Israel

War Fair
July 31, 2006

Israel is now at war with an enemy whose hostility is extreme, explicit, unrestrained, and driven by an ideology of religious hatred. But this is an enemy that does not field an army; that has no institutional structure and no visible chain of command; that does not recognize the legal and moral principle of noncombatant immunity; and that does not, indeed, acknowledge any rules of engagement. How do you--how does anyone--fight an enemy like that? I cannot deal with the strategy and tactics of such a fight.

America's Proxy War.
July 31, 2006

"When the elephants fight, the grass suffers." Or so went a variation of the Third World lament during the cold war. The lament clearly applies today in Lebanon. But it also applies in Washington, where the administration views the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah as a classic case of great-power brinkmanship--in this case, pitting the United States against Iran. The paradigm that the Bush team has drawn on in its response to the Lebanon crisis isn't the war on terrorism.

Roll Back
July 31, 2006

If you buy this reading of events, you must accept a certain irony. It is fashionable in some quarters to say that U.S. identification with Israel produces hostility against us in the Islamic world. But, in actuality, Israel may be paying a price for the U.S.-led effort to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear aspirations. Those who view the Israeli offensive in Lebanon as counterproductive to U.S. foreign policy miss an emerging reality: Iran is waging a struggle to achieve regional dominance that threatens the United States and all its friends in the Middle East.

Cairo Dispatch
May 08, 2006

In early February, as Egyptian markets were emptying shelves of Danish butter cookies and Lebanese and Syrian crowds were burning embassies, Arab satellite TV stations began playing a song called "We're Out of Patience." In Cairo, the song blasted out of stores, taxis, and gas stations, ordering the Danish illustrators and publishers of the Mohammed cartoons to go to hell, where "fire will be everywhere, burning your faces." Preceding the eternal damnation line was a friendly reminder in the form of a lyric: "Islam is a religion of love, not injustice and terrorism." The singer of "We're Out o

PA Confidential
March 20, 2006

THE AUTHOR SERVED for four and a half years as the head of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. As a thought experiment, he placed himself inside the mind of a Palestinian spymaster to provide a cold assessment of the challenges faced by the new Hamas-led government. The following is a memo to Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister. Mr. Prime Minister: Your rise to power has been meteoric and unprecedented.

Hamas and Us
March 06, 2006

IT IS ALMOST comic how often the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been called tragic, but this time a tragedy has really come to pass, and it is all the more stinging for having taken place without bloodshed, in the realm of politics--even of democratic politics. The tragedy is that Kadima and Hamas are in the ascendant at the same time.

Centripetal Force
March 05, 2006

For a return visitor, Baghdad International Airport offers a fitting portal into the new Iraq. Unlike the military side of the airport, where U.S. transport planes and helicopters operate in an industrious roar, the civilian side, which USAID renovated in 2003, now languishes in disrepair. Iraqi Airways flights, on which it was possible to light up a cigarette until recently, still come and go. But, in the terminal itself, the rest room floors are smeared with excrement, wires hang from the ceiling, and pay phones have been ripped from the walls. An emblem of war and poverty? Not really.

Not in the Heavens
February 20, 2006

WITNESSING THEIR FAITH: RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE ON SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND THEIR OPINIONS By Jay Alan Sekulow(Rowman & Littlefield, 349 pp., $27.95) I.   THE CONFIRMATION OF JUSTICE Samuel Alito brings to five the number of Catholics on the Supreme Court of the United States. All Americans can be proud of this fact, or more precisely, proud of the fact that Alito’s religious affiliation never became an issue during his confirmation process.

Memory Loss
February 14, 2006

Two weeks ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted to refer the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council. There is plenty to like about the IAEA resolution, starting with the large majority it commanded among the organization's member states--even the usually recalcitrant Russians and Chinese signed on.

Washington Diarist
January 23, 2006

In the spring of 1978, when the euphoria of doves who were exhilarated by Sadat's journey to Jerusalem was giving way to the euphoria of hawks who were exhilarated by Begin's refusal to allow that magnificent event to annul the geographical dreams of Jewish chauvinism, I spent an afternoon in Samaria with Ariel Sharon. Sharon was the minister of agriculture in the Likud government, and the chairman of the ministerial committee for settlement affairs. There were no Samaritans in Samaria, though political violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank was still a few years away.

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