Rashid Khalidi “Brokers of Deceit”

Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East, by Rashid Khalidi

In his seventh book on the Middle East, Khalidi, Columbia professor of modern Arab studies, looks closely at the American role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Focusing on the 1982 Reagan Plan, the Madrid Peace Conference a decade later, and Obama’s shifting position on Israel’s settlements, Khalidi argues that the U.S. has impeded, not furthered, an agreement.

A Vengeful and Shortsighted Act

It is hard to imagine how this would coax the Palestinians to offer more concessions in a negotiation with Israel. What they see is that the United States under Mr. Trump has embraced the views of Israeli right-wing nationalists and tried to take two of their most important negotiating issues — the status of Jerusalem, which Mr. Trump undermined by announcing late last year that the United States embassy would be moved to Jerusalem, and now the right of return — off the table.

Through all the decades of peace negotiations, the Palestinians had believed that the United States, dedicated to Israel’s security, was the only power that could fairly mediate with Israel on their behalf. Mr. Trump has abdicated this leadership role, risking a humanitarian disaster and renewed violence.

To Stop North Korea, Act Like Israel

So far, these crime bosses have been masterful at circumventing the sanctions that have primarily hurt the enslaved North Korean population.

That’s why the United States and its allies ought to take a page from an Israeli playbook and wage financial warfare against Mr. Kim and his cabal.

.. The notion behind using money as a weapon against terrorism belonged to Meir Dagan, a legendary soldier and spymaster who developed the idea in the nascent days of Israel’s fight against Hamas and terror groups supported by Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Dagan rightly believed that money was the oxygen that fueled the groups’ suicide bombing campaign against Israel. If Israeli security services could suffocate the funds that paid for the bloodshed, the attacks would stop.

.. Harpoon targeted the banks that held accounts belonging to Palestinian terrorist commanders, and the unit encouraged lawyers — including me — to launch suits in United States federal court seeking monetary damages for victims of state sponsors of terror

.. Harpoon went after Hezbollah’s cocaine business in Venezuela and in Lebanon, as well as its money-laundering activities in West Africa and America.

.. And when the Hezbollah hierarchy was cash strapped, Harpoon targeted the financial institutions that allowed the terrorists to move their cash across continents, ultimately shutting down the Lebanese Canadian Bank

.. Most military commanders acknowledge that there are very few, if any, feasible solutions to today’s standoff with Pyongyang. The only effective path is to unleash an offensive press against Kim’s inner circle.

.. This effort ought to include a full-court press of dirty tricks, coercion, heavy-handed threats and even direct action, all covert and deniable, against Kim’s financial wizards who handle the finances, dispense the narcotics and hijack Bitcoins.

.. Only when the money dries up will the loyalty of the men in Kim’s inner circle be compromised and cut away. The North Korean dictator will then be under enormous pressure to do whatever he can to alleviate the effects of the spies tapping into his cash and control.

Trump’s Shift to ‘Outside-In’ Strategy for Mideast Peace Is a Long Shot

“As a Palestinian, I would not support Qatar if they said they wanted a two-state solution,” said Mr. Gatshan, 44. “I want my human rights. My rights are to live without any limits or restrictions and without occupiers.”

.. The Trump administration plans to focus on an “outside-in” approach, meaning that Israel would first pursue agreements with Arab countries to help solve the conflict with the Palestinians.

.. Supporters of the outside-in approach say that the merging of interests between Israel and Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt could provide an opening.

.. The divisions among Palestinians also undermine support for their cause. “Even if they wanted to do something, they don’t know who they should support now,” Mr. Hellyer said.

.. On Monday, it announced that Yehya Sinwar, a hard-line member of its military wing, had been chosen as its new Gaza leader.

.. Though Hamas has declared a truce, and largely controls other groups who try to continue fighting, some Israelis say a new war in Gaza is the only way to ultimately achieve peace.

.. Israel “cannot be the only country in the world where children cannot walk down the street without worrying that a missile will fall,” Naftali Bennett, a far-right lawmaker and education minister, said on a visit to the fence dividing Gaza and Israel last week. “Our enemies are investing all their resources in developing ways to kill us.”

Only with a complete victory,” he said, “can we put an end to this cycle.”