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inFOCUS Quarterly

Summer 2014

America's Global Withdrawal

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Latest inSIGHT

How Does Israel End Up the Bad Guy?

by Shoshana Bryen
July 10, 2014 | American Thinker

It is a terrible irony that Israel, revolted first by the murder of three of its teenage citizens and then by the revenge attack on a Palestinian teen, is the object of riots, bombs, and demands.

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The JPC Condemns Rocket Attacks from Gaza

July 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Jewish Policy Center unequivocally condemns the ongoing rocket fire against Israel and expresses solidarity with the Israeli government and the Israeli people during this time of war. Over the past month, Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, and the European Union, has fired over 400 rockets at Israel, each of which constitutes a war crime according to international law. Israel has the right and responsibility—just like any state—to defend itself against such indiscriminate attacks on its citizenry.

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The Minority Strategy: A New Path for American Interests in the Middle East

by Gabriel Scheinmann
July 8, 2014 | The Tower

In the Middle East, the Arabs are king, sometimes quite literally. The term "Middle East" is a geographic label, broadly describing an area from the Moroccan shores to the Hindu Kush, but it is often referred to—erroneously—as the "Arab World" because of its politically dominant inhabitants. The advent of Islam was an Arab phenomenon and its holiest sites lie in the doyen of Arab puritanism—Saudi Arabia. Arabic is the region's lingua franca. All but five modern Middle Eastern states have Sunni Arab majorities, Sunni Islam being the dominant religious sect among the Arabs. A Middle Eastern minority is thus, by definition, one that is neither Sunni, nor Arab.

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A Requiem for Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Mohammed Karaka

by Shoshana Bryen
July 2, 2014 | American Thinker

On June 30, the Embassy of Israel announced: "With great sadness we must announce the bodies of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali have been found near Hebron. Our thoughts are with their families."

Their tragic end wasn't inevitable, but almost so.

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Guarding American Interests in the Sunni-Shiite War

by Shoshana Bryen
June 20, 2014 | Gatestone

Either way, bottom line: no nuclear Iran. The U.S. retains a still-vast ability to meet its national defense priorities. The open questions are: the political skill to define them, and the will to ensure that that the greatest threat to regional and world stability -- Iranian nuclear capability - is stopped for good.

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ISIS Rampages, the Middle East Shakes

by Daniel Pipes
June 12, 2014 | National Review

The jihadis' takeover of Mosul on June 9 won them control of Iraq's second-largest city, a major haul of weapons, $429 million in gold, and an open path to conquer Tikrit, Samarra, and perhaps the capital city of Baghdad. The Iraqi Kurds have seizedKirkuk. This is the most important event in the Middle East since the Arab upheavals began in 2010. Here's why:

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The Not-So-Special Relationship

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
June 5, 2014 | The American Interest

Seventy years after Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, D-Day remains etched in American minds. Even as the "Greatest Generation" passes away, the iconic images of Allied forces landing on the beaches to free Europe from the clutches of Nazi Germany live on in movies, history, and even politics. Only in 2006 did the British finish repaying Lend-Lease, the crucial American military aid that ensured Britain's survival during the war. The invasion of France and the subsequent liberation of Europe defined the Anglo-American bond—the Old and New Worlds uniting to defeat tyranny. Since then, however, a lot has changed, and the "special relationship" has lost some of its luster.

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Syria's Looming Water Calamity

by Daniel Pipes
June 3, 2014 | The National Review

Two reports from Beirut's Al-Akhbar point to potentially catastrophic water problems about to affect Syria.

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America's Nuclear Nightmares: Russia, China, and Soon Iran?

by Gabriel Scheinmann
May 29, 2014 | The National Interest

Fifty years ago, the CIA produced a Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) on China's nuclear weapons program for President Lyndon Johnson. Overhead photography taken three weeks earlier revealed that a Chinese installation in Lop Nor was definitively a nuclear test site and would come online in two months. However, the CIA estimated, China would not have the necessary amount of fissionable material, which the United States assumed would come from a small plutonium reactor at Baotou, until mid-1965.

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inCONTEXT Blog

Egypt To Cut Subsidies, Ease Deficit

by Yael Rein
July 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm

On July 6th, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that he would support a proposal to cut fuel subsidies and raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. He hopes the move will help balance the government's budget deficit and reduce government debt, estimated to be 92 percent of GDP. Partly as a result of recent political turmoil, the Egyptian economy is suffering its worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

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ISIS Hits Close to Saudi Arabia and Jordan

by Yael Rein
July 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Three mortar bombs landed near the Saudi Arabian city of Arar, close the country's border with Iraq, on Monday. Officials do not know exactly who launched the projectiles, but authorities suspect Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) of being behind the attack.

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Hamas Vows Revenge Following IDF Strike

by Yael Rein
July 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

On Monday, Hamas vowed to take revenge for the deaths of seven of its members killed during Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, Gaza. The IDF airstrikes came in response to the nearly fifty rockets fired into Southern Israel since Sunday night. Over 200 rockets have been fired at Israel in the past month alone.

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Iraqi Parliament Fails to Elect New PM

by Yael Rein
July 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Sunnis and Kurds staged a walkout of Iraq's first parliamentary meeting on Tuesday after Shiites could not name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki. The move diminishes Iraq's chances of establishing a unity government. Al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated State of Law Coalition declined to make any meaningful compromises during Iraq's first parliamentary gathering since elections earlier this spring. About 255 out of the 328 Parliamentarians joined the meeting, however 90 of them failed to return after a 30-minute morning recess. According to Iraq's constitution, lawmakers must now select a new prime minister within 75 days. With no party holding a majority of the seats in parliament, Iraq's diverse political parties must unite to elect the country's new leader.

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Israel Mourns for Murdered Teens

by Yael Rein
July 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Israel's search for the three kidnapped teenagers—Naftali Fraenkel, an Israeli with American citizenship, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach—concluded on Monday when their bodies were found in a field near Hebron between the Palestinian villages of Halhoul and Bayt Kahil.

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Two Bombings Rock Beirut

by Michael Johnson
June 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm

In two separate incidents this week, two bombs exploded in Lebanon's capital city, Beirut. Government security personnel remain on high alert, setting up more checkpoints and deploying additional street patrols. Both attacks highlight continuing low-level conflict between extremist Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Lebanon.

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