Tag: peace in the Middle East

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I have to wonder if this is not the theme of President Trump’s foreign policy. It is the eve of hosting the controversial Recep Tayyip Erdrogan. The Turkish leader has been the source and thorn for some years to many, since taking leadership of Turkey, an American ally and voting member of NATO. Trump has […]

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This week on Banter, Yossi Klein Halevi joined the show to discuss his new book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, which explores the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through Israeli eyes. In a series of letters, he outlines the difficult choices that both Israelis and Palestinians must face if there is ever to be a chance of lasting peace in the region. Halevi is an American-born journalist and senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His other books include At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew’s Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.

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We’re Winning in the Middle East


In Iran / Syria last week:

  • President Trump withdrew from the Iran deal.
  • Iran responded by firing missiles into Israel.
  • Israel responded by destroying much of Iran’s military assets in Syria.
  • Russia responded by announcing that on second thought they would not be sending arms to Iranian forces in Syria. That is, they were reducing their support for Iran in Syria.
  • Saudi Arabia’s proxy Bahrain explicitly affirmed the rights of all states, including Israel, to defend themselves. A remarkable comment from a country that doesn’t recognize the state of Israel.

A few days earlier Bahrain and UAE were Tweeting their happiness to be in Jerusalem to participate in an international bike race. This is new.

Understanding Obama’s Strategy


I am attempting to understand Obama’s position on Iran.  What I write below is what I think Obama and his cohorts think they are doing. I am trying to write from their perspective, so it will be sympathetic.

Obama’s Grand Strategy:
The real problem in the world is Sunni extremism.  ISIS, al-Qaeda, and all their affiliates are Sunni. Iran is the natural enemy of Sunni extremism, and is thus the natural ally of the United States. Sure, the Iranians have killed many Americans, but that is because America threatened Iran’s interests in the region. Iran’s true ambitions have always been regional. If America shows a willingness to see Iran succeed regionally and to become a protector of Shia everywhere in the region, they will no longer see the need to be hostile to the United States. An opportunity exists to cultivate Iran as an ally and make Iran a proxy in the America’s war on Sunni terror networks.