Israel wants to tie peace with Palestinians to reparations for Middle Eastern Jews who fled to Israel
There's movement, slight, to restart the stalled Israel-Palestinian peace process. But Israel wants to introduce a new element to the discussion. They're seeking compensation for Middle Eastern Jews forced from their homelands, in exchange for compensation for Palestinian refugees.
In the wake of the hostage crisis in Iran in 1979, six Americans managed to take refuge with Canadian diplomats. The Canadians and the CIA worked together to create a fake movie that would provide cover for them to leave the country. The whole matter is the plot for a new movie, out this week.
When diplomats and leaders from 193 countries converge on New York City and the United Nations, things get a bit humbled. Of course, the traffic is bad. But people get tangled up over what the United Nations should be doing. The situation in the Middle East, including the American video Innocence of Muslims, was top of mind.
World leaders were gathering at the United Nations this week, including Barack Obama, to speak to an assemblage of world leaders and ambassadors during the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. If Obama's remarks are to have effect, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said the U.S. will have to again be seen as a force for good.
There's been an effort to strike a peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors for decades. For one reason or another, it never seems to quite work. One author, who spent years in Jerusalem as a foreign correspondent, says the reason for the failure has as much to do with Israel's military orientation.
Aung San Suu Kyi has emerged from the shadows of protest in Myanmar and taking a seat in the country's government. That's enabled her to travel the world, finally, and to the United States this week. But her visit comes shortly before the visit of the president who implemented reforms that freed her, which has forced the U.S., and her, into difficult balancing act.
In the wake of the video "Innocence of Muslims," protests have swept the Muslim world. While Pakistan came late to the protests, the country's Muslims and political leaders are calling on the U.S. to make such blasphemy illegal.
Chris Stevens was not just known and liked in Libya, but in fact all across the Middle East. And with him gone now, killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, American efforts in the region will be hampered.
While most of American attention in recent days has been focused on Libya, where four American diplomats died, the bigger trouble may be brewing in Egypt. People are protesting there too, and while no one is getting killed, the long-term effect of the chill on Egyptian-American relations may be startling.
While it was first believed that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was then result of protests over a seemingly anti-Muslim video, U.S. officials now believe an al-Qaeda backed group orchestrated and planned the entire thing. U.S. officials have vowed justice for the four Americans killed.