Daniel Kurtzer

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Demonstrations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Tel Aviv, Israel, April 2023. Corinna Kern / Reuters

After putting his plans for antidemocratic judicial overhaul on ice in April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to gear up for a second try. The legislative proposals would effectively neuter the Israeli Supreme Court and prevent it from acting as a check on executive power, but the project’s success is not guaranteed. Mass protests against the overhaul have continued unabated, putting pressure on the government to stall further or even compromise.

The longer Netanyahu waits, however, the more he faces discontent in the ranks of his far-right coalition government. Netanyahu has already tried to calm the waves with massive state subsidies for Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population.…  Seguir leyendo »

Quienes dirigen el aparato de defensa israelí suelen considerar que la paz con los palestinos es condición necesaria para la seguridad del país. Evidentemente, la responsabilidad de mantener los territorios que Israel viene ocupando desde la Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967 lleva a la jerarquía militar y de seguridad a apoyar medidas políticas que pongan fin a la ocupación. Sin embargo, el gobierno no muestra interés en buscar una solución permanente.

Para apreciar esta discrepancia basta pensar en el fallecido Meir Dagan, quien fue mayor general de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel (FDI) y más tarde director del Mossad, la agencia de inteligencia israelí.…  Seguir leyendo »

Few states face the kind of complex, sustained security challenges that Israel does.

Israel has not enjoyed one day of peace with its neighbors since its independence in 1948. Many Arab and Muslim states have maintained an economic and political boycott against Israel for decades.

There is an automatic majority against Israel in the United Nations, leading often to perverse outcomes in which Israel's human rights record is condemned by states whose violations of human rights are far worse. Terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas target Israel with rockets and suicide bombers. And today, Iran seeks nuclear weapons capability even as some of its leaders call openly for Israel's destruction and deny the genocide of the Holocaust.…  Seguir leyendo »

Negotiations to end the fighting in Gaza are at an impasse. In the talks under way in Cairo, Israel made a reasonable demand for the demilitarization of Gaza, but no country has raised its hand to aid in the process. Israel has developed technological fixes for the offensive weaponry Hamas has developed, but this is simply a reaction, not a permanent fix, to potential violence.

Hamas’s demand for the release of prisoners and the reopening of Gaza’s passages also will not win unconditional acceptance; Israel will not hand over prisoners to Hamas. Even if the passages are opened, Hamas will not be involved in their operation.…  Seguir leyendo »

The recent interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the so-called P5-plus-1 countries, led by the United States, has provoked unprecedented criticism of U.S. policy from two of its strongest Mideast allies: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on his ministers and his supporters in the U.S. to lobby Congress to oppose the agreement. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have accused the U.S. of selling out its allies for little security in return.

The apparent coincidence of Israeli and Saudi interests over Iran has fueled media reports that the two countries are coordinating strategies to confront the Islamic Republic.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Obama administration is awash in advice about what to do in Syria. With the administration’s having declared chemical weapons use by the government of Bashar al-Assad a “game changer,” many are advising the president to intervene militarily. The stakes are high: every day that Mr. Assad remains in power brings death and destruction to more Syrians; but after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the prospect of American military intervention is daunting.

Before making a momentous decision on intervention — especially if the president is considering unilateral intervention — we ought to first do serious diplomacy to see whether an international consensus can be reached on the question of intervention, and then ask the Arab League, the United Nations Security Council and Congress to vote on whether and what kind of intervention is acceptable.…  Seguir leyendo »

Faulty analysis of the Israeli settlement issue is being passed off as fact. Charles Krauthammer's June 5 column, "The Settlements Myth," is one example.

Here are the facts: In 2003, the Israeli government accepted, with some reservations, the "road map" for peace, which imposed two requirements on Israel regarding settlements: "GOI [Government of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001. Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)."

Today, Israel maintains that three events -- namely, draft understandings discussed in 2003 between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley; President George W.…  Seguir leyendo »