Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Jordan for talks with area leaders and a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-Up Committee. After a meeting with Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Judeh, Kerry made some rather sweeping remarks about the role the Palestinian-Israeli conflict plays in not only regional but global stability [emphasis added]:
This week the EU took a stance that it heralded as pro-peace, pro-"peace process," and anti-settlement. Henceforth, new guidelines require all 28 member nations to refuse any grants, scholarships, prizes, or funding to entities in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Or any part of Jerusalem that was not part of Israel prior to the 1967 war. Or the Golan Heights.
The names of two terrorists currently "remain" on the Newseum's "Memorial Wall," a letter written by the chief executive officer of the Newseum confirms. The letter is addressed to Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and signed by CEO James C. Duff.
The effort to build a modern Palestinian state that will live in peace with Israel suffered a great setback last week when pressure from both Fatah and Hamas forced the resignation of the Palestinian Authority prime Minister, Salam Fayyad.
Following a rash of criticism from U.S. Jewish groups, a Palestinian nonprofit funded by Western governments has apologized for accusing Jewish people of using “Christian blood” during the Passover holiday.
President Obama spoke to the Israeli people today, at the Jerusalem Convention Center. His remarks moved his administration toward the pre-Obama consensus views of the Clinton and Bush administrations, indeed at several points echoing Bush’s 2008 speech to the Knesset. But he presented a view of the chances for peace with the Palestinians that was far rosier than reality permits—or than he may really believe.
Speaking at a press conference today in Ramallah, President Obama said he doesn't "want to put the cart before the horse" in terms of dealing with the so-called settlement issue before the security issue:
Former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel is President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense. Much has already been said about the pros and cons of the nomination, and much more will be said during confirmation hearings in the Senate. Here is one possible line of questioning: given the centrality of the Middle East in U.S. military planning, how does Hagel think the region works? If the United States has limited resources, and must apportion them judiciously, where is it best advised to invest them?
Just before Christmas there was a lot of public concern about America’s declining birthrate, which closed out 2012 at its lowest point since 1920. But in trying to understand why American fertility is on the wane, it’s important to understand that fertility decline is a global phenomenon. Ninety-seven percent of the world’s population lives in countries with declining fertility rates. And as bad as America has it now, things could be worse. We could be Japan.