Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his father Benzion Netanyahu, who died April 30, 2012. (Photo: GPO)
Benzion Netanyahu, historian, Israeli Prime Minister’s father, dies at 102
Alan Abbey of the JTA rounds up the eulogies to Benzion Netanyahu, the historian and Zionist activist who, along with two of his sons, has formed an integral part of Israel’s history.
Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw, Poland, to writer and Zionist activist Nathan Mileikowsky. The family moved to pre-State Palestine in 1920, and lived in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and Tzfat before moving to Jerusalem. He studied at David Yellin teachers’ seminary and then Hebrew University. He became active in Revisionist Zionist activities while at Hebrew U.and wrote and edited their publications. He worked for Jabotinsky in New York and later received a Ph.D. at Dropsie College in Philadelphia. The family returned to Israel in 1949 after the State was established.
Is the Arab Spring over?
While the wave of revolutions that swept across the region seems to have failed in its aims, the Arab Spring has still been a positive force for change, writes Abdel-Moneim Said in Al-Ahram.
Many things have changed and irreversibly so, even if there remain certain causes and problems that do not fade away with the onset of a spring or autumn, or even with the passage of all the seasons of the year, if not many years. For one, we can no longer accept the Arab systems of government as they currently exist. Regardless of whether the ruling elites themselves realise this and are in a quandary as to how to change them and to what degree, these were the regimes that bred the passion for more radical change that now pervades large segments of Arab societies. It is impossible to put that genie back into its bottle.
Understanding Iran’s diplomatic strategy
Iran is not seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, writes Gareth Porter in Al Jazeera, but rather aiming to strengthen its position in negotiations with the US.
For Obama’s advisers, assuming Iran was simply “playing for time” justifies a heavy reliance on “coercive diplomacy”, which combines a boycott of the country’s crude oil exports and hints that an Iranian failure to come to agreement would open the way for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. But that conventional wisdom, which the Obama administration inherited from the Bush administration, ignores the accumulated evidence that Iran’s diplomacy strategy is to accumulate centrifuges, not in order to support a weapons programme, but rather to negotiate a larger bargain with the United States.
Iran and Obama’s Syria Hesitation
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, John Bolton argues that Obama’s reluctance to intervene in Syria stems from his desire to dodge a direct confrontation with Iran.
Washington needs to acknowledge that effectively challenging Assad means moving beyond sanctions and diplomacy, and toward regime change in Tehran. Mr. Obama seems unable or unwilling to understand that Iran is an enemy of the U.S. and that its nuclear and regional hegemonic ambitions must be thwarted, or the ayatollahs overturned. Such an uncertain leader cannot handle a critical confrontation effectively. Unfortunately, we may have to wait for a more resolute president rather than proceed and fail in Syria with a weak one.
What is Good for the Jews?
The election of Ken Livingstone as London mayor and Francois the loss of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president could be bad news for the Jewish communities and good news for anti-Semites, writes Ronn Torossian in Algemeiner.
The second Jewish generation following the Holocaust often tied their voting agenda to the answer of one simple question: “Is it good for the Jews?” While in the increasingly globalized, complex, multi-cultural world we live in today, for many Jewish communities around the world, this is no longer necessarily the first question that is asked, the next few weeks will see two high-profile European elections whose outcomes have the potential to significantly impact Jewish and Israeli sensitivities.
London Olympic website reinstates Jerusalem as capital of Israel
The official website for the London Olympics has had to correct a few factual errors when it comes to the geography of the Middle East, writes Aaron Kalman for the Times of Israel.
The official website of the London Olympics restored Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel Monday morning, a day after publishing country profiles naming Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and leaving Israel with no seat of power.