From Our Columnists

Restraint as a US Foreign Policy Strategy and the Future of the US–Israel Relationship:
An Exchange of Views
Steve, Our friendship goes back to graduate school days at Princeton and continued throughout our careers in US government service. We have moved in opposite directions politically—you to center-left and me to center-right—though we probably still agree on a lot. Let’s explore two issues—the general issue of whether or not the US needs to retrench […]
An Israeli Perspective on Qatar’s World Cup
Few events in history have been watched live by more people around the world than the final match of the World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar on December 18, 2022. After a riveting game, it was the legendary leader of the Argentinian team—Lionel Messi—who lifted the golden trophy. Right then, as hundreds of millions were […]
A Revisionist View of the Intelligence Failure of the Yom Kippur War
As Israel heads into the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of 1973, one issue from that momentous war is still debated in Israel. Who was to blame for Israel’s failure to anticipate the Egyptian and Syrian surprise attack: the military intelligence officials (and by extension the organization and mentality of the intelligence establishment) […]
Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich: Israel’s Power Couple
General Aviv Kochavi, the outgoing chief of the general staff, probably never thought that he would need to call the incoming prime minister over a political matter in his last month of service. But in December, Kochavi’s concerns over Bezalel Smotrich’s proposal to create a new position in the Defense Ministry went public. The new […]
The 2022 Congressional Elections: The Red Wave that Wasn’t
The 2022 Congressional elections surprised virtually everyone. Until late September, the Republicans expected to take the House with a sizable majority. Perhaps it would not be the 60-plus advantage they anticipated earlier in the year, but still one in excess of twenty seats. Instead, when the 118th Congress convenes on January 3, the Republicans will […]
Why Has Netanyahu’s Coalition-Making Been so Difficult?
A magical moment is recalled in a well known Israeli song (sung by Yehudit Ravitz in 1979): “You took my hand in yours and told me, let’s go down to the garden—the things you see from there are not what you see from here.” A generation later, in 2005, the refrain “what you see from […]
Not Much Left
Israeli election results of the past 30 years illustrate the dramatic decline of Israel’s formerly ruling left. In the 1992 elections, under the leadership of the late Yitzhak Rabin, the Labor Party won 44 seats (out of 120) in the Knesset, and his Meretz partner (led by its late leader, the sharp and acerbic Yossi […]
Will Marwan Barghouti be the Next Palestinian President?
The first thing one sees after crossing the Qalandiya checkpoint from Jerusalem en route to Ramallah is a huge mural of Marwan Barghouti, the imprisoned Fatah leader who is seen by many Palestinians as the successor to Mahmoud Abbas. Next to Barghouti’s portrait is that of the late Yasser Arafat. Placing these two figures together […]
The Middle East in the New US National Security Strategy
Outlining his foreign policy objectives in 2020 in the magazine Foreign Affairs, then presidential candidate Joe Biden asserted that “it is past time to end the forever wars.” Indeed, as president, he withdrew all troops in a frenzied retreat from Afghanistan and reduced troop levels in Iraq by more than half. Ending the “forever wars” […]
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