American foreign policy Barack Obama Israel Israel lobby Israeli occupation Middle East peace process Zionism

Why Niebuhr, Obama’s favorite thinker, was a Zionist

After years of shamelessly pretending to know what Reinhold Niebuhr wrote and thought when his name came up in conversation, I have taken the trouble to start reading him for the first time. There are two reasons. One is that our President-elect has indicated that Niebuhr has had a profound effect on his thinking. Andrew […]

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“No thanks. We’d rather sit in the dark.”

There are enemies of everything Israeli who are like the storied Jewish mamas who prefer to suffer in darkness because suffering is more comfortable, suffering –and anger about the past—is what they are used to. That’s the simile that comes to mind as, gasp, good news rears its unexpected head in the West Bank and […]

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Will the next generation figure out how to deal with the “Right of Return?”

Last Monday evening, I decided not to give up hope for peace in the Middle East. Every honest person involved in this issue needs to consciously make that decision from time to time, even when there is almost no rational basis for hope. The Italian communist, Antonio Gramsci, famously wrote of “pessimism of the spirit; […]

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Don’t just sit there and complain about American policy. Help J Street

At long last, the urgently-needed “J Street” project has been officially launched. It has generated a great deal of media attention, much of it positive, but the most important story by far was in yesterday’s Washington Post: Some of the country’s most prominent Jewish liberals are forming a political action committee and lobbying group aimed […]

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Free Marwan Barghouti?

What are the mainstream American Jewish organizations going to say if Israel releases a convicted murderer who is one of the Palestinians’ most powerful advocates of peace and a two-state solution? o–Haaretz reports that: “Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer on Saturday said that if Israel were interested in achieving peace, it had no choice but to […]

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Will Obama, Clinton or McCain make Israel-Palestine a priority on Day 1?

To gauge what the presidential candidates might do about the ongoing Arab-Israeli nightmare, one has to make inferences based on inflections, hints, nuances and tea leaves. What they or their campaign staffers say now is at least as important as the identity of 4 or 5 of the many “foreign policy advisors” who have communicated […]

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Where are all of Clinton’s “dovish” Jewish supporters?

Newsweek now tells us that it is not only right wing, so-called “pro-Israel” agitators and Republicans who are hopping on the “Obama- is-bad-for-the Jews” bandwagon, it is also Swiftboaters in the Clinton campaign: “Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama’s relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by NEWSWEEK. In addition to […]

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The smears against Rob Malley continue, but former U.S. officials rise to his defense

James Besser has a balanced and informative piece on the ongoing Rob Malley fracas in New York Jewish Week. Among other things, we learn that the offensive smear campaign against Malley and, by extension, Obama has not abated: “In the days leading up to this week’s Democratic primary in Maryland, Jewish voters in Baltimore and […]

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Rob Malley: the Willy Horton of right wing Jewish nut jobs

Unable to find anything in his past to prove that Barack Obama will sell Israel down the river, right wing bloggers in my community are now focusing on one of his Middle East advisors, Robert Malley. Malley served various roles in the Clinton Administration and was President Clinton’s special assistant during the Camp David talks. […]