Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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America's curiously selective moral calculus vis-à-vis Israel

July 22, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

With a predictability that is rapidly becoming mind-numbing monotony, various US officials from the president on down have been stressing the need for Israel to exercise restraint in its counter- terror operation in Gaza so as to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties.

In addition to President Barack Obama, this concern has been voiced in recent days in one form or another by none other than US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, as well as the spokesmen for the State Department and the White House.

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The (Gaza) question that must be answered

July 15, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

With Israel poised to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the country finds itself at an important crossroads, one that could determine the strategic environment for many years to come.

The daily barrage of rocket fire, coupled with the ability of Hamas missiles to reach as far as Haifa, has once again brought to the fore a critical question, one that Israeli society and its leaders have wrestled with for much of the past decade but never really answered.

Simply put, it boils down to this: what price are we willing to pay to stamp out the threat from Hamas once and for all? For as previous experience has shown, limited military operations against Hamas in Gaza have had limited and largely lackluster results.

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Reasserting Israel's deterrent posture

July 8, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

The violence that has swept across Israel over the past week, ranging from rock-throwing to rioting to rockets, underscores the increasingly dangerous erosion that has taken place in the Jewish state's deterrent posture.

Simultaneously, Israel now finds itself under assault from both Hamas terrorists in Gaza and many of its own Arab citizens, each of whom is resorting to violence on a wide scale with what appears to be a sense of total impunity.

And that is what makes it so critical for the government to move quickly and firmly to quell the turmoil.

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Looking evil squarely in the eye

July 2, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

The announcement on Monday night that the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists had been found dead near Hebron sent shockwaves throughout the nation.

After 18 days of Psalms and prayers, tears and tribulations, the people of Israel received a jarring reminder regarding the undeniable iniquity of our enemies.

There are those who still refuse to acknowledge this cold, hard truth, and instead choose to cling to futile hopes of Palestinian sincerity regarding reconciliation.

But the abduction and brutal murder of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel by Palestinians should lay to rest once and for all any such delusions.

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Why World War I continues to haunt us

June 24, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

This coming Saturday, June 28, will mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, an event that precipitated a cascade of unanticipated developments that finally engulfed Western civilization in the bloody conflict known as World War I.

In coming months, the United States and various European countries will mark the centenary of the start of the war. A slew of tomes designed to disentangle and describe the complicated forces that gave rise to the war have already hit bookstores.

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