Gary Grappo is a former US ambassador and a distinguished fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver. He possesses nearly 40 years of diplomatic and public policy experience in a variety of public, private and nonprofit endeavors. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the US Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in Jerusalem. Grappo held a number of senior positions in the US State Department, including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad; US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2011-13, he was President and CEO of The Keystone Center. He currently serves as CEO of Equilibrium International Consulting, providing analysis and policy guidance on foreign affairs to businesses, institutions and the media. Grappo is the former chairman of the Board of Directors at Fair Observer.
Israel has triumphed over its foes in a rough neighborhood. Still, Palestinians present a new challenge, or rather an old challenge in a different guise. Also, internal strife over the future of democracy presents an unprecedented challenge to Israel.
In the new bipolar US-China world, Russia is a second-rate power now. Were it not for its aging nuclear weapons stock and seat on the UN Security Council, it would hardly command the world’s attention as it once did at the height of the Soviet Union and even the early years of the Putin era.
Decades-long sexual abuse of children, lack of financial transparency and Catholics abandoning the church challenge the world’s oldest institution. The late Cardinal George Pell’s reported accusation that Pope Francis was a “catastrophe” is misplaced. Francis is merely responding to the challenges of our times and preparing the church for the future.
Totalitarianism is on the rise again and democracies are distracted. The gathering of all nations together to staunch the advance of aggressive totalitarianism is necessary and urgent.
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