Aaron David Miller

The Endgame in Gaza

Can Netanyahu really demilitarize the Strip without making Hamas a partner?

Until I heard CNN's weekend interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and watched Bloody Sunday unfold with scores of Palestinian civilian deaths and 13 Israeli soldiers killed, I thought I had the Gaza thing pretty much figured out. It would end -- more or less -- the way the two previous movies had concluded.

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Israel and Hamas Need Each Other

The two warring actors may hate each other, but they can't seem to live without each other either.

In her fascinating book A History of God, Karen Armstrong posits that the reason people believe in God is because God "works for them." That is to say, God is compelling because the idea of a divine being serves a useful purpose in people's lives. That utilitarian argument may be masked beneath a deep layer of spiritual devotion -- but it's a pragmatic decision all the same.

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Stay Home and Stay Out of This Fight

Why John Kerry has no business trying to make peace between Israel and Gaza right now.

I don't know whether the lights are burning late at Foggy Bottom or not. I suspect they are as my former colleagues there try to figure out what -- if anything -- the United States should do about the recent surge of terror and violence in the not-so Holy Land. I do know that diplomats, particularly those who have become addicted to the peace process, can't help themselves. You can bet that there are memos to the secretary of state with titles like "Defusing Israeli-Palestinian Tensions" or "How to Use the Current Crisis to Advance the Peace Process."

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Dark Dividends

Will the murder of three teenagers bring Armageddon to the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Both conventional and unconventional war have been the handmaidens of the Arab-Israeli conflict since its inception. There is violence between Israelis and Palestinians when there is a peace process, and there is violence between them where there isn't one. Proximity, historical trauma, and the passions of the confrontation over land, identity, and religion seem to demand it.

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Things Fall Apart. Except When They Don't.

A cohesive Iraqi state will always be a fiction. ISIS will shoot itself in the foot. And other important truths to guide U.S. policy in today’s increasingly turbulent Middle East.

In chilling fashion, on the eve of World War II, W.B. Yeats held forth in his poem "The Second Coming":

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

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