Twenty five years ago, Israel and the Palestinians signed the fateful Oslo peace accord. What has been the legacy of this acclaimed venture in peacemaking?
Elan Journo writes:
There’s a well-established pattern among political and intellectual leaders of underrating the aims, morale, and capability of the Islamist movement. And it costs us dearly. Take, for example, the following assessment of various Al Qaeda factions in Iraq. At the time, Al Qaeda was supposed to have been “decimated,” even as the group’s flag was flying in some Iraqi cities.
The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. . . . I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
These were Barack Obama’s words in a New Yorker interview published January 2014. Six months later, one Al Qaeda affiliate conquered large areas of Iraq and Syria. That group, which became widely known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, then declared itself a “caliphate.”
Continue reading: Inside the Caliphate: Understanding ISIS
In The Federalist, Elan Journo writes:
For his new Showtime series, Sacha Baron Cohen, the satirist who created and starred in the film “Borat,” carried out a prank laden with political significance. While the prank’s main focus is a commentary on gun control, it can also be taken as a critique of some Americans’ reflexive, unthinking attitude toward Israel.
So contends Alan Elsner in the Washington Post, who calls instead for a critical, balanced, thoughtful policy toward Israel. That seemingly reasonable path, however, rests on its own kind of reflexive, unthinking mindset.
Continue reading: Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals Need To Think More Deeply About Israel
In my new book, What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, I offer an argument about the essential nature of the conflict, what has fueled it for so long, and America’s stake in it. It’s a vast, complex subject, and naturally there are many aspects, issues, and questions that I could deal with only partly, or that I had to put to one side. What’s more, in analyzing the issue, I adopt a secular, individualist moral framework, a framework informed by Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. Consequently, the argument I present in the book pushes back against prevailing views of the conflict and America’s approach to it.
So, from the outset, I expected objections, questions, and disagreement. And I welcome such engagement.In this essay, I take up five challenges to What Justice Demands and my approach in it—but without assuming that you’ve read the book. Clearly, you’ll gain more if you’ve already engaged with the book, but if you have yet to pick up a copy, this article will give you a flavor of the book’s distinctive perspective and value.
Continue reading: Tackling Top 5 Objections to “What Justice Demands”
Read an excerpt from my new book, What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, at The Federalist: How America’s Unjust Approach To Israel Hurts Us (Not How You Think)
Would you recognize the signs of an incipient tyranny? Would you know how to oppose it? Timothy Snyder’s incisive book, On Tyranny, aims to distill enduring lessons from the twentieth century on the rise and functioning of tyranny — and to help us preserve our freedom.
The Afghanistan war is America’s longest war, longer even than Vietnam. Why is the United States, the world’s lone superpower, mired in these “forever” wars — against adversaries that are far, far weaker militarily? Continue reading
The truth is that the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” was stillborn. We should have buried that disastrous policy long ago….
Two huge developments have put a renewed focus on the war-torn Middle East: President Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal, and Israel’s air strikes on Iranian military bases in Syria. These may seem like yet more turmoil in a region marked by perpetual strife but, in fact, the stakes here are wider than people imagine.
Israel’s conflict with its adversaries used to be seen as a narrow, regional issue and, beyond that, of significance only to Jews and some evangelical Christians. But that’s myopic. In fact, the conflict is between freedom and tyranny.