By David Lev, Arutz7
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By David Lev, Arutz7
Lapid, for his part, denies that it is a dispute as to which ministry he is awarded that is holding up the deal – and accused the Likud of cynicism for trying to spin the issue as such. “For two days they have been claiming that we are arguing over ministries, with the Likud claiming that Naftali Bennett and I are setting ‘ultimatums’ as our price for entering the coalition.
“This is incorrect, and it’s unworthy for the Likud to act in such a manner,” Lapid wrote on his Facebook page. The reason he has refused to join so far, he wrote, is because of the Likud’s insistence on adding “make-work” ministry jobs to satisfy the political ambitions of members of his party and Yisrael Beiteinu. Lapid has demanded that the government be limited to no more than 20 ministers, instead of the 33 in the current government.
AMERICA’S stated goal is to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria. The United States also insists that any solution to the Syrian crisis should guarantee religious and ethnic pluralism. However, this rosy vision of a moderate and secular Syria after Mr. Assad’s downfall will not be achieved if the United States continues to depend on regional allies that have little interest in such an outcome.
President Obama has relied heavily on Turkey in seeking to oust Mr. Assad and Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit the Turkish capital, Ankara, later this week. But Turkey is part of the problem. It is exacerbating Syria’s sectarian strife, rather than contributing to a peaceful and pluralistic solution.
By Mordecahi ben Menachem
The definition of a “Superpower” is a nation that can project power, anywhere in the world, at short notice. To differentiate, the definition of a “Regional Power” is a nation that can project power within its region (the notion of ‘notice’ is one measure of its degree of power within that region, relative to rival powers).
Previously, at least from the time of Eisenhower until the time of George W. Bush, the US was clearly a Superpower, with the Russian Empire (USSR) as a rival power for part of that time. History showed that the US was the superior superpower with the collapse of the USSR and formation of the existing Russian state. Geographic size is not a prime factor, access to resources is. Power takes many forms, not all military, but military power must empower others for affectivity; “… carry a big stick” as international relations’ key. (Read more…)
At an ABC News interview in Doha, Qatar, John Kerry said:
“I’m not going to get into red lines and timing publicly except to reiterate what the president has said again and again, which is he prefers to have a diplomatic solution.
“He would like to see the P5+1 process, the negotiation process, be able to work, and avoid any consideration of any military action.”
He and Mattis are clearly not on the same page.
In a little-noticed exchange Tuesday at the Senate Armed Services Committee, a top US general said he had no doubt Israel would attack Iran if the Islamic Republic reached a critical point in its nuclear weapons drive. Furthermore, said General James Mattis, Israel could so without the assistance of the United States.
Mattis, who is retiring this month as head of the US army’s Central Command, which includes the Middle East and North Africa, was responding to questions from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who asked him whether he believed Israel would strike at Iran if the regime “reached a critical point in terms of nuclear capability.”
Responded Mattis: “The Israelis have said so; I take them at their word.” (Read more…)
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