1) At WINEP Ghaith al-Omari asks ‘Will the Palestinian Election Decree Produce Actual Elections?’.
“On January 15, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree calling for two sets of elections this year: legislative on May 22 and presidential on July 31. He also asked that the Palestinian National Council be reconstituted on August 31. If the elections are held, they would be the PA’s first since 2006. This is not the first time that such calls have been floated, but the new decree goes further than previous announcements.
Even so, current political dynamics raise serious doubt about whether the elections will actually be held. The PA and Hamas have offered no guarantees that the conduct of voting would be free and fair or that the outcome would be respected.”
2) Writing at the Atlantic, Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi discuss ‘The Case Against the Iran Deal’.
“Proponents of the Iran nuclear agreement are sounding the alarm. In 2018, the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and since then, Iran has increased the quality and quantity of its uranium enrichment well beyond what the deal allows. Recently, it has even begun enriching uranium to 20 percent, a short distance away from weapons-grade. Iran, JCPOA advocates say, is closer today to producing a bomb than it was in 2015, when the deal was concluded. Only the deal’s renewal, they insist, can prevent the nightmare of a nuclear Iran. […]
Why, then, aren’t Israelis and Arabs—those with the most to lose from Iranian nuclearization—also demanding a return to the JCPOA? Why aren’t they panicking over its dissolution? The answer is simple: The JCPOA didn’t diminish the Iranian nuclear threat; it magnified it.”
3) Dr Jonathan Spyer and Dr Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak present a study of ‘Turkish Militias and Proxies’ at the JISS.
“Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP, Turkey seeks to be the dominant regional force, projecting power over neighboring countries and across seas. In cooperation with a variety of bodies, most significantly the SADAT military contracting company and the Syrian National Army, Turkey has developed over the last decade a large pool of well-trained, easily deployed, and effortlessly disposable proxy forces as a tool of power projection, with a convenient degree of plausible deniability.
When combined with Turkish non-official, but governmentally directed and well-established groups such as the Gray Wolves, it becomes clear that Erdoğan now has a private military and paramilitary system at his disposal.”
4) At the Fathom Journal, ‘David Hirsh responds to a recent ‘call to reject’ the IHRA’.
“The 40 writers of the ‘call to reject’ the IHRA definition of antisemitism parade and mobilise their Israeli identities in an effort to give their position greater moral weight. Their message is aimed at licensing and encouraging their non-Jewish and non-Israeli colleagues to support a controversial position on antisemitism which the overwhelming majority of Jews and Israelis oppose.
They write not only ‘asaJew’ but also as Israelis. And not only as Jews and Israelis, but as antiracist Jews and Israelis, as though this is a special and rare subcategory. The truth is that the ‘call to reject’ position on antisemitism is opposed by the overwhelming majority of antiracist Jews and Israelis. And most Jews and Israelis, just like anybody else, are against racism. And the ‘call to reject’ position is opposed by Jews who are against racism because they’re against racism, not in spite of it. To campaign specifically against the racism that targets you yourself is not disgraceful and nor does it signify a softness on racism that targets other people.”