President Obama recently complained about "aggressive" settlement construction by Israel, but the facts are otherwise. The new statistics show that Israel is building energetically in Jerusalem and in the blocs it will obviously keep, and slowing construction in smaller settlements beyond its security barrier in areas that may someday be part of a Palestinian state. Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot explain.
"Obama told me that the U.S.'s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what I took to be a veiled threat: The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively."
Elliott Abrams argues that U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process should focus on pragmatic, achievable goals rather than raising expectations for a comprehensive peace settlement that is not now attainable.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave remarks before their meeting on January 2, 2013, to discuss a peace process framework regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. Secretary Kerry also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Lead Negotiator for the Palestinian Authority Saeb Erekat in Ramallah.
There is a "total omission of Israel's nuclear weapons in U.S. policy debates about confronting Iran," writes Micah Zenko. In his latest article, Micah discusses the unspoken threat of Israel's nuclear arsenal, which the country has long refused to acknowledge.
Tensions between the United States and Israel over Iran negotiations have jeopardized peace talks with Palestinians and left Israel vowing to go it alone on security if necessary, says expert Gerald M. Steinberg.
The U.S. position has fluctuated over time. In the Reagan years, the United States said the settlements were "not illegal." The Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations avoided the legal arguments but criticized the settlements frequently. President George W. Bush called the larger settlement blocs "new realities on the ground" that would have to be reflected in peace negotiations.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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