Western liberals know Netanyahu is the problem and Abbas isn't, but their unwillingness to say so ends up achieving the opposite of their goal. There it was again, this time at the end of today's (Thursday's) New York Times editorial on Kerry's "shuttle diplomacy." After making it clear for the nth time that the occupation is wrong, that settlements are wrong and that Netanyahu clearly intends to keep them going, it was time for the Times to weasel out. Along with Mr. Netanyahu, the biggest drag on serious progress seems to be the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, who…Read More... | 31 Comments
Jewish nationalism, in its belligerence and paranoia, is watching the world pass it by - and the overwhelming majority of Jews in America, Israel and elsewhere do not want that to happen to them. The split between humanistic Judaism and nationalistic Judaism goes back a very long time, but in recent years, the complete takeover of both Israel and the Republican Party by nationalist radicals has obviously sharpened that split, nearly creating schism within Judaism. (By "Judaism," I don't mean just the religion but all of Jewish civilization.) Every Israeli election is a battle between these two opposing Jewish camps,…Read More... | 13 Comments
A second-term President Obama wouldn't be beholden only to himself, but to the Democratic Party, which is scared stiff of taking on Israel. I would love to share the hope that if Obama wins on November 6 - and at this point, going by the polls, it would take satanic intervention for Romney to beat him - he would "teach Bibi a lesson," and, more importantly, make good on his horribly failed promise to do everything in his power to forge the two-state solution. But I don't see it. After talking tough at the start of his presidency and getting…Read More... | 15 Comments
Israeli press criticizes Netanyahu for "putting all his money" on the Republican candidate. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney gave two interviews to the Hebrew press prior to his visit to Israel: One to Haaretz, a low circulation paper read by the country’s liberal elite, and the other to Yisrael Hayom,the most widely read Israeli daily, owned by gambling billionaire and known Obama opponent Sheldon Adelson. Yisrael Hayom, which is distributed for free at considerable loss, is known for its unabashed support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson is also one of the Romney campaign's biggest donors. In his Haaretz interview Romney was…Read More... | 9 Comments
Israel and its Washington lobby have never dragged the U.S. into a war it didn't want to fight. Iran would be a first. And if today's talks fail, the countdown begins. I never went along with the argument that the Israel lobby, taking its directions from Jerusalem, pushed the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Israel wanted the U.S. to knock over Saddam, of course, but it didn't make a lot of noise about it, and neither did its Washington lobbyists because Israel and AIPAC knew they didn't have to push against an open door. The Bush administration wanted to go to war against Saddam as…Read More... | 53 Comments
On February 29th 2012 Florida’s House of Representatives surprisingly passed a bill supporting the one-state solution. The bill quotes the Bible to prove the Jewish right of the whole land spanning Israel and Palestine, ignores the Palestinians' historical connection to the land and omits their existence. However, the bill comes as surprise in the sense that it calls for one law for all people who live on the land. [T]he members of the Florida House of Representatives commend Israel for its cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States and with the State of Florida and support Israel in…Read More... | 20 Comments
There won't be a real difference between another Obama term and a possible Romney presidency. But Gingrich - with his ties to the Israeli right, destructive track record from the 1990s and very personal connection to Netanyahu - could turn out to be a real nightmare Watching the American primaries makes for a mix of fun and moments of deep anxiety. Most of the time it's like a good sports match, but every now and then you are reminded that the identity of the winner might have a real and clear impact on your life. After all, Israel has stopped…Read More... | 14 Comments
A brilliant piece of reporting from Mitchell Plitnick, former director of the US office of B'Tselem. According to Plitnick, the Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution supporting one state in Israel-Palestine. The text of the resolution can be found here. As Plitnick points out, the key passage that suggests that the Republican party is going one state reads as follows: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others;…Read More... | 16 Comments
Republican candidates in the 2012 primary race have topped each other in inflammatory remarks regarding Palestinians. Ever so often I am bombarded by so many words that almost none come at all and I pass up the opportunity to tackle a certain subject. This was the case recently with a spate of utterly ridiculous—almost comical—statements from candidates for the Republican primary race in the United States about Palestine and Palestinians, but in the end I had to say something. First there was Mike Huckabee, who came out in support of the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.…Read More... | 55 Comments
The Israeli Right has embraced PM Binyamin Netanyahu for the hardline positions he expressed in his Washington visit, and for the masterly control of US politics he has showed. Yossi Verter quotes in Haaretz a funny exchange between the PM and Likud MK Danny Danon, who until recently led the opposition to Netanyahu in his own party: ...the Likud faction, which has a hard-line right-wing bloc, was easy on Netanyahu. MK Danny Danon told him at the meeting, "You gave an excellent speech in Congress. Maybe you should run for president on behalf of the Republicans? I hear they're looking…Read More...
According to Maariv's poll, 57 percent of Israelis accept the principles outlined in president Obama's Middle East speech. By being more pro-Israeli than the Knesset, the US Congress indicates that the road to peace and justice in the region cannot pass through Washington In the morning following Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before a joint session of Congress, a poll published by the Israeli daily Maariv indicates that while Netanyahu enjoys considerable support among Israelis, the public is far more inclined than its prime minister to make concessions to the Palestinians. According to a Teleseker-Maariv poll, conducted last night, a clear…Read More... | 22 Comments
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