Policy Digest: Foreign Policy Edition

  • In the past Arab regimes would pounce to vilify Israel’s efforts at defending itself from Palestinian aggression, but curiously, many have been quiet amid the Gaza war. One explanation, sketched in this New York Times piece, is that the Arab states view the Islamists of Hamas (whose patron is Iran) as a major problem, a higher priority than their (unwarranted) enmity toward Israel. If so, that implies these regimes understand the Islamist threat better than many in the West.

  • Answering the question “Why I don’t criticize Israel?”, Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and other books, makes some important points in this podcast (edited transcript) about the Gaza war. Particularly interesting is his cogent rebuke of liberals who fail to recognize the moral gulf between Israel and Hamas. (I agree with other points he makes, though not every thing.)

  • What does it look like when Israel goes out of its way to warn Gazans of impending attack? Have a look at these photos at Slate, which show thousands of leaflets fluttering down from the skies upon Gazans.