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Dr. Josef Olmert
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Entries by Dr. Josef Olmert

3 Major Questions That Will Decide Future Developments in the Gaza-Israel Conflict

(2) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 10:12 AM

They are celebrating in Gaza, much less so in Israel. Celebrations can be spontaneous and manufactured, it is in the eye of the beholder. Gazans can believe their leadership that a ''victory'' was achieved, or they simply show a public sigh of relief that the worst may be over.

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Hamas-Israel: An Interim Scoresheet

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 3:40 PM

The current round of hostilities is clearly beyond the end of the beginning, but not yet at the beginning of the end, as there is no formal, binding ceasefire; but it is not too early to pinpoint at least one important implication of the war, something that this blog has...

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The Gaza-Israel War -- Some Regional Implications

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 10:58 AM

Wars, as we know, are catalysts for change, and the current round of fighting between Hamas and Israel is no exception. Two trends, which have become very noticeable in the region in recent years, are being accelerated these days and create the likelihood, never a certainty in the shifty and...

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On "We Told You So," Ben Gurion Airport, Gaza and the West Bank

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 7:16 PM

As of 2005, when Ariel Sharon executed the ''Disengagement Plan'' from Gaza, in which not even one Israeli, whether civilian or military personnel, was allowed to stay there, the Israeli right wing, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, warned of what would happen in Gaza. When their dire predictions were fully materialized,...

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Egypt Is the Key With Regard to Gaza

(11) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 10:42 AM

Sameh Shoukry is the Egyptian Foreign Minister, and yesterday he said what no Arab leader said before. Not clear whether it was his intention, but his statement about the Gaza situation, even more importantly its timing, is of major significance, with the potential of becoming a turning point in the...

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Reactions to the Gaza-Israel War -- Hamas Needs to Worry

(34) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 9:56 AM

The current round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel is continuing along familiar lines. First, Hamas starts the round by indiscriminately firing rockets designed to hit civilians. Then, the Israelis start reacting, first slowly, then more intensely, and inevitably Hamas launches the campaign of self-victimization, yelling of foul play, claiming...

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Israel and Hamas-Between Bad and Worse Options

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 12:38 PM

Never a dull moment in the Middle East, and now AGAIN Gaza is burning, and while we have not come close to the climax of the crisis, which is an all-out Israeli ground invasion, the likelihood of it happening is very high, while it is also very likely that none...

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Iraq Is Unravelling - Maybe Joe Biden Was Right

(27) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 9:59 AM

Mosul is a metropolis of nearly two million people, situated in Northern Iraq and traditionally the home of Sunni Arab Muslims -- but also many minorities, Syriac-speaking Christians, Yazidis and Sunni; but not Arab Kurds. What makes it so significant is also its location in the midst of one of...

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No Talks and No Falling Sky

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 1:02 PM

Secretary Kerry, Israeli Ministers and many others, well-wishers as well as fear-mongers, warned that if the Israeli-Palestinian talks failed, there is no telling to what may happen. The good news is, that as yet nothing significant, definitely nothing calamitous has happened. The less good news is, that in the Middle...

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Syria's Independence Day -- What Went Wrong

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 2:32 PM

On April 17, 1946, French mandatory rule over Syria came to an end after 25 tumultuous years of a colonial rule which started with violence and ended with violence. For France, the granting of Mandatory rule over the Levant was the realization of a long expectation to extend its tutelage...
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Alawites Under Attack: A Syrian Update

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 12:32 PM

Some weeks ago there was an important victory for the Syrian Army in the civil war there, as the Alawite regime recaptured the Kalamoon area, a vital strategic territory dominating what was described as the last area along the Syrian-Lebanese border still controlled by the rebels, a fact which enabled...

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Syria -- Some Thoughts Three Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 9:40 AM

Three years later and the numbers are staggering, though figures published by the various Syrian opposition sources seem to be exaggerated. Still, the truth is that Syria of old is no more and will not be restored. Gone are the high slogans of "Heart of Arabism," Unity, Freedom and Socialism,"...
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Egypt Bans Hamas -- Possible Scenarios

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 1:35 PM

It was in the making for quite some time, and now it is official. Egypt declared Hamas a terrorist organization and outlawed its activities in the country. The terror organization, for its part, retaliated by objecting to any more Egyptian involvement in negotiations between them and Fatah over internal Palestinian...

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Boycotting Israel: Fiction and Reality

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 4:55 PM

A few days ago, the GSMA, the world's leading organization of mobile users, held its big international event in Barcelona, and three Israeli companies were awarded prizes for their innovations. Just a small example of what happens in the REAL world when it comes to boycotting Israel. Those who know,...

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Martin Niemoller and the Current Campaign Against Israel and Jews

(1) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 11:16 AM

Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) was a German Lutheran Pastor who, in the early years of Nazi Germany, was an enthusiastic adherent of the "new Germany." So much so that he was one of the founders of the Confessional Church, which was the Nazi anti-Lutheran Church, but then he got disillusioned and...

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Some Light in the Dark: The Israeli-Palestinian Talks

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 8:43 AM

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have become such a feature of life in that troubled region of the world, that usual, standard definitions of "optimism," "pessimism," "breakthrough" or "crisis" seem somewhat out of place, as they are so often used. Still, it seems, and this is surely yet another "optimistic" observation, that...

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Pressure on Israel and Its Impact: The Question of Isolation

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 8:24 AM

Worldwide pressures on Israel to move ahead with the American-mediated negotiations with the Palestinians are mounting, with the obvious expectations that somehow they will lead to a dramatic Israeli concession such that will enable the signing of an agreement, the distribution of a Nobel Peace prize and a sense of...

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Geneva and What Is Happening on the Ground in Syria

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 12:16 PM

Geneva has been a favorite place for Middle East peace conferences, but with a poor track record of success. Now it is Syria's turn; in the 1980's it was Lebanon's. There will be speeches, statements of intentions, many backdoor dealings and a lot of PR exercises; but NO Pax Syrianna.

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Israel and the U.S. -- Verbal Clashes and Policy Differences

(16) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 12:33 PM

For a long time the American-mediated Israeli-Palestinian talks were kept under a veil of utmost secrecy. In a political environment known for its lack of discretion, being leak-infested, this was taken to be a sign of seriousness, of potential progress. If the parties are so discreet, so, the logic was,...

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Syria: 2013 Was Bad, 2014 Will Be Worse

(4) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 1:00 PM

The conventional definitions of tragedy and collective misery seem to be out of place when it comes to Syria. The extent of the catastrophe there far surpasses even the most pessimistic predictions about this poor country. From the beginning of the crisis, it was the firm conviction of this blog...

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