May 30, 2013 |
Getting into wars is easier than getting out of them. Could the same logic apply to peace conferences? Indeed, could U.S. diplomacy - however well intentioned - actually make matters worse? Secretary of State John F. Kerry has two diplomatic tracks in the works: ending a civil war in Syria and promoting a peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Both will be difficult to get started, but the real challenge will come the day after. Diplomatic conferences and events are usually good for one of two things: launching a serious process of negotiation or concluding one. What the U.S. confronts with both the Syrian civil war and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a kind of twilight zone that's betwixt and between.
November 23, 2012 |
Israelis cynically refer to the repeated rounds of violence with the Arabs as "happiness," as in "it's happy today. " Before the cease-fire, as Hamas fired 1,000 rockets at Israel, it was indeed very "happy. " A diplomatic push put an end to the fighting, with intensive mediation efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. If the truce holds, happiness will be behind us, for now. It is standard diplomatic practice to view crises as an opportunity to seek fundamental change in the situation.
June 18, 2012 |
The Middle East is ailing. The malady stems from pervasive violence, shortages of food, water and educational opportunities, discrimination against women and - the most virulent cause of all - the absence of freedom. There can be no peace without freedom. Economic growth is impossible without integration in the free global economy. Tragically, this simple logic eludes us in the Middle East. The young generation, which makes up most of the region's population, insists on equal rights, access to education and the jobs created by science and technology.
March 12, 2012 |
The toll on civilians from violence between the Israeli military and militants based in the Gaza Strip rose Monday as three Palestinians — a 15-year-old boy on his way to school and a father and daughter walking in the street — were killed by Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian officials said. Militants from Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees on Monday fired rockets into southern Israel, hitting an empty kindergarten and damaging a residential structure in the city of Ashdod, injuring an elderly woman and another person with shrapnel.
May 20, 2011 |
President Obama plunged back into efforts to restart Middle East peace talks, pressuring both sides with a set of U.S. principles that appeared to catch Israeli leaders off guard and is likely to set up a tense meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. The president's speech Thursday, which the White House had billed as a major address on the Middle East, reflected a sense of impatience as Obama confronts the region's numerous problems. Aides said he was seeking to put the Israeli-Palestinian issues into the broader context of U.S. support for this year's uprisings challenging autocratic rulers in the Middle East and North Africa and to emphasize the urgency of resolving some of the region's problems.
May 13, 2011 |
Former Sen. George J. Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's special envoy for Middle East peace after a two-year effort failed to advance Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, White House officials said. Mitchell, acclaimed for his success in sealing a peace deal in Northern Ireland, began this mission optimistically but recently came to the conclusion that serious negotiations were a distant prospect and there was no need for him to continue, associates said. He had not visited the region since December.