American foreign policy Hamas Israeli settlements Middle East peace process Palestinian Authority

“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

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 […]

American foreign policy Americans for Peace Now Arab American Institute Gaza Strip Israel

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

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 […]

Goldstone report Hamas Israel Israel Defense Forces

The Israeli response to Goldstone: “Trust us, we know what we’re doing”

The first half of the official Israeli response to the Goldstone report is a detailed explanation of why the world should trust the second half of the Israeli response to the Goldstone report. It offers a summary of Israel’s system for reviewing alleged military misconduct, and refutes the charge that the military is not capable […]

American foreign policy Americans for Peace Now Israel Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority Palestinians

Questions about the “p-word” (pressure)

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 […]

Americans for Peace Now Barack Obama Israel Jerusalem Obama administration

Once again, Netanyahu deliberately provokes the White House

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recently announced plan of tenders for nearly 700 new apartments in East Jerusalem was not just a gesture to his restless right wing. It was yet another deliberate attempt to embarrass the White House, say Americans For Peace Now’s Lara Friedman and Ir Amin’s Danny Seideman in a provocative, must-read analysis. They […]

Avigdor Lieberman Israel J Street Michael Oren

Obama administration takes J Street’s side in the culture war

Officials from two different parts of the Obama administration have now sent strong public signals to the Israelis that J Street needs to be treated respectfully. Will Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s bosses get the message? Or will they keep insisting that he snub and insult J Street and, by extension, the vast numbers of American […]

American Jews Benjamin Netanyahu Far left Gaza Strip Goldstone report J Street Michael Oren Richard Goldstone

Michael Oren hurts Israel by snubbing J Street

Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S, is the Jewish state’s highest ranking envoy to the American government and, by extension, to the American people. One of his principal responsibilities is to ensure that, when push comes to shove, Americans –including American Jews– will support U.S. efforts to protect Israel’s core security interests. That is […]