Leadership Guide to the Middle East Crisis
The Middle East, once again, finds itself gripped by military crisis. What are the leadership issues here? Is resorting to violence a short-term solution with negative long-term consequences? Are leaders on both sides using military action to win support among their own populations? Is this crisis really about a lack of leadership? Bad leadership? Unpopular but necessary leadership?
We'll leave it to you readers to answer those questions.To help our thinking, here's a quick reading guide to the pivotal personalities and political forces shaping the current crisis.
On the Israeli side:
Ha'aretz writes about the different and sometimes conflicting leadership styles of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Reuters reports on how the Gaza offensive may boost Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's chances for beating Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel's upcoming Feb. 10 election.
Newsweek's John Barry discusses why the Israeli leadership, and Prime Minister Olmert in particular, may be "poor judges" of the long-term consequences of their Gaza gamble.
On the Palestinian side:
Hamas took control of Gaza in June, 2007, which lead Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to appoint Salam Fayyad, an economist who formerly worked at the World Bank, as prime minister of the emergency Palestinian government.
Egypt's government, led by Hosni Mubarak, has opposed Hamas -- at points blocking Palestinians fleeing Israeli raids from entering the country -- but must walk a fine line, as popular sentiment in Egypt runs in favor of Hamas, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Iran's leadership, meanwhile, seeks to gain support among Sunni Arab Muslims in the region by taking up the anti-Israel mantle, according to an analysis from Vali Nasr, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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