Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, December 2011. (Photo: Courtesy of the White House)
Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran
David E. Sanger of the New York Times speaks to former Israeli, American and European security officials to get a clear picture of the series of cyber strikes on Iran’s nuclear program.
The unusually tight [American] collaboration with Israel was driven by two imperatives. Israel’s Unit 8200, a part of its military, had technical expertise that rivaled the N.S.A.’s, and the Israelis had deep intelligence about operations at Natanz that would be vital to making the cyberattack a success. But American officials had another interest, to dissuade the Israelis from carrying out their own pre-emptive strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities. To do that, the Israelis would have to be convinced that the new line of attack was working. The only way to convince them, several officials said in interviews, was to have them deeply involved in every aspect of the program.
Syria Is Not a Problem from Hell
Writing in Foreign Policy, Anne-Marie Slaughter offers a solution to the worsening bloodshed in Syria, before it is too late.
What is still missing is a plan. It is time to stand neither for the Syrian opposition nor against the Syrian government but against killing by either side. To tell any Syrian local officials willing to stand against killing—whether a Local Coordinating Committee or simply a municipal government—that they will receive weapons and air support against tanks, support that will be withdrawn if killing begins or continues, by anyone. All citizens of such towns should be instructed to photograph violence by anyone against anyone and upload it to a central website maintained by the U.N. or by the Friends of Syria, so that they become peace monitors.
Turkey, Israel: Potential for a Fresh Start?
Economic ties between Israel and Turkey were unharmed by the diplomatic downturn of recent years and could be key to rebuilding other aspects of the relationship, write Soner Cagaptay and Tyler Evans for the Washington Institute.
[T]he diplomatic crisis has not translated into an economic crisis. Take for instance, a boycott announced by several Israeli grocery chains in the wake of the flotilla incident. Despite the assertions on the part of these retailers, Turkish export of vegetable products has remained steady since 2007, and exports of prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco doubled between 2007 and 2011. From 2010 to 2011, trade increased by 30.7%, far surpassing the growth that occurred during the heyday of Turkish-Israeli ties.
The Ten Commandments of America’s Jews
Writing in Commentary Magazine, Jack Wertheimer presents a modern code he believes American Jews should live by.
Presenting Jewish life positively and without fear, it dismisses talk of Israel’s vulnerability or of threats to Jewish survival in the United States. The impulse to share Jewish folkways with the world at large, and to discuss in public and without inhibition the most intimate aspects of current Jewish life, reflects a strong sense of security and “at-homeness.” If anything, the greater dangers are seen as parochialism, the failure or refusal to credit the intertwining of Jewish and Gentile lives, and the consequent impulse to isolate Jews from their business associates, their friends, and, in a growing number of cases, their family members.