Latest Article from Clifford May
Count me among those — a dwindling minority, I'm afraid — who think that politics should end at the water's edge. No one, Republican or Democrat, ought to take pleasure at the spectacle of America's foreign policies failing and the perception of America as a hobbled giant.
That is, self-evidently, what we're seeing: Russian boots are on the ground in Ukraine. North Korea is firing missiles. Iran's negotiators are playing high-stakes poker, while the U.S.-led side doesn't seem to know a flush from a straight.
In Syria, Iran's proxies confront al Qaeda forces (forces the administration two years ago congratulated itself for having defeated) while the much-ballyhooed agreement to remove chemical weapons has stalled.
Latest Article from Judith Miller
Both the Israeli and Palestinian nominees for best foreign film this year focused on the highly complex relationship between Palestinian informers and their Israeli handlers, agents of Israel's Shin Bet (its General Security Services). Omar and Bethlehem are both infused with the frustration and pessimism endemic in so much of the Middle East since the Arab Spring's failure to meet its predominately young advocates' expectations; both open ominously with the sound of gunfire, and both end badly for their major characters. Both share the same U.S. distributor–Adopt Films, a two-and-a-half-year old, New York-based company that bought the U.S. rights after seeing both films at the Toronto International Film Festival. Filmed a year apart—Bethlehem came first—the films' directors used some of the same equipment, in short supply in Israel, and even some of the same actors.
Latest Article from Soner Cagaptay
Russian troop deployment in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is likely to trigger a reaction from Turkey. Crimea lies only 173 miles from the Anatolian coastline, across the Black Sea. It is home to a community of Turkic Tatars, who are ethnic and linguistic kin of Anatolian Turks and oppose potential Russian annexation of the peninsula. Turkey has established close ties with Ukraine, a useful buffer with the bear to the north, since that country's independence and will take issue with violation of Kiev's sovereignty.
Latest Article from Michael Freund
What a wasted opportunity.
Sunday's prayer rally, which brought hundreds of thousands of haredim into the streets of Jerusalem, had all the makings of an historic event.
To begin with, it was one of the largest Jewish prayer services to take place since the Second Temple once stood nearly two millennia ago. The entrance to the capital was transformed into a large open-air synagogue, as men swayed back and forth, their heartfelt entreaties and supplications silently rising up heavenward.
And in a rare show of unity, observant Jews ranging from Chabad to Sephardim to the Lithuanian yeshiva world put aside their differences to come together seamlessly and without the usual communal friction.
Latest Article from Soeren Kern
Muslim fundamentalists in London have threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted an innocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account.
The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, add to a growing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe. (Efforts to silence non-Muslims are well documented.)
Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer
When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Qatar in December, he met with Qatar's emir and other senior officials and took time to tour the high-tech Combined Air Operations Center at the massive al-Udeid Air Base. It's not only the biggest U.S. airbase in the Middle East, but a very visible symbol of what Hagel touted as the close "partnership" between the United States and the tiny hereditary kingdom with big global aspirations. America may dream of abandoning the entanglements of the Middle East but, for now, as Hagel put it, these ties with America's Persian Gulf allies are "important, and probably more so than they've ever been."
Latest Article from Anna Borshchevskaya
The crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate. Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych fled as Verkhova Rada (the parliament) ousted him from power. His whereabouts remain unknown as he's facing a warrant for "mass killings of civilians." Yanukovych's political rival and two-time Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from prison. At least 88 died and over 2,000 were injured during anti-government protests that began in Kiev's Independence Square (known commonly as Maidan) after Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November and instead moved closer to Russia by accepting its $15 billion bailout.
Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky
More and more, we hear from faculty and students about the need to have an "open tent" or a "big tent," of ideas and opinions specifically, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the nature of public discourse demands expressing a multitudes of ideas and opinions, the kind of openness espoused by this big tent idea is in fact myopic and limiting in its own narrow scope. The notion is sold as a non-binding position, when in reality those that sell it are simply uncomfortable or unwilling to take a firm position.
The big tent thus gives the impression of openness, but actually only caters to left-of-center views.
Latest Article from Ilan Berman
As the high-speed downhill drama of the Winter Olympic Games wraps up in Sochi, one issue has faded from public view amid the spectacle: Russia's corrosive culture of corruption. This is notable because before the Opening Ceremony, the Sochi Games had come under unflattering scrutiny. Myriad mishaps that have accompanied the Games — from bizarre toilets to brown water to malfunctioning door locks — went viral. Now those issues have disappeared. That is a shame because corruption has far more to say about Russia's troubled future — and its increasingly belligerent stance toward the United States — than anything that happened in the Games, including Russia's embarrassing hockey loss to neighboring Finland.
Latest Article from Tevi Troy
According to literary agent Andrew Wylie, President Obama's post-White House memoir could fetch an advance of up to $20 million . First lady Michelle Obama's memoir, which she has apparently already started, could bring in an additional $12 million — not a bad nest egg for their golden years.
Latest Article from Michael Rubin
On January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama outlined his vision for his second term and legacy, saying, "We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully — not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear." His desire to engage was both genuine and in alignment with long-held conventional wisdom among senior statesmen. A half century worth of experience, however, does not support the thesis that diplomacy with rogue regimes or terrorist groups brings peace. Rather, diplomacy misapplied can be the shortest path to war.
Latest Article from Jeff Stier
One of Sunday's most controversial Super Bowl ads came with the message "Friends don't let friends smoke." Bizarrely, it's organized anti-smokers in the public-health establishment who want the commercial banned.
The line comes in an ad for the NJOY King, an electronic cigarette produced by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NJOY. The commercial shows people helping each other in situations like moving a couch up a flight of stairs or helping a friend in a bar fight. Then one man starts to light up a cigarette, only for his friend to offer him an NJOY King.
For most people, the message is clear: If someone close to you smokes cigarettes, try recommending they switch to a smoke-free alternative.