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  • Response to Burg: Israel's democracy flawed from inception

    The New York Times continues to push the myth that Israel was once liberal and democratic, and is now growing detached from these values. Now it publishes an op-ed by a former Knesset speaker, which promotes this notion and similar misconceptions about the United States and the U.S.-Israel relationship. Only a couple of weeks after its unusual editorial arguing that Israel’s democracy is in peril, the New York Times has published an op-ed in the same vein, written by a prominent Israeli public figure. Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, who almost became leader of the Labor party in the early 2000s,…

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  • The U.S lacks a vision for foreign policy in Middle East

    Most American speakers at the US-Islamic World Forum seemed to either ignore major issues or give the usual statements disliked by most Muslims WASHINGTON, DC - Last week I attended the US-Islamic World Forum in Washington D.C. The forum is organized by the Organization of the Islamic Conference , the Kingdom of Qatar and the Brookings Institute. Muslim dignitaries, interfaith leaders, and American politicians spoke about the rising challenges facing the Muslim world and the implication of the "Arab Spring" on the future of the Middle East. However, despite having a session on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the conference speakers, particularly…

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  • Nov 2: Many Israelis pray Obama will be weakened

    The Headlines: American voters elect Israel’s government > Today’s American congressional elections are front pages news in the Hebrew media. Israelis, so dependent on the US, are fascinated by its politics. But even so-called experts display shocking ignorance of the basic facts, often repeating silly partisan talking points. The general tone is schadenfreude towards the predicament of Obama, which the right considers unfriendly towards Israel. The notable exception is Ha’aretz, which also sensibly notes that Democratic losses are inevitable in a mid-term election during an economic crisis. > University students protest against the intention to award benefits to yeshiva students,…

  • Five reasons why Barbara Slavin’s cautious optimism is misplaced (Jerry Haber)

    The following was originally posted on The Magnes Zionist. A very good example of what is fundamentally wrong about how Americans view the Israel/Palestinian Conflict is provided by Barbara Slavin here. In a contrarian spirit of being a teeny bit upbeat about the next round in Israeli Arab peace talks (going on for around sixty plus years, but in its present Israeli-Palestinian format, for almost twenty years), she lists five reasons for optimism, before turning to reasons for pessimism. Since I am a pessimist I will focus on her first five reasons. Here they are with my comments. "1. The outlines of a…

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