Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Ilan Berman

America's Iran Policy Heads Toward A Crossroads

October 23, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

With the U.S. election around the corner, the contours of a second term Trump Iran policy – or a first term Biden approach – are already coming into view. Since 2016, the Trump administration has made reversing its predecessor's line toward the Islamic Republic a centerpiece of its Mideast agenda. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign has jettisoned the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA (under which the Iranian regime received a massive financial windfall in exchange for temporary constraints on its nuclear development), and leveled a broad campaign of economic pressure at the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. The results have been profound. Today, Iran's radical regime is in dire financial straits – and its hold on power is increasingly fragile. The numbers indicate just how much. Iran's oil revenues, which totaled $100 billion in 2018, plummeted to just $8 billion last year, as skittish clients fearful of U.S. sanctions increasingly disengaged from the Islamic Republic. That trend, moreover, is accelerating. Earlier this month, Majid Reza Hariri, the chairman of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, outlined in an interview that the regime's oil revenue (which represents a significant part of the national economy) will be "at best $5 billion" this year. Such a decline could very well end up being nothing short of catastrophic for Iran's already unpopular rulers. That increasingly desperate position is a big reason why the Iranian regime acquiesced this summer to a sweeping new strategic accord with the People's Republic of China. If fully realized, the quarter-century, $400 billion deal will make the PRC a major stakeholder in the Islamic Republic – and do so at the expense of Iranian sovereignty. The arrangement is a telling reflection of the increasingly desperate domestic situation now confronting the regime in Tehran. Whichever candidate perseveres in next month's presidential election will inherit this dynamic. The operative question is: what will they do with it?

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Latest Article from Clifford May

Chinese Communist Party seeks nothing less than global domination

October 21, 2020  •  The Washington Times

For countless centuries, tribes have fought and conquered other tribes, nations have fought and conquered other nations, empires have fought and conquered other empires.

After World War II, a different future was imagined. The United States created the hopefully named "United Nations." Americans began to build what would become known as the "liberal international rules-based order."

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

The Bitter Month

October 19, 2020  •  First Things

Last night, the Hebrew month of Cheshvan began. In a Jewish calendar filled with holidays, fasts, and special observances, Cheshvan is the only month with none of these days. For this reason, it has the unfortunate nickname of Mar Cheshvan, or "bitter Cheshvan." For those who seek to put their faith at the center of daily life, Cheshvan feels different from the other months of the Hebrew year.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Black Appraisals of Black Lives Matter – Part III

October 7, 2020  •  Gatestone Institute

This multi-part series (Part I here, Part II here) focuses on the perspectives of blacks — conservative, liberal or libertarian — who appraise BLM and its agenda. The following selection of commentary by blacks from all walks of life — actors, athletes, businesspeople, civil rights activists, clergy, commentators, physicians and politicians — demonstrates that black public opinion is not monolithic and that BLM does not speak for all African Americans.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author and research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, wrote:

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

Democrats hope Trump's COVID medical misfortune is their political gain

October 7, 2020  •  Fox News

President Trump's hospitalization Friday with the deadly coronavirus could dramatically affect his political future, and even his policies, if history is any guide.

Usually, Americans have rallied around an ailing leader. But in this most divided of countries led by the most divisive president in modern times, universal empathy has not been forthcoming.

Most Democratic politicians have had the good sense to respond sympathetically to Trump's illness. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden immediately suspended negative advertisements about Trump, a gesture the Trump campaign has yet to reciprocate, and publicly wished his rival a speedy recovery.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

The political split over Israel

October 5, 2020  •  Jewish News Service (JNS)

With the 2020 presidential elections in high gear, and following normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a deeper look at the platforms of both parties is required. It is clear that American Jews and Israelis are called upon to exhibit "moral fiber" by using their very Jewish identity as a vehicle to question Israel and its legitimacy. More perverse are the uses of Jewishness to passionately make pleas for the Palestinian cause and the assertion that Jewishness is somehow based on pro-Palestinian beliefs as a "progressive" value. For American Jews on the far-left, as for Arab Palestinians, the events of 1948 are the evergreen ancestral sin.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Corona, coronation and Yom Kippur

September 24, 2020  •  Jerusalem Post

In a year quite unlike any other, it is hardly surprising that the High Holy Days have gotten off to an unparalleled start.

All the usual trappings, such as packed synagogues on Rosh Hashanah or large gatherings of family and friends, were markedly and painfully absent.

And even as socializing has devolved into social distancing, and politics into pugilism, Israelis now face the prospect of an increasingly restrictive lockdown in advance of Sukkot.

This is not how it was supposed to be.

Or is it?

If the coronavirus crisis has taught us anything, it is that the assumptions we make, whether consciously or not, shape much of how we experience the world.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

Israel's next peace deal will be with Sudan

September 23, 2020  •  New York Post

On the heels of the historic peace accords Israel signed last week with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, another regional deal is now possible. Sudan, once a terror safe harbor, is openly mulling ties with the Jewish state. Another major diplomatic achievement beckons, provided Washington gives the right nudges.

Team Trump is keen for a domino effect. Sudan is just one possibility. Oman, Morocco and Saudi Arabia are also among states reportedly mulling ties with the erstwhile archenemy. The key is momentum. If Sudan steps forward, Arab states will see a new regional order quickly taking shape, one in which Jerusalem is on the same side as regimes that seek to counter Iran and Sunni Islamists.

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Latest Article from Gary C. Gambill

The End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

September 6, 2020  •  JNS.org

The normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced earlier this month is a relatively minor adjustment in relations between two countries that were never at war and have been growing closer for years, but it heralds the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict as we thought we knew it.

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Latest Article from Henry I. Miller , M.D.

COVID-19 Vaccines Must Be Fully Vetted For Safety And Efficacy Before Release
The proximity of elections should not guide life or death medical decisions

September 5, 2020  •  Issues & Insights

There is widespread anticipation of the availability of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infections so that Americans can get their lives back to some semblance of normal. About four dozen, made with a variety of technology platforms, are now in clinical trials, nine in large-scale safety/efficacy testing.

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