Ami Ayalon

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The day after six world powers reached a nuclear agreement with Iran in July, the Israeli Knesset’s foreign affairs and defense committee called on Israel’s government to “continue to closely follow the precise and strict implementation” of the agreement “to ensure that Iran is not continuing to fool the international community as it did in the past, while strengthening the historic alliance between the United States and Israel.”

In early August, nearly 70 former senior members of Israel’s defense community, myself included, published an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to accept the nuclear deal as an “accomplished fact.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace will help thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Both developments will improve Israel’s security. But Israel’s top officials are not yet convinced.

Most notably, the linkage eludes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has condemned the Iran deal signed in Geneva, and his anger about that agreement had a negative impact on his latest discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry about the Palestinian talks, according to Israeli press reports.

Mr. Netanyahu’s insistence in identifying Iran as a threat and calling for tougher sanctions has had some positive effects. Over time, it eventually helped push Iran back to negotiations, and in a weaker position.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israel, I fear, is on a suicidal path: It could cease to be the democratic home of the Jewish people.

This is why I greatly appreciate President Obama's decision to come to Israel despite all the serious issues he faces in America. His visit could mark the beginning of a new era in the struggle to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Because it is crucial to make the most of it, I am taking the liberty of offering four suggestions to the president as he prepares for his trip.

First, he must avoid ambiguity. We Israelis appreciate direct talk. Overly positive or opaque pictures created deep disappointments for us in the 1990s.…  Seguir leyendo »

For three years, attempts at negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership have failed because of a lack of trust. It now seems highly unlikely that the two sides will return to negotiations — but that does not mean the status quo must be frozen in place.

Israel doesn’t need to wait for a final-status deal with the Palestinians. What it needs is a radically new unilateral approach: It should set the conditions for a territorial compromise based on the principle of two states for two peoples, which is essential for Israel’s future as both a Jewish and a democratic state.…  Seguir leyendo »