Understanding the U.S. Position on Settlements—and the Twin Political Crises of America and Israel

Peter Berkowitz joined the State Department in 2018 as an adviser on Israel policy; seven months later he was promoted to the storied position of director of policy planning. In an interview by Tal Schneider, he discusses his experience leaving academia for Foggy Bottom, the successes and failures of the Trump administration, and the future of Iran’s nuclear program. He also rejects the assertion that the State Department “moved to change the legal status of settlements and lower the chance for Palestinian statehood.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Donald Trump, Israeli politics, Mike Pompeo, Settlements, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

 

Hamas and Fatah Compete by Shedding Jewish Blood

During the past four weeks, there has been a rash of violent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. These are not a response to any Israeli actions, nor are they spontaneous outbursts. Rather, as Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch explain, the violence is the result of deliberate incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which began when its president, Mahmoud Abbas, realized he was unlikely to win the upcoming national elections. The violence, write Marcus and Hirsch, was originally a way to win votes, and is now a way to maintain popularity after Abbas’s decision to postpone the elections in definitely:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror