Saddam Hussein – would be barred from holding any government job.
 
This meant that tens of thousands of bureaucrats and hundreds of thousands of soldiers – almost all Sunnis – were thrown out of work, angry, disposed, and armed. This in turn meant the collapse of the Iraqi state and of political order. But it also sparked the rise of a sectarian struggle that persists to this day.
 
The Bush administration went to war in Iraq to spread democracy. But in fact it spread sectarianism – displacing the Sunni elite who had long ruled the country and replacing it with hardline Shia religious parties that used their new found power to repress the Sunnis – just as they had been repressed.
 
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has been utterly unwilling to share power with the Sunnis – who comprise about 20 percent of Iraq – and that has driven them into opposition, extremism, and terrorism. During the surge the prime minister made several promises to change his ways and over the last few years has reneged on every one of them.
 
This sectarian power-struggle is the origins of the civil war that has been ongoing in Iraq for 11 years. It is the cancer that has spread beyond Iraq into other countries, from Syria to Lebanon.
 
The Bush administration seemed to have made the massive strategic error almost unthinkingly. There is for example a report that a few months before the invasion, President Bush met with three Iraqi exiles and appeared unaware that Iraq contained within it Sunnis and Shias. An Arab leader confirmed to me that in his meetings with the president, it was clear that Bush did not understand that there was a difference between the two sects. Others in the administration, better informed, were convinced that the Shia would be pluralists and democrats. Those of us who warned of these dangers at the time were dismissed as pessimists.
 
So if we’re trying to understand why we see a Sunni-Shia battle unfolding across the Middle East, keep in mind that the primary cause is not that the Obama administration didn't intervene in Syria. It’s because the Bush administration did in Iraq.


Panel:

ZAKARIA: Rashid, when you look at all this turmoil brewing in the Middle East, what do you see as the cause?

RASHID KHALIDI, AUTHOR, PROFESSOR OF MODERN ARAB STUDIES, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, there are many causes, but one cause is that you have some sectarian issues that are working themselves out.

Another cause is a whole generation or so of American policies that I think exacerbated things.

A third cause is American alliances with countries that have their own dogs in some of these fights, Saudi Arabia, Israel, others.

Each of these, I think, exacerbates a set of problems.

ZAKARIA: How do you see it, Richard.

RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: A big part of the cause, it comes from within Middle East itself. These are societies that have never really dealt with – successfully with modernity.

You’ve never had a clear divide between the religious and the secular. People confuse democracy and majoritarianism. There's not a real sense of minority rights or places in these societies. So all sorts of divides also between governments and individuals.
 
So those issues have never been sort out. It’s, in some ways, the least successful part of the world. And, then, in many ways, I agree, American foreign policy has exacerbated things by removing centers of authority, in many cases, unattractive, but still . . .

ZAKARIA: Right.

HAASS: Centers of authority and not doing things that were needed to put something better or at least enduring in its place.

So we say Assad must go, put pressure on him, but then virtually nothing happens to see that he goes, much less to replace him with something better.

Gadhafi must go, then what? No boots on the ground.

ZAKARIA: Right.
 
HAASS: I’m not saying we should have done boots on the ground, but before the United States starts advocating or pushing for regime change, be it Iraq or Libya or Syria, we need to be sure that we have something we think that's better to go in its place and we are prepared to do the expensive process of putting there.

If not, we had better start thinking twice before we make regime change the default option for American foreign policy.


Omar Barghouti, Founder of BDS: “No Palestinian Will Ever Accept a Jewish State In Any Part of Palestine.”

Omar Barghouti on “ethical decolonization” and moving beyond Zionist racism. By Benjamin Doherty. The Electronic Intifada, September 29, 2013.

Doherty:

“Ethical decolonization”

It was serendipitous that I found a video featuring a presentation by Omar Barghouti that dispenses with the “peace process” and “two states” completely and focuses on the ethics and mechanics of decolonization.

Barghouti refers to the work of the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire when explaining the moral responsibilities of the oppressed, and he proposes “indigenizing” the settler-colonial population through a process of “ethical decolonization.”

