July 22, 2020

Palestinian Authority Finds Perfect Prime Minister

barry-rubin

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister. He is Ram Hamdullah. Who? It is useful to remember that the post of PA prime minister was originally forced on PLO, PA, and Fatah leader Yasir Arafat ten years ago in the hope of getting the PA to be more moderate and more competent as an economic and administrative entity. It has not worked too well. But once you think about it, Hamdullah is the perfect PA prime minister. His predecessor was Salam … [Read more...]

Snapshots from the Real Middle East

barry-rubin

These are all personal observations, selected from a much longer personal list: –The Palestinian Christian man is desperate. Can I help him get out of the country? He’s scared of the Islamists. Can I help him  get his son to university in America? The situation is intolerable. Something is worked out with a little help from me. –The Druze woman is desperate. She has  a boyfriend her family doesn’t approve of. With help from some Israelis she is smuggled to a safe place. –The … [Read more...]

Now U.S. Policy Is Really, Truly Going to Make Middle East Peace, No Kidding!

barry-rubin

Ridicule is often the best response to U.S. Middle East policy. Example: Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to restart the Israel-Palestinian peace process. How? By having Israel release Palestinian prisoners. The number 120 has been mentioned. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happier if Kerry spends all of his time doing that then: On the somewhat positive side, U.S. policy will focus on economic development of the West Bank which means giving the Palestinian Authority more money. This … [Read more...]

Secretary of State Kerry Shows He Doesn’t Have a Clue About How Foreign Policy Works

barry-rubin

During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State-designate John Kerry was only given a tough time by one questioner, Senator Rand Paul. The exchange between them is interesting not just because of the specific topic, but also because of what it shows about basic foreign policy philosophy — and ignorance — on Kerry’s part. It is a genuine problem. The leader of a “friendly” nation has been exposed for making anti-Semitic remarks. The United States wants to continue aid to avoid … [Read more...]