Report

Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this morning for their efforts to nurture and preserve the country’s democracy since its 2011 revolution. The New York Times reports: “The quartet comprises four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights ...

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The National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this morning for their efforts to nurture and preserve the country’s democracy since its 2011 revolution. The New York Times reports: “The quartet comprises four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. But the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized that the prize ‘is awarded to this quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.’”

In particular, Nobel committee chairwoman Kaci Kullmann Five drew attention to the quartet’s management of the government’s peaceful resignation after the assassination of opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi. “An essential factor for the culmination of the revolution in Tunisia in peaceful democratic elections last autumn was the effort made by the quartet to support the work of the constituent assembly and to secure approval of the constitutional process among the Tunisian population at large,” she said. “The quartet paved the way for a peaceful dialogue between the citizens, the political parties and the authorities, and helped to find consensus-based solutions to a wide range of the challenges across political and religious divides.” With the uptick of terrorist attacks in Tunisia this year, Five said, “We want to prove that it is possible for Islamist and secular political movements to work together in the best interests of the people.”

Stabbings and Large Protests Continue in Israel and the West Bank

A spate of stabbings continues today across Israel in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called a “terror wave.” There have been at least three instances of Palestinians trying to stab Israeli Jews across the country today, as well as in incident in Dimona in which an Israeli Jew stabbed four Arabs. The unrest has also generated large protests by Palestinians in the West Bank. The Red Crescent reports that more than 500 Palestinians have been injured in demonstrations since the weekend, including 100 from live fire.

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Headlines

  • U.S. officials announced yesterday that several Russian cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea towards Syria appear to have crashed in northern Iran. Russian and Iranian officials denied the reports.

 

  • A new tally of the dead by the Associated Press found that the stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the hajj may have killed as many as 1,399 people, almost double official figures released by the Saudi government.

 

  • Earlier today, Libya’s Tripoli-based government rejected a new U.N. proposal for a unity government that would consolidate governance with the internationally-recognized Tobruk-based government.

 

  • Protesters in Sulaimaniyah, a major city in Iraq’s Kurdish north, clashed with security forces while demonstrating against the Kurdistan Regional Government’s three-month delay in paying government salaries.

 

  • The Islamic State has seized several villages on the outskirts of Aleppo that were previously held by other rebel groups, bringing them within one mile of regime positions on the northern edge of the city.

Arguments and Analysis

A Glimmer Of Light Through The Clouds” (Michael Koplow, Israel Policy Forum)

“A rightwing Israeli prime minister who presides over the narrowest possible coalition in the Knesset and is under constant assault from those to his right, whose commitment to two states is in question, and who has spent decades caving to the most irredentist elements of his party and coalition, has now halted new settlement growth, banned elected officials from the Temple Mount in an effort to protect exclusive Muslim rights on the site, and has so far refrained from a large and public show of force in the West Bank in response to multiple firebomb attacks, shootings, and stonings, all in recognition of the fact that the volume must be turned down in a major way. While some of these actions may be less just than others (and the Temple Mount issue in particular is one that I will write about in depth next week), they all point to a prime minister putting pragmatism over politics for the moment. Shalev opens his otherwise depressing column by noting how anyone watching Anwar Sadat emerge from his plane at Ben Gurion Airport in November 1977 could not help but believe that miracles do happen, and that it showed how calamity could transform into opportunity. Let’s hope that Netanyahu’s new leaf demonstrates that history always holds open the possibility of new beginnings.”

 

How America can counter Putin’s moves in Syria” (Condoleeza Rice and Robert M. Gates, Washington Post)

“Putin is not a sentimental man, and if Assad becomes a liability, Putin will gladly move on to a substitute acceptable to Moscow. But for now, the Russians believe that they (and the Iranians) can save Assad. President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry say that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. That is true, but Moscow understands that diplomacy follows the facts on the ground, not the other way around. Russia and Iran are creating favorable facts. Once this military intervention has run its course, expect a peace proposal from Moscow that reflects its interests, including securing the Russian military base at Tartus.”

-J. Dana Stuster

HEIKO JUNGE/AFP/Getty Images

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