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Palestine, the Arab Spring, and the Middle East Lobby
By Jack Ross
As the Arab Spring confronts increasing resistance from entrenched interests in the region, the Palestinian cause appears to be at best a fading concern of demonstrators—or so “pro-Israel” ideologues would have us believe. But this myth of a divide between Arab demonstrators and Palestinians does not stand up to the evidence. And just as importantly, it fails to take into account that what we are witnessing across the Arab world is a broad-based movement aimed at asserting democratic rights and undermining the grip of hegemonic forces, and that nowhere is the need for this movement more acute than in Palestine. Read article.
Arab Spring Stalls as U.S. Defers to Saudi “Counter-revolution”
By Jim Lobe
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran. Read article.
Woolsey, a former CIA director who views the “War on Terror” as the “Long War,” was recently named chairman of the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Retired Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) is an old-school Cold Warrior who continues to promote rightwing defense and foreign policy initiatives as chair of Frontiers of Freedom.
Conservative legal scholar and former Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork is a long-time rightwing activist who has supported the work of several advocacy groups, including the Hudson Institute.
An investment banker who advocates supply-side economics and a return to the gold standard, Lehrman has supported a number of militarist pressure groups since the Cold War, including the Project for the New American Century and the Reagan-era Citizens for America.
Kansteiner is a long-standing Republican Party operative active in international business and policy initiatives.
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Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran.
Bashar al-Assad’s government struggles to cope with growing protests as the State Department denies any involvement in the unrest, despite reports of it providing millions of dollars to the Syrian opposition in the last five years.
With the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia toppled and rebellions raging from Libya to Yemen, U.S. officials and NGOs dedicated to democracy promotion in the Middle East face unprecedented opportunities—but also new questions about the U.S. role.
Israel has gone on the offensive after Richard Goldstone admitted “regret” over parts of the UN-report investigating Israel’s War on Gaza that carried his name—but critics charge that Israel is overplaying Goldstone’s comments.
In a replay of the infighting among Republicans over U.S. military interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, U.S. involvement in the civil war in Libya is exposing serious splits among self-described conservatives.
President Obama’s plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond 2011 is threatened by developments in both Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
Turkey has endeavored to make itself a central player in the unfolding Middle East upheaval, leading one observer to comment that the country is displaying a “new self-confidence bordering on hubris."
The flame lit by Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation last December 17 has also engulfed some myths about the region and beyond, which will have a profound impact on the domestic and foreign policies of the new governments that emerge from the ongoing upheaval.
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