“Indigenizing” the settlers

The argument escapes the common traps about “Jewish self-determination” and the “Jewish state” by outlining a path where the settler-colonial population becomes entitled to determine the future of the state through joint struggle with the indigenous community and on condition that the settlers abandon their colonial privilege.

The excerpt below is edited slightly for readability:
Accepting modern day Jewish Israelis as equal citizens and full partners in building and developing a new shared society — free from all colonial subjugation and discrimination, as called for in the democratic state model — is the most magnanimous, rational offer any oppressed indigenous population can present to its oppressors. So don’t ask for more.
Only by shedding their colonial privileges, dismantling the structures of oppression — the laws and the policies and so on — and accepting the restoration of the rights of indigenous people of the land — especially the right of Palestinian refugees to return and to receive reparations and the right of all Palestinians to unmitigated equality — only then can settlers be indigenized and integrated into the emerging nation and therefore become entitled to participate in determining the future of the common state.
I make a distinction between self-determination for Jewish settlers in Palestine, which I categorically oppose — never in history was a colonizing community ever allowed self-determination not in South Africa, not in Algeria, not in Ireland, not anywhere. Colonizers are not entitled to self-determination, by any definition of self-determination, but post-colonialism, post-oppression, after justice has happened, then we must envision integrating the former colonizers into a common nation that can determine its future. So they are part of the future determination of the state if they are indigenized.
The indigenous population on the other hand must be ready after justice has been reached and rights have been restored to forgive and accept the settlers as equal citizens enjoying normal lives, neither masters nor slaves.


Dian Kjaergaard on Barghouti:

The two Barghouti references (here and here) are priceless. To them I can add the following:

In December 2003, before the BDS movement was officially started (9 July 2005), Omar Barghouti called explicitly for “the one-state solution… a unitary state solution”, a “unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/12/12/relative-humanity-the-essential-obstacle-to-a-just-peace-in-palestine/

And 10 years on? Omar Barghouti has recently participated in a meeting called “Strategies for change.” An enthusiastic analysis of his talk can be found here: – along with a link to a 16-minute video of the talk.

Omar Barghouti is deeply interested in the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paolo Friere’s work with the pedagogy of the oppressed, and starts by saying that the oppressed must, of course, not become oppressors. Mr Barghouti wants (1:32 – slightly paraphrased): A secular unitary state in British Mandate Palestine, recognizing the inalienable rights of indigenous Palestinians and “acquired rights of colonialist, indigenized Jewish settlers after they no longer have colonialist privileges.”

I disagree with the “colonialist” label, but that’s not the most important point here.

After discussing the three cardinal goals of BDS, Mr Barghouti says (5:40 – slightly paraphrased):

“A Jewish state in Palestine – any shape or form – cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination. It should be opposed just as we oppose a Muslim state, or a Christian, or any kind of exclusionary state –”

At 5:50 he seems to back down a bit in his opposition to Muslim or Christian states, and says:

“most definitely do we oppose a Jewish state. No rational, not-sell-out Palestinian will ever accept a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”

Approximately 8:00:

“…. post-colonialism – after justice – we must envision integrating into a common nation that can determine its future together.”

Elsewhere Mr Barghouti has admitted that substantial minority protection in Muslim majority states is seldom seen, but he believes that the “Arab Spring” suggests that there is potential for a better situation.

My evaluation is that Mr Barghouti is either dangerously na√Įve – or dangerously manipulative.


Nakba denial and rape culture at Peter Beinart’s Open Zion. By Benjamin Doherty. The Electronic Intifada, November 4, 2013.

Why Israel Fears the Boycott. By Omar Barghouti. New York Times, January 31, 2014.

Is BDS’ campaign against Israel reaching a turning point? By Omar Barghouti. Al Jazeera English, December 22, 2013.

On Academic Freedom and the BDS Movement. By Omar Barghouti. The Nation, December 14, 2013.

