By fully backing the Israeli side, the Trump administration is not only making reconciliation with the Palestinians impossible, it is delaying the nuclear disarmament of the entire Middle East. By Paul R. Pillar The significance of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been the subject of tendentious argumentation. The right-wing government of Israel, not wanting to relinquish the conquered land whose relinquishment would be necessary for peace, often contends, along with its sympathizers, that peace in that conflict doesn’t really matter much anymore. The region has become preoccupied with other things, goes the argument, and even most Arabs care less…Read More... | 29 Comments
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won the Noble Peace Prize this year. Founder of the Israeli Disarmament Movement, one of hundreds of organizations that comprise the campaign, speaks about why nobody in Israel is talking about the prize, and what it will take to achieve disarmament in Israel and beyond. [Editor's note: The headline and introductory text of this article have been changed to clarify who won the Nobel Prize this year. See full correction below.] By Yael Marom The Israeli media all but ignored the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony that took place in Oslo in early December.…Read More... | 3 Comments
Whether Trump outright tears up the deal or simply orders his administration to take punitive actions against Iran, the end result may be the same: goodbye to the nuclear deal. By Derek Davison There will be plenty of time to dissect Donald Trump’s surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential election, and what a President Trump will mean for American foreign policy generally. But one thing is clear: the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) and Iran may very well be among the first casualties of the incoming Trump…Read More... | 17 Comments
Can temporary or sub-regional agreements lay the trust and groundwork necessary for building off the momentum of the Iran JCPOA? Can Israel be convinced? A Track 2 initiative tries to figure it out. By Shemuel Meir Earlier this month, I attended an international conference in Berlin which brought together diplomats, former military officers, academic researchers and think tank analysts from the Middle East and Europe. The conference took place within the framework of the "Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East" of the Peace Research Institute Franfkfurt (PRIF). [tmwinpost] The "orchestra" is composed of experts on the Middle East, from within and…Read More...
Now that the Iran nuclear deal has been implemented, the Islamic Republic, Egypt and others are likely to make a much more serious push for a nuclear-free Middle East. And Israel is in a much tighter spot than ever before. By Shemuel Meir A sigh of relief was heard in the corridors of Israel’s security establishment and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office in May 2015. Its cause: Israel’s success in fending off and foiling a proposed resolution put forward by Egypt at the NPT Review Conference to establish a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu sent President Obama a special thank…Read More...
While Israel is busy wringing its hands over a nuclear deal over which it has no control, it should instead be looking at processes it can influence. By Sharon Dolev People in Israel tend to see the nuclear agreement with Iran as an isolated, historical event, one that will either save Israel or place it under an existential threat. While we’re discussing and dissecting an agreement over which we have absolutely no influence, however, passing by right under our nose are other processes and developments — ones we haven’t thought of, spoken of, or even contemplated. That is, despite the…Read More... | 46 Comments
The 'framework agreement' announced Thursday night in Lausanne is a lot better than no agreement. But an approach to Iran involving no sanctions and no hysteria would have been best of all. NOTE: This post has been changed to reflect the author's happy surprise that the framework agreement was not the dud he thought it would be - even after it was first announced - but is, according to all accounts, a very meaningful step. Remember the threat of North Korea going nuclear? The sanctions, the scare rhetoric from the United States, the specter of the craziest, cultiest nation…Read More... | 11 Comments
What is the best response to the Iranian nuclear threat, and what is the connection to regional disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and Israel's refusal to end the occupation? By Yuval Eylon The following essay was originally published in Hebrew in August 2012. It recently was selected given an award by the American Philosophical Association and is therefore being republished at this time. Author's note: Over a year ago I published an opinion article about Israel's policy towards Iran's nuclear program. I argued that the most promising policy - namely, regional disarmament - is strangely absent from the public discourse. I…Read More... | 1 Comment
Princeton experts offer Solution for ending the nuclear dangers across the Middle East. By Neve Gordon Across the globe headlines pronounced that a "breakthrough agreement" had been reached in Geneva. Iran's atomic ambitions had been curbed in exchange for limited sanctions relief, thus deflating the longstanding military standoff. The deal hammered out between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia stipulates that Tehran will halt progress on enrichment capacity, stop developing its heavy water reactor at Arak, and open access to international weapons inspection. While this deal paves the way for Iran's reintegration into the family of…Read More... | 4 Comments
The 'Prisoner X' affair was sensitive enough for Israel to use all of its censorship tools at once: the military censor, gag orders and the 'editors committee.' But was the effort by the Prime Minister's Office entirely about national security, or did it have to do with protecting those responsible for the mess? And what should the affair teach us about the ability to keep information from the public in this technological age? The affair known as the death of "Prisoner X" is becoming an interesting test case for the effect of new media on state secrets and the relations between…Read More... | 2 Comments
As talk of an imminent Israeli attack on Iran veers from frenzy to doubt, I outline the nine most important questions (and answers) regarding this operation: Are the Iranians willing and capable of developing a nuclear weapon? What will happen if they get it? Is a military strike necessary and effective, or harmful? Who is against and who is for the strike? 1. Does Iran intend to develop a nuclear weapon? Probably yes. Iran (unlike Israel) has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which bars all signatories from developing nuclear weapons, aside from the five permanent members of the UN Security…Read More... | 19 Comments
Last Monday August 6, the Israeli Disarmament Movement (RPM) held a protest against an Israeli strike on Iran on the anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima. That day 67 years ago in 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki a few days later, ultimately destroying both cities and causing over 200,000 casualties. RPM is explicitly against an Israeli attack on Iran, and for solving the issues with discussions and not with violence. RPM also calls on Israel to participate in the conference on establishing a Middle East that is free of…Read More... | 66 Comments
Foreign sources debate from time to time the size of Israel's nuclear arsenal, which is estimated at anywhere between 100 and 400 warheads (*). In a recent interview with Time, ex-president Jimmy Carter - who has read a few intelligence reports over the course his life - said that Israel has around 300 nukes. Asked by the magazine "What do you think it means that Iran seems to have its first nuclear fuel rod?" Carter answers: Well, of course, the religious leaders of Iran have sworn on their word of honor that they're not going to manufacture nuclear weapons. If they…Read More... | 4 Comments
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