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Obama and Netanyahu: Smiles and Ice

Obama and Netanyahu: Smiles and Ice

Obama and Netanyahu enjoyed a very cordial meeting this week at the White House. One hour later, the White House and the State Department issued a rebuke to continued settlement activity in East Jerusalem, employing particularly harsh language against Israel.

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Israel and Iran: Drone On

Israel and Iran: Drone On

Iran claims to have shot down an Israeli stealth drone flying above Natanz, located deep within Iran and home to one of the Islamic Republic’s key uranium enrichment sites.

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Facebook and the Middle East Conflict: The Saga of the Sisyphus of Social Media

Facebook and the Middle East Conflict: The Saga of the Sisyphus of Social Media

About two months ago, Mike Hudack, the Director of Product at Facebook, in a rant about the current state of our news consumption, posted this on his Facebook wall:
…And we come to Ezra Klein. The great Ezra Klein of Wapo and msnbc. The man who, while a partisan, does not …

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Some Key Take-Aways from the Kidnapping in Israel

Some Key Take-Aways from the Kidnapping in Israel

Last week, three young Israeli Yeshiva students (two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old) were kidnapped. They were tremping in the West Bank. Tremping is easily translated into English as hitchhiking, but it typically lacks the questionable connotations which that word can conjure in America, at least after “the Summer of …

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Netanyahu and the Israeli Presidency

Netanyahu and the Israeli Presidency

In 2009, Benyamin Netanyahu regained the Israeli Prime Ministry, a position he had held previously from 1996–99. His party, Likud, took 27 seats out of the Knesset’s 120. Kadima, a centrist party started by Ariel Sharon, had won 28 seats, but Israeli President Shimon Peres determined that Likud stood the …

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Military Post Attacked Outside Yitzhar

Military Post Attacked Outside Yitzhar

Earlier this week, there was an attack on an Israeli military outpost outside of Yitzhar, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
It started with stones being thrown at the soldiers’ quarters. The site was then ravaged by hundreds of rioters. They slashed tents, destroyed a water tank, a heater, a …

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Israel and Iran Get Serious… On Twitter

Israel and Iran Get Serious… On Twitter

Earlier this week, Israel seized a Gaza-bound ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons made in Syria.
The story broke while Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was in the United States to meet with President Barack Obama and to address the annual AIPAC …

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Some Key Takeaways from the Abbas Speech to Israeli Students

Some Key Takeaways from the Abbas Speech to Israeli Students

On Sunday, approximately 300 students from across Israel traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting was arranged by Labor MK Hilik Bar. Abbas spoke at length, in both prepared remarks and during a question and answer session. Below are some highlights:

On dividing Jerusalem

Just

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Time for Turkey to Apologize to Israel?

Time for Turkey to Apologize to Israel?

In 2010, public attention was focused on a supply flotilla originating from Turkey making its way to Gaza. Israel claimed the shipment was illegal and demanded the Mavi Marmara turn back. The ship continued and, about 80 miles off the coast of Gaza, Israeli soldiers boarded. Conflict ensued. Nine Turkish …

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A Partner for Peace?

A Partner for Peace?

This week, in the midst of U.S.-brokered peace talks between the two parties, Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Defense Minister, announced that Israel has no partner for peace amongst the Palestinians. While this is not an original argument — it has been in circulation for decades — it is a powerful one. …

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Iran Cannot Contain Itself

Iran Cannot Contain Itself

A few months ago, Iran denied that a tweet coming from its President was legitimate by simply denying that the Twitter account issuing the tweet was legitimate. Last week, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, spoke briefly with a reporter from …

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Bibi, Bombs and Blue Jeans

Bibi, Bombs and Blue Jeans

Quick quiz. Which of the following are forbidden in Iran?

Walking a dog in public
Having a pet cat
Twitter, Gmail, Facebook and YouTube
Reading (or watching) Harry Potter
Barbie
Being gay
Rocking a mullet
Wearing jeans

If you answered all of them, you would be almost correct. While skinny jeans have been officially banned in Iran, Persian hipsters …

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Twitter Diplomacy. Or Not.

Twitter Diplomacy. Or Not.

This past week was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and part of Judaism’s High Holy Days. To commemorate, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu issued his annual holiday greeting. The video was in English and came in just under five minutes in …

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What Peace Process?

What Peace Process?

After many years and a lot of prodding from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the Israelis and the Palestinians will be resuming peace talks. Both sides are moving forward reluctantly, and with little optimism toward a successful outcome.
Abbas had initially demanded an official settlement freeze before coming to the …

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Reminder: Israel is Old

Reminder: Israel is Old

Jews have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. They faced several forced expulsions, the most recent lasting nearly 2,000 years. Even throughout that time, Jews lived in the Levant continuously, albeit in much reduced numbers.
Two stories appeared this week in the press about archeological discoveries in …

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About the Author

Josh Klemons
Josh Klemons

Josh Klemons received a Master's Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in the Middle East from the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, DC.

He has lived, worked and studied in Israel and done extensive traveling throughout the region. He once played music with Hadag Nachash.

Follow him on twitter @jlemonsk

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