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January 23, 2019
On December 19, 2018, President Donald Trump announced by tweet that he was withdrawing most of the American troops currently in Syria. The President wrote, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” Trump also promised in a video message on Twitter that “Our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back and they’re coming back now. We won.”
There are about 2200 U.S. soldiers in Syria. 2000 of these troops are in the northeast, where they direct the air and land war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), in coordination with the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF). The remaining 200 are at al-Tanf, a crucial base at the Syrian-Iraqi border which blocks Iran from completing its land bridge to Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. In both areas, the U.S. troops have very rarely been exposed to combat situations. Four Americans were killed on Wednesday in an attack by ISIS in Syria, and six U.S. soldiers have died in combat since 2014.
Since his initial announcement, the President and his aides have somewhat walked back these tweets. Although some U.S. troops have begun to leave, it is unclear exactly how long it will take, and whether the 200 troops in al-Tanf are to be included.
What are the ramifications of a U.S. withdrawal from Syria? And what are the national security interests that favor the U.S. staying the course there? To explore these questions and more, EMET is honored to host Professor Efraim Inbar from Jerusalem for a phone seminar.Read More →
EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern on i24News December 18th, 2018 regarding Trump’s peace plan, and encouraging a U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Please see instructions below to view the video:
October 5th, 2018
September 13th marked a quarter of a century since the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn. When the accords were signed, Israel agreed to the “land for peace” formulation, wherein the Israelis were to give up something very real and tangible – strategic territory – in exchange for empty words and promises.
The “land for peace” paradigm has sorely failed. Israel’s efforts towards peace since Olso, including the Hebron Agreement, the Wye River Accords, Taba, the Camp David Summit, and the painful, unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, were only met with increased terrorism. The Palestinian Authority (PA) regularly incites its people to violence, glorifies “martyrs,” and financially rewards Palestinian terrorists and their families. The PA still continues to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and encourages its people to kill Jews.
After 25 years, it is finally time to re-examine the premises of Oslo and the “land for peace” formula, as well as explore alternative solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with guest speakers Dr. Daniel Pipes and Professor Efraim Inbar.Read More →
September 12, 2018 On the seventeenth anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the United States and the Western world face the same threat by genocidal Islamic terrorists that were responsible for the death of 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil.
Since 9/11, al-Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups have struck the U.S. multiple times, in Boston, MA, San Bernardino, CA, and in Orlando, FL, among other places. Some of the terrorists involved in these attacks first became radicalized through the efforts of the Islamist group called the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The MB, which originated in Egypt, seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, and advocates for violent terrorism. It has spread its tentacles throughout the world, including to the U.S., where it has a number of front groups including CAIR, ISNA, MAS, and MPAC among others. These groups pose as moderate Muslim civil rights groups and often interact with federal, state, and local governments, spreading disinformation and propaganda to the authorities. Yet many leaders and members of these MB groups have ties to U.S.-designated terrorist organizations and perpetuate their radical ideologies here in the U.S.
How can the U.S. stop the spread of radical Islamic ideology that inspires homegrown terrorists? Can Western Muslim leaders counter radicalization within their communities? And what steps should the United States take to safeguard our homeland and prevent future attacks on U.S. soil? To discuss these questions and more, EMET held a phone seminar with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Kyle Shideler.Read More →
Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
Frequent reports have been surfacing that the administration is working on unveiling a new “Peace Plan” between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Many details about this plan have remained deeply concealed, but what is known is that the administration would like to make “an ultimate deal.” Various reports have cited the involvement of the United Nations and Egypt, a temporary ceasefire (a “Hudna”) and not a sustainable peace between Hamas and Israel, a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas with Fatah taking control of Gaza, the opening to Gaza of the Rafa Crossing in Egypt and the Keren Shalom in Israel, and (most dangerously), the buildup of Gaza’s infrastructure with a port for Gaza. To shed some light on this issue, we have three of the world’s most distinguished experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular, and on the region, as a whole: Dr. Daniel Pipes, Amb. Yoram Ettinger, and Dr. Jonathan Schanzer.Read More →
Syria claimed to capture a key position overlooking the Golan Heights – an area in the northeastern part of Israel that was taken by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the 1967 Six-Day War. In May, Iranian forces fired rockets from Syria targeting the Golan Heights, and Iran and its proxy Shi’ite militia groups are expanding their presence in southwestern Syria, attempting to establish military bases on the border.
The Iranian expansion-backed by the Assad Regime- could be catastrophic; the Golan Heights provides Israel with a strategic advantage, and if Israel was attacked from Syria, the Golan Heights would give the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) the ability to withstand ground offensives.
Israel annexed the territory in 1981, and the US has previously assured Israel that it supports the annexation, but has not fully recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan. But members of Congress are now encouraging the Trump Administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, in order to counter the presence of terrorist groups in the region, and prevent Iran from taking over the territory.
What are the strategic interests of the U.S. in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights? How would recognition of Israeli sovereignty potentially help stabilize the region? Our expert panel of Sarah Stern, Zvi Hauser, and Michael Doran explores these questions and more.Read More →
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
EMET on Capitol Hill hosted Congressman Gus Bilirakis, FDD scholar and former Turkish parliament member Dr. Aykan Erdemir, the pro-Kurdish opposition US representative of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Giran Ozcan, and EMET’s Director of the Kurdistan Project, Diliman Abdulkader. The panel was moderated by EMET founder and president Sarah Stern. Our panel analyzed the implications of the June 24th Turkish elections called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Leading Turkey since 2002 with the Justice and Development Party (AKP), internally Erdogan has tilted state institutions to further solidify his position, he has targeted political opposition groups, academics, journalists, and the Kurdish minority all while labeling those speaking against his rule as “terrorists.” Erdogan has distanced himself from his short-lived “zero problem with neighbors” policy as he has made more foes than friends in the region. He has threatened Greece with military action while continuing to have a foothold in Northern Cyprus. His incursions into Syria targeting US-backed Kurdish forces has created a diminishing of relations with the United States. Under Erdogan, Turkey has pivoted towards Russia by purchasing Russian missiles incompatible with NATO defense systems. The panel examined the outcome of the elections, what Turkey’s future holds under Erdogan and how this will affect US-Turkish relations.Read More →
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Dr. Mordechai Kedar discusses recent developments in the Middle East since the horrific use of chemical weapons by the brutal dictator, Bashar al Assad of Syria, which killed at least 48 innocent people and injured some 500 more. The United States responded with its allies the United Kingdom and France, with precision targets aimed at destroying the nuclear weapons facilities and research labs. Syria’s seven-year long civil war has diminished smaller non-state actors and has cleared the way for larger states and their proxies to grab a piece of the shattered state. Turkey with its FSA and Al Qaeda supporters attacked our allies the Kurds in Afrin Canton, and Iran and its Hezbollah proxies have set up bases across Syria and are well under way in completing a land bridge towards Israel’s northern border. Meanwhile, Russia has continued to undermine US strategy, protect Assad’s horrific crimes and is now intending on selling the dictator S-300 missiles which will ultimately threaten Israel’s sovereignty and security. Dr. Kedar analyzes and assesses the potential for a direct conflict between Russia and the United States in Syria.Read More →