The Back Channel

Eric Cantor Tied to Rabbi Whose Aide Is at Center of Probe

Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

An influential rabbi whose former aide is embroiled in a campaign finance investigation has ties to one of the most powerful members of Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to interviews and an examination of campaign filings by Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen.

US Scholars: Designate Israeli Extremists as Terrorists

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Two prominent US Middle East scholars are urging the US to officially designate as terrorists Israeli extremists who perpetrate violence against Palestinian and Israeli citizens — even moderate elements of the settler movement, writes Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen. A recent spate of attacks sparked the call, which would prevent US funding for such groups.

Dennis Ross: Israel's Iran Threats Aimed at Spurring Global Action

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Part of Israel's motivation for being so public about a possible attack on Iran is to prepare Israelis and the rest of the world for an actual attack, said Mideast troubleshooter Dennis Ross in an interview with Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen. The rhetoric isn't just a bluff, but that doesn't mean there's a day-after strategy.

Ex-Obama Official Warns: Take Israel Iran Threat 'Very Seriously'

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl told Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen that he takes the signs that Israeli leaders are contemplating a fall strike on Iran “very seriously.” He said there is clearly a crescendo emerging and "Israeli leadership is building a case that they can trust no one but themselves on this issue." Read the full interview.

US Iraq Envoy Sees 'Great Deal of Continuity' From Bush to Obama

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

In an exit interview, departing US Iraq envoy James Jeffrey tells Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen how negotiations for a US follow-on force in Iraq ran aground, about prospects for diplomacy with Iran and how the Obama and Bush administrations are alike in their policies to Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan in many respects.

US Courts Emerging Leaders in Syria to Avoid Iraq Pitfalls

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 | Barbara Slavin, Columnist

As the US scrambles to establish ties with the Syrian opposition, it's also trying hard to avoid an exile-centric strategy that risks repeating the debacle of Iraq, write Al-Monitor's Barbara Slavin and Laura Rozen. Still, on the heels of Kofi Annan's resignation as UN envoy to Syria, some insiders wonder if a transition plan will make any difference.

Concerns Mount That Israel Is Losing Patience on Iran Plan

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

As the Obama administration doubles down on sanctions, some in Washington worry that Israel is running out of patience with the US, writes Laura Rozen. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other officials urge patience to see if tough new economic sanctions bring about a diplomatic resolution.

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