Thursday, February 18, 2016

The View From Israel

Republican Jewish Coalition

The View From Israel

Bret Stephens writes from Jerusalem that, while Israel still needs the US, it is now -- justifiably -- looking to other strategic partners such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, and Egypt. Stephens notes:

This de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s promises. Israel is also reinventing its ties to the aspiring Startup Nations, countries that want to develop their own innovation cultures.

President Obama has not given up on the idea that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is possible before he leaves office. UN Ambassador Samantha Power visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week, in part, to discuss prospects for a two-state solution.

Yoram Ettinger strongly cautions the US to be wary of a Palestinian state. He recounts the many times that Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama have been wrong in their assessment of Palestinian willingness to reform, to renounce violence, and to make peace with Israel. In light of these realities, Ettinger says, the existence of a Palestinian state would be incompatible with U.S. values and national security interests.

Russia - Iran - Syria
  • The New York Post editorial board notes:
    President Obama declared last year that “There is no military solution in Syria.” Sadly, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has now proved him wrong by imposing one.

    Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the last rebel stronghold, is about to fall, thanks to withering Russian air bombardment backing government and Iranian troops. That effectively secures Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power in at least a large rump of Syria.

    That left Secretary of State John Kerry with nothing to do but organize a “cessation of hostilities.”

    Kerry hailed that as a significant accomplishment. But it falls far short of a lasting ceasefire: Russia intends to keep bombing, and Assad’s troops will keep fighting. Read more
  • Wall Street Journal report shows that the Iran-Russia-Syrian regime military alliance doesn't think much of that ceasefire:
    “These allies are together in the same command center, working, planning and coordinating their operations in the battlefield,” said a senior official in the Iran-Russia-Syrian regime military alliance. “Retaking Aleppo will restore the regime’s strength and control over Syria; toppling the regime is now a thing of the past.”

    A cease-fire as proposed by world powers in Munich last week, he said, would simply be a pause for the Iran-led ground forces to consolidate recent territorial gains. Read more
  • Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described relations between Russia and the West as a new "Cold War," while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the situation this way: “We have seen a more assertive Russia, a Russia which is destabliizing the European security order," according to the Los Angeles Times. Read more

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