Shimon Stein of the Institute for National Security Studies examines how the election of a socialist president will impact on France’s relations with Israel.
An examination of the president-elect’s statements and platform show that any change expected in foreign relations will be in style more than in content. Regarding Iran, for example, Hollande has made it clear that alongside negotiations with the international community Iran must be made to understand, via sanctions, that France is opposed to Iran attaining nuclear weapons. Hollande expressed opposition to a military operation. In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hollande (who is considered pro-Israel) expressed support for Israel’s security and the two-state solution.
The Kadima-Likud coalition agreement includes the draft of ultra-Orthodox men for military or national service, but the community is not sure that such a move can be implemented, writes Mitch in the Times of Israel.
[W]hat [Yossi Elitov, the editor of the ultra-Orthodox world’s largest weekly, Mishpacha] believes may happen is mutual recognition. The secular camp will allow charitable community service to be considered a national service, and the ultra-Orthodox camp will openly hail those who serve in the army, “saluting every Hebrew mother who sends her son to service.” This is very different to the Plesner report, which seeks ultra-Orthodox service primarily in strained national security forces like the police, the fire departments and Magen David Adom, along with a commitment for soldier-like reserve duty deep into middle age.
Writing in Tablet Magazine, Benny Morris compares the unity government to the one formed in the run-up to the Six-Day War.
Mofaz will join Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a three-man kitchen Cabinet or the fuller eight-man “Inner Cabinet,” where the call of whether or not to launch a military strike against Iran will be decided. Both Netanyahu and Barak are on record as pessimists when it comes to the possibility that sanctions or diplomacy will stop Tehran’s march toward nuclear weapons. Both have made it clear that Israel will have to rely on its armed forces to resolve the problem, whether or not Washington gives Jerusalem a green light.
Learning from Bin Laden’s Strategy
The al-Qaeda leader had a clearly defined set of objectives, a model the US would do well to emulate in its war on terror, writes Jonathan E. Hillman in the National Interest.
Bin Laden went further than ranking worthy objectives; he explicitly acknowledged what was not achievable. Recognizing that al-Qaeda was not prepared to govern effectively if given the opportunity in Yemen, he wrote: “Our goal is not to expend our energy in Yemen, to use the greater part of our strength in supplies and reserves, and to wear down and ultimately topple an apostate regime, only to establish another apostate regime.” That seems like a fitting description of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, where pervasive corruption remains an “acute challenge,” according to a recent Pentagon report.