The BDS Movement Explained. By Omar Barghouti. New York Daily News, February 25, 2013.

Omar Barghouti Admits BDS Wants to Destroy Israel. Huffington Post Monitor, October 4, 2013. Go to 5:55 for the good stuff.

NY Times, MSNBC Whitewash BDS. By Yair Rosenberg. Tablet, February 6, 2013.

Why do Zionists falsely claim BDS movement opposes two-state solution. By Ali Abunimah. The Electronic Intifada, February 6, 2013.

They Can’t Hide the Sun: An interview with Omar Barghouti. By Peter Rugh. Mondoweiss, February 7, 2013.

“Boycotts work”: An interview with Omar Barghouti. By Ali Mustafa. The Electronic Intifada, May 31, 2009.

Omar Barghouti on “Why BDS?” Mondoweiss, April 6, 2011.

Omar Barghouti at UCLA: No to BDS, no to occupation. By Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller. Jewish Journal, January 23, 2014.

Omar Barghouti at UCLA: A speaker who brings hate. By Roberta P. Seid. Jewish Journal, January 16, 2014.

The Chutzpah of Omar Barghouti. By Daniel Greenfield. FrontPage Magazine, February 9, 2012.

Omar Barghouti’s Lectures: A Case Study of Dangerous Propaganda. By Roberta Seid and Roz Rothstein. StandWithUs. [January 2012]

The Message of BDS. By Joel Fishman. Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, January 4, 2011.

Omar Barghouti. Divest This.

International Solidarity with Palestine: Towards a Global Intifada (Omar Barghouti). Video. SJPatUCLA, January 21, 2014. YouTube.



Omar Barghouti: Strategies for Change. Video. John Y. Jones. Dag Hammarskjöldprogram/NetworkVimeo. Excerpt at YouTube.






BDS campaigner Omar Barghouti lecture and conversation with Amy Goodman in Santa Fe. By Ali Abunimah. The Electronic Intifada, February 10, 2013. Videos at Vimeo, here and here.






Omar Barghouti Talks About Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions Against Israeli Apartheid at Yale University. Video. strugglevideomedia, February 8, 2013. YouTube.




Omar Barghouti : Co-founder of the Global BDS Movement & PACBI Interviewed. Video. planxtysumoud, February 24, 2010. YouTube.

QUESTION: If the occupation ends, would that end your call for BDS?

BARGHOUTI: No, it wouldn’t. . . . The majority of the Palestinian people are not suffering from occupation, they are suffering from denial of their right to come back home.




Omar Barghouti: BDS – The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. Video. PHubb, July 13, 2011. YouTube.



Ariel Sharon’s Masterstroke: The Gaza Withdrawal. By Fabio Rafael Fiallo.

Ariel Sharon’s Masterstroke: The Gaza Withdrawal. By Fabio Rafael Fiallo. Real Clear World, January 12, 2014.

Fiallo:

Much to the dismay of his detractors – and he had many – Ariel Sharon secured a distinct place in history when he made the watershed decision in 2005 to unilaterally withdraw Israeli forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip.
 
The move aroused apprehension and criticism within Sharon's own political camp. Why, it was said, disengage unilaterally – i.e., without securing reciprocal concessions – from a territory that would for sure be utilized to launch terrorist attacks against Israel?
 
The malaise created by that initiative was so deep that today’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, resigned from his cabinet position in protest. Sharon, for his part, had to create a new political party, Kadima, so as to be able to pursue the course of action he had chosen.
 
And yet, history has clearly vindicated Ariel Sharon's decision.
 
True, terrorist attacks launched from the Gaza Strip since the pullout did expose Israel to periods of insecurity on more than one occasion, though no more or less than what most Israelis had already grown accustomed to. Gusts of rocket fire reached a peak in 2008 and again in 2012, triggering Israel’s self-defense operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense.
 
Be that as it may, Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, is bitterly learning that any terrorist attack against Israel carries a heavy price – in the form of Israel’s reaction – that badly impairs its ability to administer the Strip and meet the needs of the Gazans.
 
