President Barack Obama addressing the AIPAC conference, March 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Six Big Lies about How Jerusalem Runs Washington
Writing in Foreign Policy, Aaron David Miller shoots down six common accusations leveled in the US when it comes to the topic of Israel.
Election years seem to bring out the worst—not only in politicians, but in advocates, analysts, and intellectuals too. Nowhere are the leaps and lapses of logic and rationality greater than in the discussion of Israel, the Jews, domestic U.S. politics, and the Middle East. Once again, we’re hearing that a U.S. president is being dragged to war with Iran by a trigger-happy Israeli prime minister and his loyal acolytes in America.
Emotion and Meaning
Adam Garfinkle of the American Interest looks at the Jewish response to horrors such as the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
The optic of Jewish history in our times has been distorted by the horrors of the 20th century. Nearly two millennia of exile have been bad, yes, in many ways, in many places and at many times, but it has not been two thousand years of one unrelieved holocaust after another. To allow events like that of this past Monday to distort our understanding and motivation for what keeps us faithful to our tradition is to harm that tradition’s future.
Executive Summary: Geopolitical Section
Avi Gil of the Jewish People Policy Institute outlines four major challenges facing Israel and the Jewish world.
Without drawing any conclusions regarding the final resolution of the Arab revolts, it seems safe to assume that future rulers of Arab countries will have to be much more attuned to popular sentiment. To what extent will popular opinion, which is saturated with hatred of Israel and gives priority to the Palestinian issue, be reflected in the respective Arab governments’ foreign policies and in their stances on Israel in particular? (For instance, will Israel’s ability to respond to future violent provocations by Hamas be limited by concerns that Egypt could be dragged back into the conflict?) Are Israel and the Jewish People capable of mitigating the animosity of the Arab Street?
Time to Stop Incitement to Murder - Again
The Palestinian leadership must curb its tendency to laud terrorists if the peace process is to ever advance, writes David Pollock for the Washington Institute.
In the year since the Itamar massacre, particularly in the past few months, the PA’s record about glorifying violence against civilians has generally taken a turn for the worse. The PA youth magazine Zayzafuna, for instance, recently published a girl’s dreamy vision of Hitler—ironically prompting UNESCO to withdraw funding for this publication, even as Palestine was admitted to that organization as a full member. The official mufti of Jerusalem delivered a televised sermon invoking the hadith (quotation attributed to Muhammad) about “the Muslims killing all the Jews” to bring on Judgment Day—in sharp contrast to earlier PA efforts to scrub Hamas-style rhetoric from mosques under its jurisdiction. And Abbas himself delivered a highly inflammatory address to a conference on Jerusalem held in Doha last month that falsely accused Israel of planning to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque. In each case, the PA response to criticism was not apology or even acknowledgment, but denial or deflection, by pointing to supposed Israeli provocations or transgressions.