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inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2016

Israel - Beyond the Headlines

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Articles by the JPC

Israel, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and the Kurds

by Shoshana Bryen
April 19, 2016 | Gatestone Institute

Turkish sources assert that Turkish-Israeli governmental relations are about to come out of the deep freeze. But this is a reflection of Turkey's regional unpopularity and glides over Turkish demands for Israel to end the blockade of Gaza. To meet Turkey's condition, Israel would have to abandon the security arrangement it shares with Egypt -- which has increased Israel's security and has begun to pay regional dividends. To restore full relations between Israel and Turkey would irritate Russia, with which Israel has good trade and political relations, and a respectful series of understandings regarding Syria. Israel's relations with the Kurds are also at issue here.

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The Perils of Not Listening to Iran

by Shoshana Bryen
April 7, 2016 | Gatestone Institute

Supporters of President Obama's Iran deal (JCPOA) are starting to worry -- but that is because they believed him when his lips moved. They heard "snapback sanctions" and pretended those were an actual "thing." They are not, and never were. They heard Treasury Secretary Jack Lew say the U.S. would never allow Iran access to dollar trading because of the corruption of the Iranian banking system and Iranian support for terrorism -- and they wanted to believe him. And sanctions? The administration said that sanctions related to non-nuclear Iranian behavior -- support for terrorism, ballistic missile development, and more -- would be retained.

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Time to Consider the ISIS Internal Security Threat

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
April 4, 2016 | American Thinker

Do you know who is selling you that souvenir T-shirt in the airport? You might want to.

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Russia Leaves Syria: Not Every War is a Quagmire

by Shoshana Bryen
March 17, 2016 | American Thinker

The American public tends to see military action as binary: all in or not in at all. Mostly we're not in -- as befits a country that is not aggressive or acquisitive. But if we're in it, win it. In this age of transnational enemies and vacuums of governance, however, the Obama administration has created a series of half-in, half-out military and political situations that have brought chaos to the Middle East, confusing our friends and comforting our adversaries. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Somalia, fear of a Vietnam-like quagmire still drives American leadership.

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Will President Obama Try to Blackmail Israel?

by Shoshana Bryen
March 11, 2016 | Gatestone Institute

President Obama is looking at the fires he lit in the Middle East and North Africa, and desperately hoping to salvage something, anything before he leaves office and needs another job. Israel will be pushed to provide at least one "victory."

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French Diplomacy on "Palestine" Will Run Aground

by Shoshana Bryen
March 3, 2016 | American Thinker

France is proposing to lead the Middle East Quartet on a new foray into Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. This is understandable as a part of French politics. The Palestinians, however, are setting up to be at least as difficult a client for France as they have ever been for the U.S.

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Great Power Realignment - Toward Russia

by Shoshana Bryen
February 22, 2016 | Gatestone Institute

The shelling of Syrian soldiers by the Turkish military is one more step back into Great Power politics -- historic Turkish-Russian enmity played out over Kurds and Syrians. The U.S. appears to believe 21st century wars cannot be won by military force and that battling parties can be induced to set aside their national and religious aims for a negotiated "peace." Meanwhile, the parties to the conflict are using their armies to pursue victory.

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Technology Security: The Profit Disconnect

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen D. Bryen
February 17, 2016 | American Thinker

One great disconnect afflicting American society is between earning a profit and safeguarding our national security. On one side are those who support free trade in the belief that open markets and shared technology trade strengthen the economy. On the other hand, there is something categorically wrong with the free trade paradigm if free trade means selling or sharing technology critical to national security. Then, the cost of free trade is very high, so much so that it could be fatal to the long-term survival of the state.

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The Value of Tolerance

by Shoshana Bryen
January 27, 2016 | Gatestone Institute

The defining value of Western politics is tolerance -- not that anyone is always tolerant, and not that other people are not also tolerant, but in order to have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equal justice under law and multiple political parties. The demand that we be tolerant of that which we do not observe and do not believe and even/especially with which we do not agree is paramount. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," and "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" require tolerance. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." The First Amendment's protection of a free press and freedom from prior government censorship is the definition of tolerance.

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The Iran Deal on Balance

by Shoshana Bryen
January 26, 2016 | American Thinker

On balance, the Iran hostage deal stinks for the three missing contractors, Siamak Namazi, Robert Levinson, the United States, the Iranian people, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and all who worry about Iranian ambitions in the Middle East and beyond.

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The New "Cuban Missile Crisis" Mystery Deepens

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen
January 22, 2016 | PJMedia

A U.S. Hellfire anti-tank missile - a weapon launched from Predator drones in anti-terrorism operations, among other uses - found its way into the hands of Cuba's government in 2014. But the route it took, twice crossing the Atlantic, was less mysterious than the U.S. Government's public response to the discovery that front-line American military equipment made it to Havana -- or beyond.

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The Next Stage of the War

by Shoshana Bryen
January 11, 2016 | American Thinker

The Obama administration appears surprised by the sudden eruption of Saudi-Iranian hostility after the Saudi government executed Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and the Iranians responded by organizing/sponsoring/approving an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Both sides have walked the rhetoric back just a bit in the last day or two.

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It's not About Muslims; It's About Terror

by Shoshana Bryen
December 24, 2015 | American Thinker

Americans have absorbed the understanding that not only are we fighting terror abroad, we are fighting it at home. It is not the shock of 9/11...it is a growing and fully rational understanding amassed over time. News of terror-related arrests is sporadic and often not on the front page, but Americans have come to understand that we and our country are targets of people who are not only willing to kill, but are willing to die to kill.

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