Gone are the pre-withdrawal days when Hamas drew its popularity by playing the underdog. Now, Palestinians living in Gaza can, and actually do, hold Hamas accountable for their vicissitudes and suffering.
 
Thus, to avoid widening its disconnect with the concerns of Palestinians living in Gaza, Hamas is obliged to think twice before giving free rein to its terrorist fixations – or those of other terrorist organizations in the territory. 

Furthermore, with Israel’s pullout and the ensuing takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the protracted internecine war between Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority has taken the form of fratricidal turf warfare. Fatah’s members have a tough life in Gaza, as do Hamas’ activists in the Fatah-controlled West Bank. Retaliatory imprisonments and cross-assassinations are commonplace.
 
Fatah and Hamas have given priority to their factional war, and often at the expense of the needs and expectations of Palestinians under their administration.
 
No wonder that, since the “Arab Spring” erupted in 2011, both Hamas and Fatah have fretted about public uprisings in their respective territories. More often than not, they have severely repressed not only street demonstrations but criticisms posted to the web, as well.
 
By giving rise to a turf war between Hamas and Fatah, the Sharon pullout laid bare the many grievances and contestations in the territory, as well as the scant regard for democratic values among the two leading factions of the Palestinian leadership.
 
To fully understand the effect of Sharon’s decision, consider this counterfactual: what would have happened if Israeli troops had still been in Gaza at the time of the “Arab Spring” in 2011?
 
A safe bet is that Hamas and Fatah would have tried to replicate the unrest in the disputed territories, possibly sparking a new intifada. Under the present circumstances, however, Hamas and Fatah are guided by a radically different preoccupation: to prevent a Palestinian intifada against them.
 
Moreover, had Israeli troops remained in Gaza, Arab rulers likely would have attempted to divert international attention away from the discontent of their own citizens by fostering protests in Gaza against the “Zionist occupier.” Hamas would have been more than delighted to receive financial and logistical support to fulfill that deed. The Palestinian Authority, in turn, would have promoted similar protests in the West Bank, if only to prevent Hamas from exploiting regional unrest first.
 
That scenario was preempted by Sharon’s pullback.
 
There remains the mother of all questions: Did the pullout serve to advance the cause of peace? And the answer is yes. By exposing to the world the futility of negotiating with a double-headed and disorganized Palestinian leadership, the pullout from Gaza has exposed the need for an aggiornamento of the Palestinian leadership as a prerequisite for a real, durable solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
 
For all these reasons, Ariel Sharon’s handover of the Gaza Strip can retrospectively be regarded as a masterpiece of political vision and strategic cleverness.

Ariel Sharon Never Changed. By Jeffrey Goldberg.

Ariel Sharon Never Changed. By Jeffrey Goldberg. Bloomberg, January 11, 2014.

Goldberg:

Shortly after the eruption of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000 – an uprising allegedly, though not actually, triggered by an infamous Ariel Sharon walkabout atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – I was visiting Sharon’s ranch in southern Israel for the harvest holiday of Sukkot. Sharon, who died today at 85 after eight years in a stroke-induced coma, had erected a sukkah – a temporary open-air hut meant to serve as a symbolic shelter – that could seat 200 people. He was the leader of the Likud party then, contemplating a run for prime minister, and the sukkah was overflowing with party activists. The mood was celebratory. At one point, a small group of young activists took up a chant: “Arik, King of Israel,” using Sharon’s nickname. Many members of the Likud Knesset faction were present. I sat for a while with one of the toughest Likud hardliners, Uzi Landau, who was in a gloating mood.
 
The Oslo peace process had more or less collapsed by Sukkot of 2000. Ehud Barak, who was then prime minister, had returned to Israel empty-handed from the Camp David peace talks a couple of months earlier. He had offered Palestinian negotiators most of what they said they wanted, but Yasser Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization leader, left Camp David without even making a counter-offer. Barak was suffering in the polls, and Sharon saw a chance to strike. I asked Landau, who was one of Sharon’s key supporters, what he thought about the demise of the peace process. “Oslo is Munich, and Arik is Churchill,” he said.
 
