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Archives for Middle East

Israel/Palestine

Some reflections on the ceasefire and the two state solution: Ceasefire What is the true situation in the Gaza Strip? On Saturday, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire, accepting the Egyptian proposal. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were ordered to redeploy within and outside of Gaza “in accordance with security assessments”. IDF forces will respond to any… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Set out below are extracts from the Israeli IDF (military) update of 13 January: The main objectives of the IDF operation in the Gaza strip are: To bring about conditions for the creation of a better security situation in southern Israel-namely, the long-term cessation of rocket and mortar fire and all terrorist attacks from the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Gaza: changing the context

It took Yasser Arafat 1973 to 1988 to persuade Palestinians to accept a two-state solution. 20 years later, with no solution in sight, this solution is beginning to be questioned on both sides. I have sadly come to the conclusion that a two state Israel-Palestine solution is no longer viable. This is for several reasons,… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The present battle in Gaza could well take us to the point of no return: putting peace on negotiable terms, based on a two state solution, beyond possibility. I still find it incomprehensible that the international community is powerless and can offer nothing more than conflicting rhetoric. In my post of 3 January I thought… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The prospects of a lasting two-state solution are rapidly fading. Both sides have divided and weak leadership. Neither side seems to believe any longer in the attainment of a fair, stable peace. The Israeli elections take place on 10 February: its likely results will not be peace-encouraging. Barack Obama takes office on 20 January, from… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I commend the Insitute for Strategic Studies’ Chaillot Paper 111, written ny Marcin Zaborowski. This publication of 126 pages gives a clear and readable account of George W Bush’s legacy and provides an indication of where American foreign policy may next be heading. I’ve encapsulated below the key elements. America’s grand strategy changed during the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

An OSE ‘Niet’

It comes as no surprise that China has not supported Russia over its intervention in Georgia or its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. What is surprising is that Moscow either expected a different reaction or does not care. There were no crumbs of comfort for Putin and Medvedev at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

France talks to Hamas

Le Figaro reports that around a month ago, a retired high-level French diplomat met with the main representatives of Hamas, and only later informed the French foreign ministry. It’s hard to believe that a recently retired ambassador would not have informally cleared this with the Elysée or Quai d’Orsay. The piece also notes that Nicolas… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Security First

That great Communitarian, Amitai Etzioni, compellingly argues that the first priority in foreign policy is to provide basic security, not to democratize (Security First, 2007, Yale University Press). He argues for a “muscular, moral foreign policy” for the United States. Security cannot, however, be mainly based on military forces, police and other methods of law… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Listening to two Israeli Knesset members, Dani Yatom and Isaac Ben-Israel, talking about the Iranian nuclear threat brought into stark focus that there is not a lot of time left to avert a potential disaster. According to the Israelis, Iran could have a nuclear weapon with delivery mechanism within one year; others say that the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick