March 5, 2012 | 4:40 am
Eli Lake of the Daily Beast looks at the divisive issue that will be at the heart of Obama and Netanyahu’s portentous meeting on Iran today.
At issue is that the United States and Israel disagree on what the trigger or “red line” should be for striking Iran’s nuclear program. The Israelis seek to destroy Iran’s ability to manufacture an atomic weapon, whereas President Obama has pledged only to stop Iran from making a weapon.
Netanyahu’s politically cautious nature makes it unlikely that he will launch an attack on Iran in the face of such domestic opposition, writes Daniel Levy for Foreign Policy.
A tendency characterizing Netanyahu’s long term in office, and a counterintuitive one at that, is the degree to which he has been risk-averse, not only in matters of peace, but also in matters of war. No Operation Cast Leads, Lebanon wars, or Syria Deir ez-Zor attack missions under his watch. In fact, he has no record of military adventurism. What’s more, Netanyahu hardly appears to be in need of a Hail Mary pass, military or otherwise, to salvage his political fortunes.
New Yorker editor David Remnick takes Israel to task for what he sees as a slide away from democracy.
There is another state in the region that is embroiled in a crisis of democratic becoming. This is the State of Israel. For decades, its citizens—its Jewish ones, at least—have justifiably described their country as the only democracy in the Middle East. Although Israel as imagined by Theodor Herzl and built by the generation of David Ben-Gurion was never intended to be a replica of the Anglo-American model—its political culture, even now, is closer to that of the European social democracies—its structures of governance are points of pride. And yet, as an experiment in Jewish power, unique after two millennia of persecution and exile, Israel has reached an impasse.
Writing in Al Jazeera, Kiren Aziz Chaudhry traces the history of Saudi Arabia, and how the circumstances of its birth paved the way for its policies of today.
Like Israel, Saudi Arabia has long perceived itself as being surrounded by hostile powers. Encircled and besieged, first by the “radical” “Pan-Arab” regimes of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and then by Iran and its Shia offshoots in the Arab world and beyond, Saudi Arabia’s weapons have never been used for wars it has waged itself.
The President of the State of Israel will turn to Facebook on March 6 to reach the masses.
President Peres will speak with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg on his interest in Internet technology and reflect on his career as one of the longest-serving politicians in the world and a Nobel Peace laureate.
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