5 Top Reads

The World This Weekend

The U.S.-Mexico relationship takes a hit, a shake-up in the Knesset, and Britain’s search for another prime minister.

Migrants board a U.S. Customs and Border Protection van after being detained at the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on May 7.
Migrants board a U.S. Customs and Border Protection van after being detained at the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on May 7. HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

This week, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on Mexico, potentially jeopardizing his efforts to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, even in the midst of the ongoing U.S. trade war with China.

In Israel, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and hold a new parliamentary election, slated for Sept. 17. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to precarity is likely to undercut the Trump administration’s long-promised Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Meanwhile, Chinese Australians are finding that they face increasing suspicion of spreading foreign influence, as the Chinese Communist Party cracks down on dissent in the diaspora.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top five weekend reads.


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City on May 31.Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

1. Trump Starts a New Trade Fight in the Middle of an Old One

Trump’s new threat to levy tariffs on all Mexican imports until migration across the southern border drops beneath an unspecified target is bound to have consequences. Among them could be a closer bond between China and Mexico, another U.S. recession, and damage to Trump’s reelection chances in 2020, Foreign Policy’s Keith Johnson reports.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, shakes hands with Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, in Jerusalem on May 30.Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem/AFP/Getty Images

2. New Vote in Israel Puts Trump’s Deal of the Century on Ice

Trump has called his administration’s proposed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan the “deal of the century.” But Israel’s election season, which is about to start all over again, could prevent the proposal from even being introduced, Joshua Mitnick reports.


South Korean protesters sit near a statue of a teenage girl symbolizing former “comfort women”, who served as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, during a weekly anti-Japanese demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on November 21, 2018. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Image

3.Tokyo Keeps Defending World War II Atrocities

Japan’s legal excuses over slave labor are weak at best, S. Nathan Park writes.


A photograph taken in Melbourne on May 8 shows posters in a butcher’s shop for Labor Party candidate Jennifer Yang and Liberal Party candidate Gladys Liu who competed in the May 18 election for the outer Melbourne electorate of Chisholm, where one in five households speak either Mandarin or Cantonese. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

4.Chinese Australians Are Not a Fifth Column

As Beijing fails to draw a sharp distinction between its citizens and the diaspora, Canberra continues to foster a political environment in which discrimination and outright Sinophobia flourish, Jieh-Yung Lo writes.


Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives at the Foreign Office on July 15, 2016 in London.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

5.There’s Nothing Behind Boris Johnson’s Clown Mask

Boris Johnson could be Britain’s next prime minister. Behind his bluster and Brexiteering, there are some hefty qualifications and a track record that shows a distracted politician with little interest in detail and who is unlikely to be capable of steering his country out of its current predicament, Stephen Paduano writes.

Jefcoate O'Donnell is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @brjodonnell

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