Egypt

Morsy’s Letter to Peres

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy’s letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Peres has verified this exchange on his official Facebook page.

Gaza

Will Gaza Declare Independence?

There is growing evidence that Hamas in Gaza will unilaterally declare its independence, and disengage from Israel and the West Bank (at least for the time being). Continue reading “Will Gaza Declare Independence?”

Syria

Expect More Violence, Not Democracy Transition, In Post-Assad Syria

(Photo: Paul Grover)

When I wrote in a previous post that Assad may deploy chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition in revenge for the July 18 bombing in Damascus, it is equally important to emphasize this type of violence could also occur in a post-Assad Syria. Continue reading “Expect More Violence, Not Democracy Transition, In Post-Assad Syria”

Israel, Palestinians

Weekend Thinking: Israelis and Palestinians

The failure to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have produced a surge of commentary among analysts and pundits advocating various alternatives.  The primary scenarios proffered include maintaining the status quo and refusing to compromise, a one-state bi-national option, a two-state option in which a Palestinian state lives next to Israel, and a three-state option in which the West Bank and Gaza Strip each with their separate governments form distinct states, perhaps uniting with Jordan and Egypt, respectively. Continue reading “Weekend Thinking: Israelis and Palestinians”

Palestinians

Give Palestinian Third Parties a Chance

Published in the Daily Beast on July 26, 2012.

No, Dani Dayan, the status quo in the West Bank cannot continue.

I’ll leave it to other commentators to explain why this is the case on the Israeli side.  But when it comes to the Palestinian side, it’s time to consider alternatives to Fatah and Hamas—they’re not all we’ve got.

Hamas and Fatah aren’t making Obama’s promise of democratic transition in the Arab world a reality, it might be time for all of us—Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans—to consider third party alternatives. Continue reading “Give Palestinian Third Parties a Chance”

Egypt, Gaza

The Egypt-Gaza Nexus

(AFP/Hamas/File, Mohammed al-Hams)

A gradual yet significant shift in Egyptian policy toward Gaza has occurred since Mohamed Morsi won the presidency in democratic elections in June.  Hosni Mubarak enforced a blockade of Gaza with Israel since 2007, severely limiting the freedom of movement for Palestinians. Continue reading “The Egypt-Gaza Nexus”

Palestinians

Article Review

Published in American Diplomacy on June 20, 2012.

Palestinian Attitudes Toward Israel
by Dr. Michael Sharnoff
http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2012/201205.sharnoff.palestinian-attitudes-israel.html
Reviewed by Norvell B DeAtkine

The writer, a recent graduate of King’s College, London, writing for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, surveys Palestinian attitudes from the standpoint of the secularists, Hamas, Fatah, and the general public toward the state of Israel. In general he finds that Palestinians of all categories embrace “popular, non-violent resistance.” That attitude leads to demonstrations, hunger strikes, boycotts, and sanctions. Sharnoff posits that billionaire Munib al-Masri speaks for the secularists in advocating a peace with Israel in return for a state in the West Bank and Jerusalem as its capitol. Interviewing a respected moderate Islamist and professor at a Palestinian university, the writer was told that the ‘Arab Spring” has emboldened Islamist radicals and that American inaction in promoting moderate Islamists constituted a missed opportunity. Moreover, in spite of corruption and authoritarianism, which characterizes the Palestinian leadership, any uprising among the Palestinians will be directed at Israel, not the Palestinian leadership. Continue reading “Article Review”

Palestinians

Palestinian Attitudes Toward Israel

Published in the Middle East Media Monitor, an Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Note series, on May 23, 2012.

As the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East enter into their second year, how have these unprecedented events impacted Palestinian attitudes toward Israel? Will Palestinians be emboldened to mimic these revolts and collectively decide to embark on another intifada? Will they continue to pursue unilateral efforts to declare statehood in the United Nations? Or will they use a diplomatic approach and reach a negotiated settlement with Israel?

A survey of attitudes from secularists, Hamas, Fatah and the general public suggests that Palestinians will continue to embrace what they describe as “popular, nonviolent resistance” to gain concessions. These tactics include seeking unilateral recognition at the UN, staging small protests in Arab villages near the controversial security barrier, organizing demonstrations like the Global March to Jerusalem, and utilizing boycotts, sanctions and divestiture programs as well as hunger strikes by prisoners.[1] Continue reading “Palestinian Attitudes Toward Israel”