Why Is Syria Getting an Olive Branch? - Claudia Rosett, Forbes
Syrian-Iranian Ties: Deterioration or Activation? Asharq Alawsat,
Iran to Syria: détente is accepted with Saudi Arabia, not moreBy Sarkis Naoum An Nahar, 2/6/2009 Naoum asserts that "knowledgeable Arab sources" said the success or failure of the Arab reconciliation initiative issued by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abul Aziz in Kuwait will be determined in less than two months. "The periodic Arab Summit scheduled to be held in Doha will determine the destiny of this initiative and whether the Arab leaders will partake, act responsibly, restore solidarity, and resolve many crises, or if some of them will abstain from attending or choose to reduce their level of participation." Though efforts to crown this initiative with success--and of course the summit--must encompass all Arab countries, Naoum says, "the same source explained that serious efforts are made to convince Syria--after becoming the only Arab wing of the Islamic Republic of Iran--to fix the Arab home and build good Arab-Iranian relations in what secures the present and future of the Arab nation. Through its relation with Hamas and Hezbollah, in addition to its alliance with Iran, Syria has become a direct or indirect source for supporting Islamist Sunni fundamentalism and radical currents that believe in violence to bring about a desired change. "Has Syria started to translate the Arab reconciliation initiative on the ground," the columnist asks? "Syria is trying to find a way to be closer to reconciliation without having to pay a costly price. Syria does not mind if Arab sides, including the Palestinian Authority, play a role in this regard." Success, however, depends on Iran's consent or on a Syrian-Iranian agreement over all issues. "President Bashar al-Assad deployed one of his assistants to Tehran, who came back saying that Iran does not mind a détente with Saudi Arabia, but not anything more. Therefore, the Arabs might witness Saudi-Syrian reconciliation in the short run. But this will not be final as long as Iran needs to maintain its Arab and Islamic cards until the American administration decides on its position towards Tehran." Link to full text in primary source.
Senator John Kerry says U.S. eager to talk to Syria
Lebanese Rally Backs U.N. Tribunal Looking Into ’05 Killing of Ex-Leader
Search for justice
Four years on, Rafik Hariri's son seeks answers
ANALYSIS / For Livni and Netanyahu, rotating government could be the only option Netanyahu believes everything will change when he gets the president's nod to form a coalition
IHT Can this batch do peace?
By MARTIN INDYK Neither Netanyahu nor even Lieberman wants an all right-wing government in Israel.
Israel's Biggest Danger - Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek Today they're 20 percent of the country's population. Demographers predict they'll be 25 percent by 2025.
Editorial Israel's Step Backward
How the Obama administration should react to the rightward swing in last week's election
U.S., EU indicate they prefer Kadima-Likud unity government
U.S. expected to pressure Israel over settlement construction
Slow Obama stance on Iran worries Israel
Turkish army furious over IDF officer's comments
Beyond Gaza - Bilal Y. SaabIsrael's Gaza operation will not achieve a strategic outcome that goes beyond a breakable ceasefire. Hamas will find a way to eventually re-arm and re-engage in the same destructive behavior against Israel. At the same time, Hamas leaders will not be able to explain to Palestinians how shelling Israeli towns with rockets and terrorizing Israeli society will better their lives and advance the cause for statehood. Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians based on the 1967 boundaries seem almost futile today.
Is Iran Still Building the Bomb? BY LAURA ROZEN
The National The old carrots and sticks won’t break the US standoff with Iran Tony Karon : If Mr Obama sticks to the zero-enrichment demand, the chances are his diplomatic overture will be short-lived.
Muslim Brotherhood and Iran - Mehdi Khalaji, Washington Institute
WINEP Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Iran Recent examples of cooperation among Shiite and Sunni extremists raise new questions about whether Iran can improve its relationship with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. While such a breakthrough remains unlikely, the consequences for the United States of such a union would be very damaging
Changing Middle East Dynamics - Couloumbis, Ahlstrom & Weaver, RCW