The first edition of inFocus, dealing with the threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, was a resounding success. The essays we published have been read, debated, and reprinted the world over. On to our next topic: the Palestinian crisis brought on by the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June.
The violent coup that toppled the Palestinian Authority (PA) has thrown Washington for a loop. The Palestinian territories are now split in two. PA President Mahmoud Abbas clings to power in the West Bank while Hamas reinforces its control in Gaza with Taliban-style tactics. Thus, the notion of one peaceful Palestinian state, separated by the Israeli Negev desert, has fast receded. Instead, a terrorist state in Gaza threatens the region.
To examine the challenges facing both Washington and Jerusalem, the Jewish Policy Center rounded up another impressive group of analysts and writers. We look at U.S., European, United Nations, and even Egyptian policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians. We examine the Hamas public relations machine, which continues to whitewash Hamas to the American people. We also explore the prospects of Hamas cooperation with al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip. Finally, we consider Israel’s military options, should Hamas challenge Israel in a way that necessitates a forceful response.
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