Too bad the hundreds shot dead on Cairo streets won't be able to vote in the new restored democracy. Washington needs to "reset" relations with Egypt.
While Hamas's words do not play into the kind of peace language that Washington seeks to frame with the renewed talks, does Hamas's response carry weight as an outside player? Western analysts and Washington peace negotiators prefer to think not.
Under Clinton and now Kerry, the State Department has developed a wide range of religious engagement efforts that paved the way for the Office of Faith-based Community Initiatives.
Religion is no longer simply a matter of faith in God. Instead, it is... anything and everything imaginable. The truth about religion is that there is no one Truth but rather multiple versions of many possible truths.
U.S. policy in Egypt has been a disaster. Now the short-lived democratic revolution has been replaced by military rule with a meaningless civilian veneer. Washington should cut off foreign aid and disengage.
Initially it appeared that Secretary of State John Kerry's peace initiative was harmless. Although few Israelis, Palestinians or Americans expected it to accomplish anything, it was hard to make the case that it would do any damage. No more.
Israel must never hesitate to show up at any serious negotiating table. It does so today from a position of remarkable strength.
Obama administration policy toward Syria is a slow train wreck. Unremitting pressure from war-minded elites is pushing President Barack Obama closer to military intervention in the bloody civil war. Yet getting involved would be a fool's errand.
Nobody would deny that the obstacles are formidable and nobody ever got rich betting on the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace. But some of the underlying conditions have changed, creating a spark of hope that this time could be different.
The complexity of Jerusalem's Temple Mount appears insurmountable because demand to possess the world's most contested rock will in all likelihood continue unabated until a peaceful solution emerges from it.
This week, as summer's vacation high season began (at least in countries other than the unhealthily vacation-averse U.S.), the latest jobs numbers brought more evidence that our economy continues to be on a very extended holiday. We added only 162,000 jobs in July. Over half of them were in the low-wage retail and restaurant sectors, which is likely why hourly wages fell 0.1 percent. At this rate, it will still take up to a decade to erase our 8-10 million job deficit. In response, our leaders in Washington have done... nothing. Actually, worse than nothing, since they're currently wrangling over which job-killing budget cuts should replace the sequester's job-killing cuts. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Kerry said that he expected U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. To paraphrase a younger John Kerry, you never have to ask a man to be the last man to die in Afghanistan if you make the mistake of never leaving.
There are plenty of reasons to be cynical about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The personalities and the politics involved do not immediately inspire confidence. Nevertheless, I choose not to be negative.
Washington's best hope is to disengage, leaving Egyptians to decide their own future. The administration should simply point to the law. A coup has occurred and the democratic process has been overthrown by the military, so aid must be halted.
"How can the United States expect an unbalanced assessment from a diplomat who, although at times critical of Israeli policies, has a background that clearly identifies him with one of the parties in the tragic Middle East conundrum," asks one of his critics? The answer is simple.
While Oman continues to use its leverage to thwart a military confrontation in the Arabian Gulf, officials in Muscat have accepted that their influence is naturally limited, and they have taken actions to prepare for a scenario in which the Strait of Hormuz is closed.
I am not entirely sanguine that either the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas or Israel's Netanyahu are ready, willing or able to make peace. Netanyahu is an ideologue who does not really believe in a two-state solution. Conversely, Abbas is politically weak.