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Gulf States

  • Why Israel is so worried about Qatari outreach to American Jews

    Qatar has been focusing on prominent American Jewish leaders as the isolated Gulf state seeks to repair its image. Why American Jews? It's about Saudi Arabia. By Mitchell Plitnick On January 31, the Israeli embassy in the United States stated that Israel did not approve of several right wing, pro-Israel American Jewish leaders meeting with senior officials, including the emir, of Qatar. “We oppose this outreach effort in the Jewish and pro-Israel community,” said embassy spokesman Itai Bar Dov. It was an unusual, and in some ways bizarre, statement. What was Israel so worried about? [tmwinpost] “There is nothing wrong with analysts…

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  • What's the story with the siege on Doha?

    It is very difficult to accept at face value this newfound determination to defeat terrorism by the Gulf states by humiliating a smaller neighbor whose differences consist primarily of alternative choices of distasteful proxies. By Gary Sick There are several things that I find confounding about the current conflict within the GCC: First, as a member of the US policy team that first applied sanctions against Iran when our diplomats were being held hostage in Tehran, we drew the line at food and medicine. That has remained true in the succeeding 37 years. Despite all the onerous sanctions that the…

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  • Why Egypt's FM came to Israel, and why you shouldn't get too excited

    Recent interest — by all sides — in reviving the Arab Peace Initiative presents a new window of opportunity. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is in charge. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry came to Israel on Sunday to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu about the Palestinian peace process, the first such visit in nearly 10 years. Egypt, which until the 2011 revolution was a regular partner in American-led peace efforts, appears to be making a move to reassert its leadership in the region, and perhaps take advantage of a temporary vacuum of…

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  • Netanyahu and Erdogan need each other more than ever

    It's no coincidence that a deal to normalize relations between Turkey and Israel was announced on the same day that Netanyahu pushed a natural gas deal through the Knesset. As usual, the Palestinians are the biggest losers — oh yeah, and the Greeks. Two years ago, when a major-but-ultimately-premature breakthrough in the frozen relations between Israel and Turkey was announced, I wrote a short and silly post explaining the development through the lyrics of Wu-Tang Clan mainstay Method Man: “Cash rules everything around me.” [tmwinpost] The Turkish energy minister declared at the time that his country was the only suitable…

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  • Voices of People III: 'To make peace, build on what works'

    Dahlia Shaham: "Two states may be the right format for a sustainable political arrangement… But to think that this separation is like a divorce is to live in a world that doesn’t exist. No political border can separate people that way" Dahlia Shaham is a professional over-achiever. She grew up in Haifa and served in a legendary, slightly secretive IDF unit. She completed a law degree (LLB) at Hebrew University, worked as an analyst and team leader on social and economic affairs at the Reut Institute, a policy think-tank, and then did a Master of Law and Diplomacy in international political economics at…

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