Friday Headlines

Middle East Talks Not Dead — Yet
Despite the Israel’s cancellation of Palestinian prisoner releases, Geoffrey Aronson of Al Monitor believes it is too early to mourn the death of Middle East peace talks. While not declaring the process dead, Secretary of State John Kerry says it is time for a “reality check.”

Before returning to Washington, Kerry said he will have discussions with President Obama on where the process moves next but cautioned much depends on the actors in the ongoing diplomatic drama, according to The New York Times.

“There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward,” he said.

Turkey Is Looking A Lot Like Russia
In Bloomberg View, the editors draw comparisons between the political atmosphere in Russia under Putin with that in Turkey under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The upshot, however, is that Turkey is beginning to look like Russia under President Vladimir Putin — with all branches of power subordinated to a single man who sees opponents as traitors. And if Erdogan wins presidential elections in August, as now seems likely, he will dominate Turkish politics for years,” they write adding that his critics should concentrate on “building a more effective opposition that unites liberals, ethnic Kurds and moderate religious conservatives. Erdogan’s greatest political asset has been the tactical weakness of his opponents.”

Is China Heading Toward A Lehman Bros.-like Crash?
John Cassidy of The New Yorker attempts to answer the question of whether China’s economy is on a path toward a Lehman Brothers-like crash.

He notes that several economists and analysts, including Martin Wolf of The Financial Times have expressed concern China is overly indebted and “that large parts of China now resemble Arizona, Florida, and Nevada circa 2007, when the great Greenspan-Bernanke real-estate bubble was going “pop.”

And even if they avoid a crash, he says, “the move to a newer, more durable growth model represents a tremendous challenge. Some China hands, such as Stephen Roach, the former chief economist at Morgan Stanley who is now at Yale, believe the authorities in Beijing have a handle on the task, and are making progress. Other observers, such as George Soros, are more dubious. At the beginning of the year, Soros said that using stimulus policies to boost growth would only postpone the day of reckoning, because ‘restarting the furnaces also reignites exponential debt growth, which cannot be sustained for much longer than a couple of years.'”

And Finally . . .

James Kirchick of the Jewish web magazine The Tablet delves into who is responsible for the resurgence of fascism in Europe.

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