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April 18, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

April 18, 2012 | 4:34 am

Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with US Senator Joe Lieberman in Jerusalem, April 2012. (Photo: GPO)

The stage is set for a deal ‎with Iran

If phrased correctly, an agreement on a halt in Iran’s uranium enrichment could be on the ‎cards, writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post. ‎

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played his expected role in this ‎choreography, criticizing the negotiators for agreeing to another round of talks on ‎May 23 in Baghdad without getting concessions in return. “My initial impression ‎is that Iran has been given a freebie,” Netanyahu said. “It has got five weeks to ‎continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition.” A perfect rebuff — ‎just scornful enough to keep the Iranians (and the Americans, too) worried that ‎the Israelis might launch a military attack this summer if no real progress is ‎made in the talks.‎


Israel & America: The Eternal Return

Writing in Commentary Magazine, Lazar Berman and Uri Sadot draw parallels ‎between the US-Israel crises of 1975 and today, and look at how Obama and ‎Netanyahu can move forward to a stronger relationship. ‎

But as the Israelis learned in 1975, crises can be opportunities. Both countries came out of ‎the 1975 spat with a valuable strategic accomplishment. The Memorandum of ‎Understanding bound America to support Israel’s redline positions before the United ‎Nations and the Palestinians. The shared underlying interest in keeping the Soviets out of ‎Egypt led to the ultimate agreements between Israel and Egypt and drew America and ‎Israel closer together. ‎


Possible Russian Responses to an Attack on Iran

Russia is apparently resigned to military action against Iran’s nuclear program, but is ‎divided on how to respond to such an eventuality, writes Zvi Magen of the Institute for ‎National Security Studies.‎

Generally speaking, one may discern two camps in this debate: the camp supporting a war, ‎spouting anti-Western slogans, and calling for violent action to advance Russian regional and ‎global interests while exploiting the situation to solve ancillary geopolitical issues both in the ‎Caucasus and the Middle East…On the other hand, there are academic and public figures ‎vehemently opposed to these drums of war. Discerning elements that are interested in seeing ‎a war erupt in Iran that involves Russia, this camp warns of the destructive ramifications of ‎this scenario and calls for more modest Russian international aspirations, with Russia taking ‎a firm stand within the international community and acting in concert with the other nations to ‎contain Iran’s nuclear program. ‎


The Brotherhood’s Walking Korans

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may be embracing democratic institutions at the moment, write Hillel ‎Fradkin and Lewis Libby for Real Clear Religion, but the ultimate goal still remains an ‎Islamic state. ‎

In particular, political parties as a whole were of alien Western origin and a mode of ‎political conflict. They thus enjoyed no particular sanctity. Indeed, as modes of political ‎conflict, Western-style parties violate the unity and harmony which is the goal of Muslim ‎politics. If they were useful in the present circumstances, fine; if not, they could and would ‎be dispensed with. ‎


Who Broke Syria?

Foreign intervention and sensationalist reporting have only made things worse in a country already ‎suffering under an increasingly brutal regime crackdown, argues James Harkin in Foreign Policy.

As the situation has ground toward a temporary stalemate, everyone in the opposition ‎now realizes that NATO has neither the mettle nor the resources for another Libya. That ‎kind of organized military intervention is simply not going to happen. But the next phase ‎of diplomacy is in danger of making matters substantially worse. The remaining carrots ‎offered to Bashar Al-Assad’s regime are now being matched by thinly veiled sticks ‎whereby the international community promises to turn a blind eye to Saudi and Qatari ‎efforts to back the military opposition with force of arms. ‎

 

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