America’s Middle East Policy, From Eisenhower to Trump

Nov. 30 2016

Few American presidents have done so much to shape U.S. relations with the Arab world as Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, like many of his successors, believed that the Arab-Israeli conflict was central to the region and that he could win the respect of Arab leaders by demonstrating “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem. But unlike subsequent presidents, he eventually learned that these and other assumptions were wrong. Michael Doran, Walter Russell Mead, and Ray Takeyh discuss several decades of American policy makers’ failures to understand the Middle East, and what the Trump administration can do to avoid making the same mistakes. (Moderated by Lee Smith. Video, 90 minutes.)

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Read more at Hudson Institute

More about: Donald Trump, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

What Israel Can Offer Africa

Last week, the Israeli analyst Yechiel Leiter addressed a group of scholars and diplomats gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss security issues facing the Horn of Africa. Herewith, some excerpts from his speech:

Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. . . . For decades, [however], the notion that the absence of peace in the Middle East was due the absence of Palestinian statehood prevented a full and strategic partnership with African countries. . . . The visits to Africa by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—in 2016 to East Africa and in 2017 to West Africa—reenergized the natural partnership that was initiated by Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.

There is much we share, many places where our interests converge. And I don’t mean another military base in Djibouti. . . . One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us. . . . But the one critical area of cooperation I’d like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security, or rather food insecurity.

Imagine Ethiopia’s cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the two or three that they produce today. Imagine an exponential rise in (organic) meat exports to Middle Eastern and even European countries, the result of increased processing, storage, and transportation possibilities. Cows today can have a microscopic chip behind their ears that sends messages to the farmer’s computer or mobile phone that tracks what the cow ate, what its temperature is, and what care it might need. Imagine a dramatic expansion of the wheat yield that can make Ethiopia a net exporter of wheat—to Egypt, perhaps in the context of negotiations over the waters of the Nile.

Israel has proven technology in all of these agricultural areas and we’re here; we’re neighbors. We are linked to Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, in so many ways.

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More about: Africa, Ethiopia, Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology