Barack Obama assumed office in January 2009 amid public euphoria and high expectations of greater racial harmony and reduced gun violence at home and a more stable and peaceful international order.
Israeli politicians have become obsessed with their country's global image – and they're shoring it up by cracking down on the debate at home.
A recent example from the University of California shows that it is possible to clamp down on anti-Semitism without curtailing freedom of speech.
Settlements are illegal on occupied territory. They undermine the widely acknowledged right of Palestine to statehood. Yet Israel violates international law with near impunity.
Demographic changes have made the idea of a two-state solution obsolete. The Israeli population is becoming more religious and more conservative. That makes the army more difficult to command.
Syria and IS may have dominated the news this year, but the Middle East has plenty of other problems on its hands.
Israeli goods produced in settlements will have to be labelled as such. Israel is calling this a boycott and raising the spectre of European anti-semitism.
Twenty years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin -- the man who ushered in the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians -- was assassinated. Today's Israel is a very different place.
As Israel marked the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, fears of another surge in violence were as high as ever.
The Israeli PM's 'big lie' about Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was of a piece with Netanyahu's history of making false and misleading claims.
The Israeli prime minister's comments that an Arab leader convinced Hitler to carry out the Holocaust are a distortion of history.
With its ever harsher measures against Palestinian protests, Israel is blowing past all acceptable standards.
Classes at Al-Quds University have been disrupted by violence, but students are still struggling to learn.
Violence has become a daily occurrence in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank and the body count is rising.
In a grim week at the UN General Assembly, the key partners in the Middle East peace process made it clear they've lost patience.
Journalists can go where diplomats can't: but that doesn't make it easy.
Although Hamas also wants a return to normalcy in the Gaza Strip, it is potentially a double-edged sword for the movement.
Israeli employers have always had a complicated relationship with Palestinian workers – and it's getting worse.
Israel's official policy treats stone throwing as 'a real mortal threat'. The question is, who to?
Reports of Hamas's human rights abuses against Palestinians are mounting, and popular support falling – but the movement is going nowhere.