Later, I would ask Sharon if he agreed with Landau – not about the Churchill comparison, but about the notion that Bill Clinton, who convened the Camp David talks, and Ehud Barak, were trying to do to Israel what Neville Chamberlain did to Czechoslovakia. “There are people out there who don’t understand the true intentions of the Palestinians,” Sharon said. “I am not one of them. They want to destroy Israel. They want our country.”
 
Flash forward five years. Sharon, now prime minister, was about to do something few people could ever have imagined him doing: He was preparing to unilaterally evacuate the Gaza Strip of all Israeli settlers and soldiers. This was shocking because it was Sharon, as a cabinet minister a quarter-century earlier, who had first planted Jewish settlers in Gaza. He believed, as he had written in his autobiography, that Gaza, which was captured by Israel from Egypt in the 1967 Six Day War, remained indispensably important to Israel’s security. “What will we do once we withdraw from Gaza and find, as we inevitably will, that Arafat or his successors have stepped in and that squads of terrorists are again operating from there into Israel, murdering and destroying?” he wrote. “What will we do when the Katyusha fire starts hitting Sderot, four miles from the Gaza district, and Ashkelon, nine miles from Gaza, and Kiryat Gat, fourteen miles from Gaza.”
 
Sharon felt a special affection for the Gaza settlers, who in his mind were rough and resilient pioneers serving as a picket line along Israel’s southern flank. And he had fond memories of fighting terror in Gaza, where he was, for a while, inordinately successful.
 
“Once, we captured a Lebanese fishing boat,” he said in the course of a long and nostalgia-filled conversation with me about his fighting days. “We filled it with Lebanese food and newspapers and we put our soldiers in it, dressed as Arabs, who spoke Arabic. And they landed on the beach in Gaza, and the Palestinians hid them. They thought they were their people, fugitives. And we were pursuing them ourselves, making believe they were hunted terrorists. The Palestinians took them to meet an important group of terrorists in the northern part of the Gaza district. And when they met them our soldiers killed them. Then they were evacuated out of Gaza. You have to think of things like that. You have to be creative.”
 
Sharon’s decision to evacuate the settlers of Gaza, and remove the army, was seen by his critics in the Likud, and in the parties to the right of the Likud, as proof that he had gone mad. One of his most caustic critics was Landau, the man who five years earlier described Sharon to me as a latter-day incarnation of Churchill. “Arik is making a joke of his party and a joke of his beliefs,” Landau told me when I interviewed him shortly before the evacuation. “He is destroying himself, destroying his party and destroying Israel’s security, and for what? So that he will be popular in Europe?”
 
This idea that Sharon had changed in some profound and mystifying way was popular not only with his critics on the right, but even among some of those in the Israeli center, and on the left.
 
In the coming days you will read that the Gaza withdrawal, and the cleaving of the Israeli right that it triggered – Sharon and his allies would leave the Likud party, and form their own, Kadima – represented a reversal of everything Sharon had once stood for. This is wrong: The unilateral evacuation was of a piece with everything he had previously done.
 
The evidence to support the notion that he had suddenly become a peacenik was superficially compelling. If there has been one theme to Sharon’s life, it was relentless, aggressive expansion: forward, always forward. I spent enough time with him to know that the manner in which he ate – he could vacuum up vast quantities of food – corresponded to the way he conquered territory.
 
In 1967, as a daring tank commander, he helped secure the Sinai Peninsula for Israel. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he led a tank force across the Suez Canal to within striking distance of Cairo. As Israel’s agriculture minister, and later its defense minister, Sharon oversaw the planting of Israeli settlements not only in Gaza, but also in the far-flung reaches of the West Bank. In 1982, as Menachem Begin’s defense minister, Sharon focused his attention north, on Lebanon, which had become a base for PLO attacks against Israel. Not content merely to kill terrorists in Lebanon’s south and go home, Sharon decided he would deal the PLO a fatal blow – and remake Lebanese politics in the process, by installing a friendly Christian government in Beirut. Israel’s invasion ended, instead, with the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians by Christian militiamen, under the noses of the Israeli army.
 
