Trump says war with Iran wouldn’t last very long. He hasn’t read enough history, Washington Post
David Ignatius writes, “History teaches us that ruinous wars often begin when powerful nations misjudge weaker ones or think that they can determine political outcomes by force. That’s the obvious lesson of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the United States assumed it could gain quick, decisive victories against weaker adversaries. Modern British historians make a similar assessment of World War I, where combatants rushed to war in the expectation of rapid triumph, oblivious to the horrors of trench warfare that lay ahead.”
Israel’s Meretz party becomes country’s first to elect an openly gay leader, JTA
Israel’s Meretz party became the first to elect as its leader an openly gay person. The left-wing party picked Nitzan Horowitz as its new head on Thursday in Tel Aviv. Horowitz, a former journalist who served in the Knesset in 2009-2015, defeated incumbent Tamar Zandberg. “Meretz doesn’t treat members of the LGBTQ community as fig leaves,” he said following his election.
Kushner refuses to say if US backs two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, CNN
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, refused to say in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether the US backs or opposes Israel’s annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank or supports a two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Iran, nuclear deal partners to meet as accord under threat, AP
Senior officials from Iran and the remaining signatories to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers were meeting Friday as tensions in the Persian Gulf simmer and Tehran is poised to surpass a uranium stockpile threshold, posing a threat to the accord.
Iran Pushes Uranium Limit, Foreign Policy
Iran is expected to surpass a limit on low-enriched uranium stockpiles set by the 2015 nuclear deal by Friday, marking the first breach of the accord and increasing pressure on its European participants. The European Union says there is no alternative to the agreement.
On Europe’s to-do list: save the Iran deal, prevent a war, avoid Trump’s wrath, Washington Post
With President Trump and Iranian leaders slinging insults at each other, Europe is diving into a lightning round of diplomacy to rescue the faltering Iran nuclear deal and avert a further escalation of conflict.
Israeli PM calls US economic peace plan ‘brilliant’, AP
Netanyahu made no mention of whether Israel would be willing to make concessions needed to manifest the plan’s ambitious goals.
Trump peace plan conference is blip on Israel’s radar as political, Iran crises swirl, Reuters
A US-led conference in Bahrain designed to drum up investment in the Palestinian economy and pave a path to peace with Israel has gone largely unremarked by Israelis preoccupied with a political crisis and their arch-foe Iran.
One In Five Americans Say It’s Okay For Businesses To Refuse To Serve Jews, The Forward
Nearly 20% of Americans say that it’s acceptable for business owners to refuse to serve Jews if doing so would violate their religious beliefs, according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.
Israel and Hamas said to agree to truce after wave of arson attacks, Times of Israel
Israel and Hamas reportedly renewed a truce agreement overnight Thursday after Gazans launched waves of incendiary devices into southern Israel throughout the day, sparking dozens of fires.
Palestinian Critically Wounded After Israeli Policemen Fire at Him in East Jerusalem, Haaretz
According to initial reports, Israeli policemen fired at the man after he launched fireworks in their direction at close range, endangering their lives.
Jared Kushner’s Middle East Peace Plan Isn’t Going Very Well [Video], Vice News Tonight
Jared Kushner’s long-awaited ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan was meant to offer a way out of economic strife for Palestinians. But instead, it’s been met with little interest on either side of the separation wall. Kushner laid out his vision for phase one of the administration’s peace plan this week in Bahrain. But it fails to consider any of the famously intractable political questions, including whether there can be a two-state solution, and the status of Jerusalem.
Why Is Booker Parroting Trump On Iran?, Lobe Log
Ryan Costello writes, “It’s time for Democrats to own Obama’s accomplishments with Iran. Their party rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and took the United States off the path to war. Trump has put the country back on the warpath. And, just like the Paris Climate Accord, the Democrats should make clear that they are going to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, whether the Republicans like it or not.”
For Palestinians, Donald Trump’s Bahrain workshop was the farce of the century, The National
Jack Moore writes, “The small matters of more than five decades of occupation, Israel’s deeply restrictive checkpoint system, its sprawling settlement enterprise or its 12-year blockade of Gaza, which has squeezed the coastal enclave to the point of collapse, were swept under the rug here.”
It’s Time for a True Jewish-Arab Partnership, Haaretz
Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu and Dr. Thabet Abu Rass write, “It’s impossible to ignore the negative effect of excluding Arabs from the political discourse. According to the [Abraham Initiatives] survey, approximately 35 percent of the respondents declared that they would not be voting due to a sense of being excluded by decision makers, a lack of faith in their influence, the fact that there is no joint Jewish-Arab party, or a lack of faith in Israeli democracy itself.”
This Isn’t About Iran. It’s About China, New York Times
Robert Kaplan writes, “An American war with Iran will drive the country even further into the hands of China, which already accounts for almost a third of all Iran’s energy trade. While China’s energy ties with Iran may be curtailed as a result of the Trump administration’s sanctions, as well as by the complexities of the Beijing-Washington trade talks, China and Iran will eventually find a way to cooperate and thwart the United States.”
Barak Invites Center-left to ‘Party Like It’s 1999’ as He Tries to Take Down Netanyahu, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Some analysts believe that Barak’s immediate goal was to preempt and influence Labor Party members slated to elect their new leader on Tuesday. Those who are enthused about Barak’s return and the prospect of attaching Labor to his new party are likely to steer clear of former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, whose relationship with Barak is frosty at best, and to prefer either one of his rivals, Itzik Shmuli or Stav Shaffir, who have indicated their willingness to collaborate with their party’s former leader.”