December 30, 2012 | 1:38 am
The Obama administration needs to take a tougher stance with Middle Eastern rulers, writes Dov S. Zakheim in the National Interest.
Apart from threatening action if Assad uses chemical weapons, as well as reportedly some training of opposition fighters outside Syria, Washington has not provided what the opposition has long sought: the arms it needs to fight off Assad’s thuggish supporters and his regular army. The rebels are managing to do so anyway; even Farouk al Sharaa, the long-time Assad lackey who now serves as vice president, has all but admitted that the regime’s days finally are numbered. But Washington can expect little by way of thanks from whoever comes to power in Damascus, nor does it deserve any.
Writing for the Daily Beast's Open Zion section, Brent E. Sasley argues that the nature of Israel advocacy in the American Jewish community has changed.
...mainstream U.S. Jewish groups are facing pressure from both the right-wing government in Israel (which may become even more rightist after the January election) and the right-wing groups and individuals in the U.S., who run on a single issue and are less concerned with developing ties and ideas across the political spectrum. Left-wing groups like J Street are also beginning to pose a challenge—though, because most leftist Jewish groups are either anti- or non-Zionist, the centrist organizations can more easily fend them off or ignore them.
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