Bottom Line Up Front Under the leadership of Jared Kushner, the administration is attempting to cobble together a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. The proposal has been harshly criticized by analysts and politicians alike, who note that Washington lacks credibility in the region and can hardly be viewed ...

When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, they might commiserate over the domestic investigations each are facing as well as take great satisfaction over Trump’s affirmation of the opening of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s existence this ...

WASHINGTON — The Palestinian representative says peace talks with Israel can only start as long as other countries – not just the U.S. and Israel – are at the table. “There is no way but an international table to implement international resolutions,” Palestine Liberation Organization Ambassador Husam Zomlot said Thursday, ...

The American vice president delivered another kick in the diplomatic gut to Palestinians, when he announced this week that the U.S. embassy would open in Jerusalem by 2019. Vice President Mike Pence made the statement to the Israeli Knesset during a visit to the Mideast – an unnecessary provocation likely ...

Two recent events illustrate the futility of the Palestinian leadership’s current course in its decades-long quest for a genuinely independent Palestinian state, and highlight the urgent need for dramatic action if they are ever to achieve it. The first is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current six-day visit to India ...

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has left Palestinian leaders questioning the United States’ ability to effectively spearhead any future peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Trump’s announcement has also sparked protests in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which could ...

The decision by President Donald Trump to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could give the U.S. added leverage to demand difficult concessions from the Israelis, possibly breathing new life into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. However, it could also render the U.S. an untrusted broker, unable to wrangle necessary concessions ...

President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel Wednesday, prompting approval from Israel, and a building rumble of protest across the Arab world. The following is adapted from a conversation with Cipher Brief network expert Farah Pandith, who warns Americans to stand by for blowback. I think ...

From the Arab perspective—and my own—the timing of President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem makes little sense. The peace process has been slow in developing under Trump, if it has developed at all, offering little sign of any progress that could temper the furor such a decision might generate. Further, ...

The Cipher Brief reached out to network experts retired Amb. James Jeffrey and CIA veterans John Bennett and Emile Nakhleh for their thoughts on the Trump administration’s imminent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite Palestinian objections that such a move ignores Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem. Among ...

In an important display of unity, the two distinct Palestinian governments, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which oversees the Gaza Strip, agreed on October 12 to a number of important principles including the formation of a unity government. Although previous attempts at negotiations between the ...

Despite the recent agreement reached on October 12 between the two rival Palestinian governments, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, much work remains to be done before a united Palestinian government will come to fruition. The agreement represented an important first step in bringing the two Palestinian governments closer together, ...

After years of failed mediation efforts, the elusiveness of Palestinian unity may have finally come to an end. Throughout the last decade, Palestinian politics have been dominated by two separate governments: the Palestinian Authority (PA) based in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But under Egypt’s guidance, ...

The recent flare-up at the Temple Mount, also known Haram Al Sharif, in Jerusalem reminds American foreign policy makers of the sensitivity of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Israel increased security on the Haram Al Sharif last month after a shooting at the holy site left two Israeli policemen dead, prompting protests ...

Rather than take a hard look at past failures and where to go from here, Middle East “experts” are using the Six-Day War’s 50th anniversary to regurgitate old talking points, cast blame on predictably ideological lines and propose meaningless paths back to the negotiating table. In reality, there will be ...

President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, traveled to the White House on Wednesday for his first meeting with President Donald Trump. In brief comments after the meeting, both leaders expressed their hope for a future peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, with Trump promising to act as “mediator, an ...

With no firm commitment to a two-state solution, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled a potential shift in U.S. policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Trump took office. "I'm looking at two states and one state,” ...

Among his numerous campaign promises, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem continues to reverberate across domestic and international politics. “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem, and we will send a clear signal that ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Aaron David Miller, Former advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations to discuss the potential for reviving Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under the Trump Administration. According to Miller, “The Israeli-Palestinian peace process, can’t be much deader than it is now” and we ...

As has been the case for every one of his predecessors, Donald Trump will attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some resisted for a while, i.e., George W. Bush, while others jumped into the fray fresh after inauguration, such as Barack Obama. Each eventually tried and failed, President Obama most ...

A two-state solution is the only way to secure Israeli-Palestinian peace, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday as he defended the Obama administration's approach to the conflict and decision not to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlement policies. That two-state solution, however, is "in serious jeopardy," Kerry, ...

With a new administration set to enter the White House early next year, there is hope for a renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  One of the key players who will play a role in any potential negotiations, Hamas, is set to undergo an election of its own in the ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Robert Richer, former Associate Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA, to discuss impending changes atop the Hamas leadership and the potential for a restart of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. With peace talks “dead in the water” and living conditions broaching unbearable in the Gaza ...

The upcoming internal Hamas elections, which will be conducted over a number of months in a secretive, phased process, will take place in a radically altered regional landscape. In 2013, when Hamas – the Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood – conducted its last elections, it seemed to be on ...

While the recent uptick in violence in Israel has been attributed to disagreements regarding the Jerusalem holy site known as Temple Mount by Israelis, or Noble Sanctuary by Palestinians, the issues are actually much more complex and longstanding.   For the Palestinians, there is a deep sense of frustration with ...

As a former official of the Palestinian Authority, Ghaith Al-Omari continues to follow developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Al-Omari assesses the political landscape and the obstacles blocking Palestinian unity. The Cipher ...

Security is of upmost importance to Israel in the extremely volatile Middle East.  Yaakov Perry spent nearly 30 years in Shin Bet, rising through the ranks and eventually becoming the director of the Israeli security agency.  Perry tells The Cipher Brief that the Iran nuclear deal, the Russian intervention in ...

Regardless of the turbulence weathered over the past year, the U.S.-Israel relationship has never been stronger. Don’t be deceived by the political optics used to create a perceived wedge between the United States and Israel—the United States has made and continues to make the most robust critical investment in history ...