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  • February 6, 2013

    President Barack Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan in March.  

    By Barry Rubin, PJ MEDIA

    Political Analysis

    I’m not against this but I think it is a mistake on Obama’s part. Here’s why.

    While such a visit would resolve previous criticism that Obama never visited Israel as president, it is a mistake, especially given the timing, for a number of reasons.

    –Obama will have a new foreign policy team which won’t have much time to evaluate the situation and what it wants to do. It has just been announced that Secretary of State John Kerry will visit these places in the spring. Usually the way it would be handled would be to let Kerry go and then evaluate if there was a good basis for a presidential visit.
    (Read more…)

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 3:44 pm ET | Plink | Trackback | 1 Comment » | 1,019 views

    Why Israel will rule the new Middle East  

    By Arthur Herman, FoxNews.com

    Now, however, Israel’s future may be brighter than ever.

    Iran remains the neighborhood’s unpredictable mad dog, although its nuclear bark is still far worse than its bite. But Israel itself is set to dominate the region like never before. Thanks to the industrial technological miracle known as fracking, Israel is about to become the new energy Mecca of the Middle East, and there’s very little its Arab neighbors can do to stop it.

    Indeed, instead of plotting Israel’s destruction, its Arab neighbors could find themselves courting Tel Aviv’s favor the way the United States and Europe courted OPEC in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    What’s tilting the region’s dynamics toward Israel?
    (Read more…)

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 11:25 am ET | Plink | Trackback | 11 Comments » | 1,827 views

    US Tips Global Power Scales with Fracking  

    Der Spiegel 

    Williston, North Dakota, is a bleak little city in the vast American prairie. It’s dusty in the summer and frigid in the winter. Moose hunting is one of the few sources of entertainment. But despite its drawbacks, Williston has seen its population more than double within a short period of time. 

    The city is so overcrowded that new arrivals often have no place to stay but in their motor homes, which, at monthly parking fees of $1,200 (€880), isn’t exactly inexpensive. And more people continue to arrive in this nondescript little town. The reason for the influx is simple: Geologists have discovered a layer of shale saturated with natural gas and oil deep beneath the city. The Bakken formation, spanning thousands of square kilometers, has become synonymous with an American economic miracle that the country hasn’t experienced since the oil rush almost 100 years ago. (Read more…)

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 11:18 am ET | Plink | Trackback | 3 Comments » | 1,366 views

    “The Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation: Threatening Peace Prospects”  

    Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

    Michael Rubin, Ph.D. Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

    February 5, 2013

    Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member Deutch, Honorable Members, thank you for the opportunity to testify before this Subcommittee today on this important topic.

    Far from advancing peace, to encourage Hamas-Fatah reconciliation and to subsidize any coalition government will accelerate conflict. At issue is not only the sanctity of diplomatic agreements which form the basis for Middle East peace efforts, but also the outcome of a battle between more secular movements struggling against a radical Islamist revival.

    The Obama Administration’s desire to fund the Palestinian government does more harm than good not only to moderate Palestinians who desire to live in peace with Israel, but also to U.S. regional interests and prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. (Read more…)

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 7:15 am ET | Plink | Trackback | 2 Comments » | 940 views

    The “peace process” is not dead  

    Since the first publication of this article in April 2010, Obama committed to the idea that Israel must return to the ’67 lines subject to mutually agreed swaps. Though many argue that the peace process is dead, the truth of the matter is, that the US remains committed, as it always has been, to  ensuring that “the political struggle [between Israel and the Arabs] is settled in [a] manner satisfactory to [the] Arabs.”  Ted Belman

    By Ted Belman (first published in April 2010)

    After his inauguration, President Obama made it his business to end the Mideast conflict within two years. To achieve that end he embraced the “Saudi peace plan” and put enormous pressure on Israel to accept it.

    The hallmark of this plan was “ending the occupation that began in 1967 and the division of Jerusalem.

    Can we conclude from this that Obama is anti-Semitic, just hostile to Israel, or intent on changing U.S./Israel relations? The answer is not immediately self-evident.

    Let’s go back to Israel’s founding, when these relations began.
    (Read more…)

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 6:55 am ET | Plink | Trackback | 21 Comments » | 1,144 views

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