Tensions Rise In Israel Following Palestinian Attacks

Lebanon’s Druze Being Dragged Into Syria’s War
Nicholas Blanford writes in The Christian Science Monitor that the two main protagonists in the region are adherents of the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam, which has left “religious minorities, like the Druze who only number around one million in the Middle East, facing the agonizing – and potentially existential – decision of who to support in order to ensure communal survival. But siding with one risks turning the other into an enemy.”

He notes that minorities in Syria, the Christians, Druze, Shiites and some Kurds, have generally sided with the Assad regime out of fear of the Sunni majority.

Murder Of Four Israelis Sparks New Fears
Two Palestinian men, armed with a gun, knives, and axes, attacked a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning killing four Israelis and wounding up to eight others, in the deadliest such incident since 2008.

Israeli police shot and killed the attackers at the scene, in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood of West Jerusalem. The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the attack, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to respond to the attack “with a heavy hand” and blames Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for “incitement.”

The office of Abbas issued a statement condemning the attack. Violence has recently escalated in Jerusalem, in part due to a dispute over the holy site known as Haram al-Sharif by Muslims or the Temple Mount by Jews, and following the summer Gaza war between Israel and Hamas militants.

The Global Forecast For 2015
At a time when maintaining international security and pursuing American interests is more difficult now than perhaps at any time in history, there is no domestic consensus exists on the purposes of American power and how best to pursue them.

With that in mind, The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will look ahead in this annual volume at the crises and opportunities that will likely arise in 2015, how best to deal with them, and what lasting effects they might leave for the next American administration and its allies around the world.

Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers
Foreign Policy magazine provides its list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers

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