Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles


Following on Ezra 's post about James Kirchick 's latest bout of self-parody, I think Daniel Levy' s scholarly work and his commitment to achieving a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians speaks for itself, and doesn't need to be defended from the likes of Kirchick. I will note, however, that what I find interesting about the Levy- David Frum bloggingheads Annapolis discussion to which Kirchick refers (other than that David Frum seems to be completely at sea in regard to the actual scholarly consensus about so much pertaining to the the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) is the way that Frum clumsily dances away from Levy's well-articulated and (should be) uncontroversial point that the Israeli occupation represents a form of systemic violence, to which Palestinian terrorism is one response. This simply does not compute for Frum, who is committed, intellectually and emotionally, to a view of the conflict in which the Palestinians always and only initiate violence, and the Israelis...


Over at Middle East Progress , Rafi Dajani and Ghaith Al-Omari state what should be obvious in regard to a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal: While it may be possible to reach one without including Hamas, it will be impossible to implement. Implementing a peace agreement...will require Palestinian reconciliation. If such an agreement meets Palestinian national aspirations and is backed by key Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, it is hard to imagine Hamas opposing it and risking further alienating the Palestinian people. [...] The PA’s basic message — liberation through negotiation — needs serious rehabilitation through significant, concrete and credible progress toward a permanent status deal and the establishment of a Palestinian state. If such progress is made, Hamas will find itself in the untenable and losing position of campaigning against a Palestinian state. Palestinian president Abbas will be able to negotiate the inevitable future agreement with Hamas for national unity from a...


In a clear act of Islamofascist [sic] sympathizery that seems to have slipped right by the finely tuned treason detectors of right blogistan, (time to clean out the Cheeto dust, guys!) Speaker Nancy Pelosi dons a hijab to celebrate the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. Won't somebody please think of the children? ( Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Via Andrew Sullivan ) --Matthew Duss


Eric Martin has some comments on yesterday's Robert Kagan column , in which Kagan risked the ire of Michael Ledeen by suggesting that the NIE's conclusions indicate that the U.S. should talk to Iran. While I am pleased that one of the co-authors of one of the seminal works of late-era neoconservatism has put his pundiferous influence behind the idea that good diplomacy involves more than insisting that our enemies do exactly what we want right away and then maybe we'll talk, I have to admit that I got off the bus here: A military strike against suspected Iranian nuclear facilities was always fraught with risk. For the Bush administration, that option is gone. Neither, however, will the administration make further progress in winning international support for tighter sanctions on Iran. Fear of American military action was always the primary reason Europeans pressured Tehran. Fear of an imminent Iranian bomb was secondary. Bringing Europeans together in support of serious sanctions was...


Less than a week after the Annapolis conference, which was supposed to re-start peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli government has announced that it is adding more than 300 new homes to the settlement of Har Homa . You'd think Ehud Olmert might have waited longer than a week before making a move that seems specifically designed to damage the credibility of moderates like Mahmoud Abbas , strengthen rejectionist rivals like Hamas, and undercut Palestinian support for negotiations, but being a weak leader means having to throw the more-than-occasional bone to your own extremist, rejectionist factions. This is true for Olmert as it is for Abbas. And the beat goes on. As Brian Ulrich notes , Har Homa is one of several Israeli settlements ringing East Jerusalem, the purpose of which is to consolidate Israeli control of the city, sever it from other Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and preclude its becoming the capital of the Palestinian state. That is...