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Barack Obama

  • Netanyahu won. Here’s how to beat him

    By accepting that the two-state solution will just have to wait until Israel is ready to accept it, the White House has effectively conceded to Netanyahu's strategy: declare support for two states — in theory — while continuing to deny Palestinians their most basic rights and liberties. Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy for defeating the prospect of Palestinian statehood has always been to stall. Sure, he introduced a few tactical roadblocks along the way like “security zones” and demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but the wider strategy has always been to feign engagement until momentum swings back in his favor.…

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  • Abbas' peace project has hit a dead end

    He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series. By Menachem Klein Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004. For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders…

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  • It's time to recognize the State of Palestine, Mr. President

    How Barack Obama can save the two-state solution before he leaves office. By Sam Bahour President Obama promised that as soon as the Iran nuclear deal is closed he will refocus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Given this shift of focus is now in sight, Obama should grant U.S. recognition of Palestine as an independent state, albeit a militarily occupied one. Such an elementary step is long overdue and may be the sole act that saves the two-state solution. Palestine will never be a complete nation state if required to negotiate its statehood with its military occupier Israel. Without the immediate…

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  • Yes to dual loyalty, no to war with Iran

    Here is my bi-partisan proposal to opponents of the deal: don’t cut our countries adrift from our allies, and don’t light my region on fire. If this deal falls, I’ll have to suffer the consequences of the war you chose. Criticize Jewish or Israeli opponents of the Iran deal, and you are an anti-Semite. Not only that; conservative hysterics now say you have de facto accused such opponents of dual loyalty, an antiquated anti-Semitic charge being wielded as precisely as a club. [tmwinpost] It’s time to drop that old trope altogether. The very idea that there’s something wrong with dual loyalty…

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  • Netanyahu and Obama find a shared interest — screwing the Israeli people

    Despite the years of endless clashes of both personality and policy, this dramatic political saga really won't surprise you one bit. The rather lousy relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks as former Ambassador Michael Oren brought already ridiculous levels of behind-the-scenes speculation to new lows. Years of public clashes over settlement construction, peace talks, negotiations with Iran, and more, have provided endless fodder fueling public clashes between the two leaders. There is one area, however, where President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have suddenly, and perhaps…

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  • Michael Oren's diplomatic psychobabble

    Does the former Israeli ambassador really think that an imaginative psychoanalysis of Obama can explain away Netanyahu's annexationist policies? By Aviad Kleinberg Michael Oren blames President Barack Obama for ruining relations with Israel, after the latter broke two sacrosanct rules that Oren himself came up with: that the United States and Israel should not have public disagreements, and that no steps should be taken to publicly embarrass the other side. [tmwinpost] Oren is aware, of course, of the fact that successive Israeli governments (read: Netanyahu's governments) have openly opposed U.S. policy (for instance vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear deal), that every so often those…

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  • America’s choice on Iran: Obama’s peace or Netanyahu's war

    If Bibi, the Israel lobby and the GOP stymie this historic nuclear deal, it will be very bad for Israel, America and America’s Jews. Anybody who thinks Obama has won, that Israel and the Israel lobby and the Republicans are just going to concede the Iran nuclear deal without a fight, could not be more wrong. For the Israeli and American Jews involved, this is the supreme cause of their lives – preventing another Holocaust, as they see it. The framework agreement announced last Thursday looks to them like Munich. These are the terms they use. For the American gentile…

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  • The Iranian nuclear threat and other phantoms

    The 'framework agreement' announced Thursday night in Lausanne is a lot better than no agreement. But an approach to Iran involving no sanctions and no hysteria would have been best of all. NOTE: This post has been changed to reflect the author's happy surprise that the framework agreement was not the dud he thought it would be - even after it was first announced - but is, according to all accounts, a very meaningful step.   Remember the threat of North Korea going nuclear? The sanctions, the scare rhetoric from the United States, the specter of the craziest, cultiest nation…

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  • Israelis elected a non-democracy

    Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel's character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals. Many on the center-left in Israel are still trying to wrap their head around Netanyahu's victory. They simply cannot grasp that most Israelis really want another right-wing government led by Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, the only two of Israel's 10 largest cities where the Zionist Union got more votes than the Likud, some people seem to be rationalizing the victory with the anti-Arab, fear-mongering campaign Bibi led in…

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  • There is no reason to trust Benjamin Netanyahu

    Netanyahu can backpedal all he wants, but now it is clear even to his biggest champions that he is no longer interested in the two-state solution. Now it's up to the White House to take a stand. Prime Minister Netanyahu's landslide election victory on Tuesday stunned even the biggest pessimists. What looked like a possible upset turned very quickly into an easy win for the incumbent, giving his Likud party 30 seats in the upcoming Knesset. Isaac Herzog's Zionist Camp, Netanyahu's main opposition, won only 24 seats. Like most other major political figures, Netanyahu said nothing about the occupation or the…

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  • Netanyahu speech: A dilemma for U.S. Jews — not for Israelis

    For the first time, American Jews are getting the feeling that they might have to choose between Israel, and their loyalty to the country in which they were born and have become successful to a degree almost unprecedented in the history of the Jewish people. In remarks that shook American Jewish leaders with their bluntness, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to address Congress on March 3 was "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between the United States and Israel. Rice was speaking to Charlie Rose on his PBS news magazine show Tuesday…

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  • How an Israeli and a Palestinian ended up lighting Obama's menorah

    Just weeks after Jerusalem's Jewish-Arab school was attacked by arsonists, President Obama met with two students to light the Hanukkah menorah. Inbar Shaked Vardi talks about her whirlwind trip to Washington DC, and why she has decided to stay at the school despite the threat of violence. By Inbar Shaked Vardi It all started with a Hanukkah menorah. Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, asked the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School to prepare a Hanukkah menorah for a competition. The winning menorah would be lit by President Obama during the White House's ceremonial Hanukkah reception. The Jerusalem bilingual school's menorah was…

  • The difference between Israel’s violent, racist cops and America’s

    It’s in how Israel and America, especially their respective leaders, react to these cops' most outrageous crimes. Israeli police are not the only ones with a habit of getting trigger happy when they come up against members of a feared and hated ethnic minority. While many Israeli cops (and soldiers) have a tendency toward overkill with Arabs, many American cops have the same tendency with blacks. But there’s a crucial difference – not necessarily between American and Israeli police, but between the way American and Israeli society, especially their leaders, react to such killings. After police in Ferguson, Missouri killed…

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