November 30, 2012


Palestine’s Muddled Statehood Strategy

The push for UN quasi-statehood recognition by Mahmoud Abbas could undermine negotiations for Palestine's viable statehood and peace with Israel, writes Robert Danin of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Palestinians’ approach at the United Nations sends two conflicting messages at the same time. On the one hand, Abbas claims he wishes to cooperate with Israel and resolve Israeli-Palestinian differences peacefully. All he is trying to do, he says, is gain some negotiating leverage. Yet at the same time, the Palestinians are conveying the message that their efforts are a punitive unilateral act designed to confront Israel, rather than cooperate with it down the road. 


Why Syrians Are Terrified of the Internet Blackout

Fearing a massive Assad regime offensive, Syrian opposition and international aid groups are scrambling to get back online, writes John Reed for Foreign Policy.

Right now, it's impossible to tell for sure who or how the Internet, cell networks and some landlines were cut — though some reports indicate that a single router handling the majority of Syrian web traffic was taken offline. “You might have a single Internet exchange point in Damascus that's been shut down, much the same way that Mubarak did [in Egypt, at the height of the protests in Tahrir Square]. Authoritarian regimes often will architect their Internet activity to have a single point of surveillance and monitoring and uplink” that can be easily unplugged… 



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