April 11, 2013 |
When British authorities the other day denied an export license for a 15th-century Flemish manuscript acquired last December by the J. Paul Getty Museum at a London auction, few could have been surprised. Stopping the export of exceptional works of art from the United Kingdom is business as usual for the government's catch-all Department for Culture, Media and Sport . Why? Often, as in this particular case, for no defensible reason. ART: Can you guess the high price?
April 1, 2013 |
President Obama's recent Middle East trip showed what good things can result from thoughtful, direct presidential involvement. The president addressed young Israelis, reassured allies in the region and brokered an Israeli apology to Turkey for a deadly raid on a flotilla attempting to take supplies to Gaza. The president should employ that same sort of diplomacy toward North Korea. An increasingly dangerous confrontation is building between the United States and North Korea. The outrageous rhetoric pouring out of Pyongyang makes it difficult to do anything more than dismiss North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. But abandoning diplomacy would be extremely dangerous.
March 29, 2013
Re "Palestinian politics do matter," Opinion, March 24 Khaled Elgindy, a former advisor to Palestinian leadership, is right when he says, "The United States does not have to like Palestinian politics or endorse its themes or outcomes - any more than it needs to embrace the appointment of pro-settlement and anti-peace figures to Israel's Cabinet - but it does need to acknowledge them. " Israelis are fond of saying, "How can you expect us to negotiate with organizations that want to destroy our state?"
March 27, 2013 |
Military intervention in the Muslim world seems to bring the United States nothing but grief. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya: None looks much like a success story now. Yet the Obama administration is edging reluctantly into a civil war in Syria, aiding rebels who are fighting to overthrow the brutal regime of Bashar Assad. And it should: The longer this war goes on, the worse it will be for the U.S. and the Syrians. Already, more than 70,000 Syrians have died; perhaps 4 million have lost their homes.
March 8, 2013 |
Israel, I fear, is on a suicidal path: It could cease to be the democratic home of the Jewish people. This is why I greatly appreciate President Obama's decision to come to Israel despite all the serious issues he faces in America. His visit could mark the beginning of a new era in the struggle to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Because it is crucial to make the most of it, I am taking the liberty of offering four suggestions to the president as he prepares for his trip.
February 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - John Kerry opened his diplomatic mission to Syria in 2009 with a decidedly undiplomatic question for President Bashar Assad: Why did so few Arab leaders trust Assad? One month into President Obama's first term, the then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was in Damascus to explore the possibility of Syrian-Israeli peace talks. But minutes into their meeting, Kerry pressed the Syrian autocrat to explain why other Middle Eastern rulers said Assad always "says one thing and does another ... or he says he will do something then doesn't do it. " Assad, clearly startled by the question, demanded examples.