Jewish Journal


May 1, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

May 1, 2012 | 5:22 am

Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Reuters)

The Move that Dare Not Speak ‎Its Name

In part 2 of a series on Israel-Jewish ties, Yehudah Mirsky in Jewish Ideas Daily examines ‎ways in which Israelis who have left their homeland can maintain their ties to it.‎

At any moment, some 500,000 to 600,000 Israelis and their children, around 15 percent ‎of Israel’s population, are living abroad.  Every year large numbers leave for work ‎rotations and studies while others head back home.  The largest number, some 200,000, ‎are in the United States, with the rest in Canada, Australia, and Western Europe.  As ties ‎grow between Israel and the East, we can easily imagine substantial numbers of Israelis in ‎China and India, too.‎

A Peace Legacy for Netanyahu’s Hard-Line Dad?

Writing in Bloomberg, Jeffrey Goldberg looks at how much Benzion Netanyahu has truly influenced his son, Benjamin, and what it means for Israel.

Was Benzion Netanyahu simply a paranoid who saw the half- full ‎glass of Jewish history as entirely empty, or was he a clear-eyed ‎realist with a tragic understanding about the eternal nature of anti-‎Semitism? The answer helps inform the debate about two ‎surpassingly important questions in Middle East politics today. The ‎first is whether Iran ultimately plans to try to destroy Israel with ‎nuclear weapons; the second is whether the Arabs actually want to ‎achieve a political compromise with Israel. ‎

Is the Bomb-Iran Threat Receding?‎

James Fallows of the Atlantic asks his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg whether he believes that the ‎bellicose rhetoric on Iran’s nuclear program coming from the Israeli prime minister has been dialed down in recent ‎weeks.

‎ Is it right to think that the odds of an Israeli strike are lower than they were a month ago? ‎Because there is at least some chance that the combination of sanctions-plus-negotiations ‎will produce an agreement? And because we are getting a more realistic and rounded view of ‎the range of opinion within Israel? ‎

Abbas’s Police State

Jonathan Schanzer of Foreign Policy highlights the worrying phenomenon of a crackdown on free ‎speech within the Palestinian Authority, and urges the American government to take action. ‎

It appears that the PA has not only quashed critical voices through official channels, but at ‎times has also resorted to using extrajudicial means. On Jan. 28, hackers took ‎down InLightPress, a website that alleged that Abbas had ordered his security forces ‎to tap his political opponents’ phones. When InLightPress returned online, its ‎editors claimed the cyber attack “came from the Palestinian Authority with the approval ‎of President Abbas.” The site further alleged that Abbas had created a “crisis cell” headed ‎by Sabri Saidam, former head of the PA’s ministry of telecommunications and ‎information technology, to coordinate the attack.‎

‎Europe’s Jew Hatred Isn’t Just On The Fringe

In the wake of comments by Norwegian professor Johan Galtung, Walter Russell ‎Mead of the American Interest looks at the enduring anti-Semitism in Europe. ‎

Professor Galtung is 82 and perhaps these days like his soul mate Helen Thomas he ‎expresses himself with more freedom and less restraint than in former times. And perhaps ‎the mind is not everything that it once was. But his example demonstrates that the bacillus ‎of Jew-hatred, responsible for centuries of folly and murder before climaxing in the ‎Holocaust and the destruction of half Europe, has not been extirpated. Even among liberal ‎academics who specialize in the study of peace, the flame of hate sometimes burns.‎

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