Palestine v. Israel, and the US Democratic Race: Our Double-Episode Podcast

President Trump has made good on his campaign promises to redefine America’s relationship with the rest of the world — for better or for worse — and the United Nations has in many ways been the epicenter of his “American First” policy abroad. Most recently, his peace proposal for Israel and Palestine scraps decades of … Read more

Despite Common Rejection of Trump’s Mideast Plan, Some Hope to Restart Talks

A few days after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, met with United Nations Security Council members offsite in New York to sell the United States’ Mideast deal for peace, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to the Council to vehemently oppose it. While Abbas’s criticisms were echoed by most members of the Council, the … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

From Five to Four: Belgium Strives to Fill the European Gap in the Security Council Left by Brexit

Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve and Stéphanie Fillion

In Brussels, the month started with the removal of Britain’s flag from the European Union headquarters, while in New York, Belgium became rotating president of the United Nations Security Council for February, ready to fill the political vacuum left by Britain’s departure from the European bloc on the Council, thanks to Brexit. PassBlue met with … Read more

Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House

When is a peace plan not a peace plan? Look no further than Donald Trump’s cynically timed initiative to end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. If a breakthrough does result, it will be in spite of itself. Released in late January after three years lurking in the shadows, it would jettison decades of … Read more

President Trump’s Goal for Financing Palestinians Is a Guessing Game

The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians is vastly short of funds for 5.4 million people, while the Trump administration is doing its best to shut down the program and initiate new, albeit controversial financing. At issue was a “workshop” in Bahrain, held last week and organized by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kuwait’s Priority for the UN Security Council Presidency: Iraq and the Mideast

Still, this small oil-rich Arab country has an agenda of its own that it wants to fulfill as it ends its last presidency on the Council — in probably decades — on a strong note. For June, Kuwait plans to work on the topic of missing persons in armed conflict, an issue that touches its own … Read more

For These Muslim-Americans, the ‘Siege’ Has Not Lifted

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In this city of immigrants, as one Moroccan-American called his hometown, the Muslim community keeps a low profile amid the Islamophobia that has reared its head in the United States in recent times. As one of the largest Muslim communities in the country, including a large Palestinian component, the repercussions against Muslims … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

By Damning Iran, Ambassador Haley Ignores Israel’s Sins

O.K., let’s be honest here. Iran is a bad actor, just as Donald Trump says. While, to its credit, Iran has put its nuclear weapons program on ice — through an international agreement still supported by just about everyone in the world but Trump — it also regularly threatens Israel and the United States, stokes regional conflicts, interferes … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Richard Falk on Palestine, Israel and the UN in the Trump Age

Richard Falk is a well-known American academic and writer who from 2008 until 2014 was the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine since 1967, a post that invariably invites controversy. For Falk, who has never been shy of taking provocative stances, the work compelled him to declare, among other things, that Israel’s … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Twists and Turns, Leading Down a Path to Nowhere

Nikki Haley is the most popular member of Donald Trump’s national security team, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, which found that 63 percent of voters approve of the job she is doing as United States ambassador to the United Nations. Just 17 percent disapprove. (Only 39 percent approved of Trump’s performance, the poll … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

A Useful Mideast Peace Plan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Nikki Haley is appealing to the Palestinian people for “negotiation and compromise” in search of Middle East peace, denying that Washington is biased against them even as she warns their leaders that holding out will “lead to nothing but hardship.” But the latest pitch for Palestinian engagement by Haley, the United States ambassador to the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley to Mahmoud Abbas: Get Over Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, sticks to his well-known grievances. While Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, finger-points; Nikki Haley, the American envoy to the UN, warns everyone to stay off the topic of Jerusalem. In the latest showdown on Palestine in the UN Security Council, which welcomed Abbas and … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Trump and Haley, Desperately Seeking Retribution

Unable to win converts with fake facts, Nikki Haley has turned to threats to persuade her fellow United Nations diplomats to support her boss’s incendiary foreign policy. Haley tested this novel approach to counter a General Assembly vote on Dec. 21 aimed at pressuring President Trump, the fellow who appointed her as his UN ambassador, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress. There … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Will the Real Nikki Haley Please Stand Up?

Nikki Haley must have raised eyebrows at the White House with her bold off-the-cuff defense of the women complaining that Donald Trump sexually abused them before the election. “[A]ny woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up,” Haley said on the CBS talk show “Face … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

US Ambassador’s Ultimatum to the UN: Agree With Us or We Go It Alone

When Nikki Haley, now the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was questioned by senators at her confirmation hearing in January about how she would deal with Donald Trump’s dismissive view of internationalism, she said confidently, “I will show him that the UN matters.” She also said that she would show the world that … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

US Sends Mixed Messages to UN Mission in Iraq

Since the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul in early July, United Nations officials and diplomats in New York have weighed in on the crucial stabilization process for the ruined city. Part of the voices included, of course, the United States diplomatic mission to the UN. Those commenting on Mosul’s newfound freedom championed the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Jerusalem Has Always Been a Contested City

The long-simmering dispute over the fate of Jerusalem stands at the center of the Middle East conflict. Israelis and Palestinians, divided on many points, become most emotional when discussing the future of the walled, ancient crossroads city that is holy to three world religions. So international diplomats took notice when foreign policy neophyte Donald Trump … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Seeking a Path for Jerusalem: A Chronology

Here is a brief political history of Jerusalem, in timeline format, dating from the earliest human settlement to the present. The chronology is selective, focusing primarily on the development of competing visions over the years of the ancient city’s past and future. The timeline accompanies a separate article, “Jerusalem’s Fate: Myth Versus Reality,” by Irwin … Read more

In a Single Day, US Congress Castigates Both the UN and Obama Over Israeli Vote

While Washington is caught up in the unfolding drama about the extent and motives of Russian hacking and possible attempted manipulation of the 2016 American presidential election, another story is playing out around threats to “punish” the United Nations. On Jan.5, the United States House of Representatives voted to repudiate the Security Council resolution on … Read more

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