Screw-Up Nation: More on Netanyahu & Illiberal Israel

By: Friday June 4, 2010 9:55 am

My much-alluded-to essay in the National meditating on the flotilla raid, Netanyahu’s coalition, Israel’s illiberal bent, American evangelicals, and Dan Senor’s Start-Up Nation — a long essay that proved to be the scourge of my vacation — is now out. Special guest appearance from President Obama: A generation ago, Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, two [...]

A Realist Analysis Of the U.S.-Israel Relationship

By: Tuesday March 23, 2010 4:36 pm

Via Andrew Sullivan, check out this bit of Stratfor analysis. I generally like its approach of looking beyond personalities and toward structural relationships to explain given sets of behavior, bloodless as that approach might be — and sometimes bloodless analysis overlooks very human concerns, aspirations and especially miscalculation. I’m not sure how I feel about [...]

‘He Is Young Man, Very Strong Man’

By: Tuesday March 23, 2010 10:22 am

I guess it was during some boring moment in September 2008 in COP Zormat when I was chilling with the interpreters ahead of riding along with the Hooligans that I asked one of them what he thought of candidate Obama. I wasn’t fishing for a quote or anything like that – Afghan individual’s perception of [...]

Tzipi vs. Bibi

By: Tuesday March 23, 2010 8:58 am

Maybe this will clarify my earlier point about Tzipi Livni. She’s a right-of-center Israeli politician who speaks about peace as the fulfillment of a Zionist dream and the maintenance of a democratic state — with its demographically correlative obligation to divest Israel of Palestine — as central to the Zionist project. She does so without [...]

Not In Front Of, Uh… The Other Jews

By: Monday March 22, 2010 9:54 pm

As I type, Chuck Schumer is talking to the AIPAC conference. He recounted a story about how in the 1980s, he and his wife hosted a dinner party featuring Benjamin Netanyahu, then the Israeli ambassador to Washington. For some strange reason, Netanyahu explained Israeli price controls by shaking up a bottle of soda and spraying [...]


By: Monday March 22, 2010 2:30 pm

Interested in a longer, more analytical take on Secretary Clinton’s AIPAC speech? Funny, I figured you might. While you check this out, I’ll be checking out Tzipi Livni’s speech, as Livni has a clear political interest in hugging both the U.S. and the peace process tighter than her political rival Benjamin Netanyahu. Update, 2:50 p.m.: [...]

Clinton At AIPAC

By: Monday March 22, 2010 12:30 pm

Covered her speech here, here, here and here. Caught up with J Street for a response here. I don’t honestly know what I expected, as I wrote this morning. She had a deft moment where she reversed the typical construction on the right for why it’s bad for the U.S. to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [...]

If You Want Me, You Can Find Me In The A(IPAC)

By: Monday March 22, 2010 8:30 am

For the first time since I’ve been in Washington, I’ve wanted to cover a speech made at the AIPAC annual conference. These are the first considered remarks made by the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government since the Biden Jerusalem Insult. What Secretary Clinton will say, and how Prime Minister Netanyahu will at-least-implicitly respond, will [...]

Well, Sure, No Preconditions

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 12:29 pm

I’ll be at AIPAC’s conference on Monday to cover Secretary Clinton’s address, but I noticed something on the conference roster that reminded me of a point that may not have broken through the debate during this current U.S.-Israel discomfort. Here’s the lead-in for one of the panel sessions: Since becoming Israel’s prime minister last year, [...]

A Tale Of Two Israel Lobbies

By: Monday March 15, 2010 10:18 am

One says: Instead of insulting the U.S. vice president, let’s take a deep breath and rededicate ourselves to the core issue of coming up with provisional borders for a Palestinian state — which, after all, is the substance of the dispute here — instead of losing time on mutually destructive outrage. Another says: The Obama [...]