Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor offers an exclusive look at how EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was instrumental in keeping the latest round of negotiations with Iran afloat.
Ashton has earned “a status as a genuine, open-minded but tough—thinking negotiator who the Iranians trust and are willing to deal with,” and one “who can keep the sometimes fractious P5 +1 together.” At the pre-talks dinner, Ashton “rebuilt a rapport with Jalili… During the talks, she ran the show—choreographing the political directors, ensuring their intervention matched her script. As the day progressed, she ‘deployed’ the Russians and even the Turks to engage with the Iranians and persuade them to engage constructively.”
The Syrian army is not as well-equipped as is believed, yet the ongoing violence cannot be resolved without foreign intervention, onetime high-ranking officer Akil Hashem tells Foreign Affairs.
I cannot believe that the United States, Britain, and France, with all of their intelligence capabilities, do not realize that the Syrian military is weak, largely thanks to rampant corruption. It’s one thing to have equipment and weapons, but it’s another thing to have the leadership to deploy them. And the leadership of the Syrian military is particularly decrepit. It starts with junior officers who ask soldiers to buy them cigarettes and then refuse to pay them back and goes all the way up to division commanders who divert army matériel to build their castles, villas, and mansions, ordering soldiers to construct them without compensation.
Jewish students must not be intimidated by the anti-Israel campaigns prevalent on American campuses and stand up for their beliefs, writes Jonathan Tobin in Algemeiner.
The youth of this era must re-learn what previous generations came to understand in past struggles for Jewish rights: that those who will not stand up for the Jews will inevitably be asked some day why they did nothing. They must do so not in the name of a mythical perfect Israel as its opponents claim, but on behalf of a living breathing imperfect and at times infuriating country that is judged by a double standard not applied to any other country. They must do so not because they necessarily like its politics or its leaders, but because it has the same right to exist in freedom and security as any other nation.
Radical Islam has been irrevocably altered by having to operate in the modern world, writes Olivier Roy for Foreign Policy.
As a result of their experience with the power of government repression, Islamists increasingly compromised to get in, or stay in, the political game. In Egypt, the Muslim Brothers ran for parliament whenever allowed, often making tactical alliances with secular parties. In Kuwait and Morocco, Islamists abided by the political rules whenever they ran for parliament, even when it meant embracing those countries’ monarchies. Morocco’s Justice and Development Party recognized the sacred dimension of the king in order to participate in elections, while Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood publicly supports the king despite growing discontent among the Arab Bedouin tribes.
Anti-Semitism is increasingly justified in Europe as an expression of anti-Israel sentiment, writes Walter Russell Mead in the American Interest.
If a gang of white American thugs attacked African-Americans, and defended their action on the ground that they were protesting Robert Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, the world would laugh at their foolishness even as it condemned their bigotry. This isn’t quite how it works when goons around the world attack Jews and Jewish buildings and defend themselves by saying that they are angered by things the Israeli government has done.