Yousef Munayyer: Yesterday President Obama nominated the former Republican senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel, to be his next Secretary of Defense. Rumors of Hagel’s nomination starting last year triggered a debate that is likely to continue into and through the nominee’s confirmation process. However, this debate really tells us more important things about America, and our role in the Middle East, than it does about Chuck Hagel.
Yousef Munayyer: We’ve seen it time and again. Pollsters frequently query Palestinians and Israelis asking them about their views, priorities and ambitions and then present their responses as a sort of map of the political landscape that shows which path to peace is possible.
Yousef Munayyer: Jeffery Goldberg is clearly irked by the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend Zionism in mainstream American discourse today. He seems to take it personally, as if that’s his job or something.
Yousef Munayyer: It’s unclear when it died, but it’s most definitely dead. The Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” was born with a fatal flaw, and its defects have been on full display in recent weeks as Israel conducted yet another war on Gaza, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sought – and won – upgraded status at the United Nations last week against the will of the United States and Israel.
Yousef Munayyer: More than 160 Palestinians and 5 Israelis are dead, and as the smoke clears over Gaza, the Israelis will not be more secure and Palestinians’ hopes for self-determination remain dashed. It is time for a significant re-evaluation of the American policies that have contributed to this morass.
Yousef Munayyer: Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, the all-too-familiar scenes of violence in the Gaza Strip – the sight, on Sunday, of children’s bodies being pulled from a flattened house; the rocket launches – will temporarily stop. As after every round that preceded this, a ceasefire will eventually be reached. The question is what we will have learned.
Yousef Munayyer: They say when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But when you are a politician and all you have is a hammer, you must convince voters every problem looks like a nail. This is the only thinking that can explain Israel’s behavior in escalating bombardment of Gaza.
The IMF, World Bank and UN have recently concluded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state, given its solid track record in reforms. However, several recent developments have posed serious risks to the PA’s state-building capacity, and are also jeopardizing social stability in the Palestinian territories.