So what changed? What caused a man who moved so relentlessly forward to suddenly reverse course? His view of the Palestinians, and their desires, had not changed at all. In 2000, he told me that, “The Arabs don’t want the Jews to be here. That is the secret of this whole story. This land we are on is considered by the Muslims to be holy land. They will never let anyone possess it. You should read the Koran. You’ll see what they think about the Jews. They want to take this land by violence.”
 
Four years later, he told me more or less the same thing, though in language softened somewhat by knowledge that he was speaking as prime minister, not as the leader of the right-wing opposition. “We have a problem with our partner. It is not realistic to think that the Palestinians would agree to stop their war on us if they receive some pieces of territory.”
 
Nevertheless, Sharon by 2005 reached the conclusion that a piece of territory is what the Palestinians would get, without even the hassle of negotiation. “I’ve decided that it is impossible to keep holding three and half million Palestinians in a situation of occupation,” he told me. His use of the word “occupation” in and of itself was revolutionary – in the 1990s, he would describe the West Bank and Gaza as liberated territory, not occupied.
 
What changed was not his heart, not his life’s aim, but his understanding of reality. In his heart, he understood Israel’s enemies to be implacable. His objective was unaltered: to defend the existence of the Jewish state by any means necessary. For many years, he believed that the existence of the Jewish state was dependent on the occupation of Gaza. But he then came to realize that the “occupation” of Gaza was undermining Israel’s democracy, international standing and security. And so he left. He left Gaza for the same reason he invaded Lebanon: He thought it would make Israel safer.
 
Sharon made one terrible mistake in Gaza. His mistake was not leaving: He grasped, correctly, that over time staying would have been fatal for Israel. His mistake was leaving unilaterally. A negotiated withdrawal – and there were Palestinians with whom he could have negotiated such a withdrawal – could have extracted important concessions from Palestinians. Instead, radicals in Gaza were empowered by Sharon’s unilateralism. They believed, not entirely incorrectly, that their terrorism had paid off, forcing even a legendary warrior like Ariel Sharon to turn tail. The fallout from the withdrawal is well known: Hamas soon came to power and turned Gaza into a launching pad for missile attacks against the towns Sharon long before predicted would be attacked.
 
And yet, Sharon, through the same force of will that propelled him heroically across the Suez Canal, and sent him deeply and disastrously into Lebanon, did something hugely important for his country: He began to disentangle Israel from the lives of the Palestinians. Settlers will never return to Gaza. That is an achievement.
 
And it is a lesson for Benjamin Netanyahu, who will shortly surpass David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest serving prime minister. Netanyahu lacks some of Sharon’s defects, but he also lacks some of Sharon’s most important positive qualities. He is not a man of action, and this has kept him from launching unnecessary wars. But it has also kept him from acting on what he knows. Netanyahu grasps the same reality Sharon grasped 10 years ago. Continued settlement of the West Bank, and continued entanglement of Israel in the lives of millions of Palestinians, will eventually be his country’s undoing. A way out must be found. It is a good thing that Netanyahu isn’t a bulldozer; he would never execute a withdrawal from the West Bank in the sort of precipitous, blundering Sharon-like way that would increase the danger for Israel. But he might never do it at all. If Sharon had not been stricken eight years ago, Israel might today already be out of the West Bank. It is up to Netanyahu now to save the Jewish state.

No End to Palestinian Claims: How Israel and the Palestinians View Borders. By Pinhas Inbari.

No End to Palestinian Claims: How Israel and the Palestinians View Borders. By Pinhas Inbari. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, January 8, 2014.

Never Mind Group Membership – It’s Islamic-Supremacist Ideology That Matters Most. By Andrew C. McCarthy.

Never Mind Group Membership – It’s Islamic-Supremacist Ideology That Matters Most. By Andrew C. McCarthy. National Review Online, January 8, 2014.