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  • Stuck between Trump and Netanyahu, Abbas is running out of options

    U.S.-led negotiations are the only game in town for the Palestinian Authority — Abbas doesn’t have many choices available. But according to those close to him, he is unsure about how to proceed given that the goal posts have been moved yet again. By Dalia Hatuqa It would have been a startling assertion had it not been heard before. Two weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he would not be evacuating any settlements in the West Bank. “We are here to stay, forever,” the Israeli prime minister said at the settlement of Barkan. “We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen…

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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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  • Can the Iran Deal survive the Trump administration?

    From a White House flirting with a policy of regime change to a changing political reality in the Gulf to the terror attacks in Tehran, the Iranian nuclear deal's survival is anything but guaranteed. By Derek Davison The Iran nuclear deal—Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—is facing multiple threats, and whatever hope there may once have been that it could serve as a basis for improving U.S.-Iran ties is probably gone. Between the Trump administration’s emerging focus on Iranian regime change and recent instability in the Persian Gulf, simply maintaining the deal itself is proving to be a serious…

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  • ADL demands Trump advisor disavow ‘anti-Semitic hate groups’

    It's been a rough couple of weeks for Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka following a series of investigations that began with reporting by Lobelog, and published on +972. By Eli Clifton Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka has had a rough two weeks. It began with LobeLog’s report that he wore the medal of Vitezi Rend, an anti-Semitic Hungarian organization that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, at an inaugural ball. [tmwinpost] There followed the publication of a series of articles questioning his credentials and experience as a counter-terrorism expert, not to mention the circulation on the web…

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  • What 'putting Iran on notice' really means

    It’s high time for the United States to interject some realism into discussions about Iranian missiles. By Greg Thielmann Iran’s January 29 flight test of a medium-range ballistic missile helped prompt an ominous if ambiguous warning by U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on February 1: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” Since it is facing so many other international crises, it is curious that the new administration gives such a prominent place to Iranian missile testing, which poses no existential threat to the United States or its allies and is not prohibited by the Iran…

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  • Prominent Iranian-Americans to Trump: Keep the nuclear deal

    Thirty-seven leading Iranian Americans pen open letter to President-elect Trump, urging him to keep the Iran deal. Abandoning it, they write, will 'once again put the United States and Iran on the path of war.' By Jim Lobe In a particularly eloquent and straightforward defense of the Iranian nuclear deal, 37 prominent Iranian Americans have appealed to Donald Trump to maintain U.S. compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran. The letter comes on the heels of an appeal to Trump by prominent U.S. scientists urging him to support the deal and a recent poll demonstrating…

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  • Clinton speech was scrubbed of Palestinian rights, emails show

    Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton's campaign chair urging speechwriters to tone down language on Palestine, and reveal what language was removed from the candidate's speech to the Saban Forum last December. By Eli Clifton WikiLeaks released a hacked email this week from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in which he urged Clinton’s speechwriters to tone down language that might “evoke how people feel about how Israel is treating the Palestinians,” in a speech she was to deliver at the Saban Forum in Washington last December. [tmwinpost] It was unclear what, if any, changes were actually made following his email, and the…

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  • Hacked emails: Top Clinton donors condition support on Israel policy

    Clinton campaign chairman Podesta writes to his daughter that Haim Saban and Danny Abraham ‘would not be with her if she wasn’t totally committed to Israeli security.’ By Eli Clifton In a hacked email released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, answered an innocent question from his daughter with a revealing answer about what motivates two of Clinton’s biggest supporters to stand by her candidacy: Israel. On May 12, 2015, Podesta’s daughter, Megan Rouse, wrote: I’ve heard a concern from some folks who care deeply about Israel that Hillary will be the president “most unfriendly to Israel in our history,…

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  • Trump courts Adelson, flip-flops on Israel-Palestine

    The candidate who claimed he was immune to influence from large donors has done a complete 180 on Israel-Palestine since securing the support of pro-Israel mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. By Eli Clifton Donald Trump has been accused of misogyny, racism, and Islamophobia as well as shifting his positions on key issues such as the Iraq War and abortion. But despite his slide to the right, he has stuck doggedly to many positions since announcing his candidacy. He still claims Mexico will pay for a wall on the U.S. border. He even continues to remind voters that he called Rosie O’Donnell “a fat pig,” even when…

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  • Did AIPAC make a profit off its fight against the Iran deal?

    AIPAC may have lost the battle against Obama's Iranian nuclear agreement, but the conservative lobbying group appears to have come out on top nonetheless — to the tune of $30 million. By Eli Clifton Last year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) led the charge against the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution to concerns about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Indeed, in many ways, AIPAC became the face of the opposition to Obama’s signature second-term foreign policy initiative. AIPAC committed to spending $20-40 million in television commercials opposing the deal and threw its considerable lobbying weight against the agreement.…

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