American foreign policy « Previous Entries

Obama’s gutsy, principled Middle East speech

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Everyone agrees President Obama made a gutsy political call when he ordered the Navy Seals team to take out Osama bin Laden. There would have been a fierce backlash if the mission had failed. But he’s not getting credit for demonstrating even more political courage by calling for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement based on Israel’s […]

Give me just 1 good reason to oppose UN anti-settlement resolution

Monday, January 24th, 2011

I have yet to hear one good reason why the U.S. should veto a new UN Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlements, or why it should try to keep the resolution from coming up for a vote. Oh there have been protests from the usual suspects who support the settlers or object to any […]

Is there any hope?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We’ve been here before, of course. We’ve been here so many times I’ve lost count. Most of what needs to be said about the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was expressed in a poem written nearly sixty years ago by the late, truly great Yehuda Amichai. In The U.N. Headquarters Headquarters in the High Commissioner’s House […]

Obama should not be afraid of AIPAC

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Despite recent tension with Israel, President Obama’s approval ratings have remained consistently high among American Jews, according to a new J Street poll. He was viewed favorably by 62% in March compared to 64% in October, 2009. That is true even though Americans as a whole are less enamored of him than they used to […]

“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin’s history of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the making of the modern Middle East, we follow British statesmen and military leaders as they make one foolish miscalculation after another. They persistently misread the Middle East, made major decisions based on false intelligence and crackpot […]

Groups tell Obama: “Persuade” Israel to lift the Gaza closure

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Americans for Peace Now and J Street joined five other groups in a letter that urges Obama to “use America’s unique relationship with Israel to persuade it to lift the closure of its border crossing with Gaza now.” Bravo, folks! Excerpts: Israel’s closure policies, rather than weakening Hamas as Israel had hoped, have helped Hamas […]

Questions about the “p-word” (pressure)

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, in part because of work commitments, in part because I have nothing original to say, in part because of utter despair about The Situation. When poking my head out and reading the musings of friends and fellow travellers, I sensed the gloves slowly being taken off when it comes […]

Will the Americans drive Bibi “crazy?”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Troll around the Web and you will find many, distinctly different ways of looking at Bibi Netanyahu’s recent announcement of a ten-month settlement freeze. Here are four that interest me: 1) IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE, GREATER ISRAEL FANS. Netanyahu has been telling the right wing that the freeze is only temporary and that construction […]

If doing nothing is insane, what, then, must be done?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Pundits everywhere are calling for a rethinking of America’s Middle East policies, assuming that the current tack will yield nothing productive. One of the most controversial calls was made by Thomas Friedman, in which he suggested the U.S. should pull the plug on its current diplomatic efforts, give the Israelis and Palestinians the White House […]

The pro-Israel peace camp cares about America, too

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

As it prepares for its first national conference this weekend, J Street, the political arm of pro-peace, pro-Israel American Jews, is being assailed by those who don’t want it to take positions independent of the Israeli government. Chuck Freilich, a former Israeli National Security advisor, castigates the J Streeters’ “presumptuousness” and claims they think they […]

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