By Jeremy Gillick
Bombing Gaza might not force Hamas–the Palestinian version of the Muslim Brotherhood that rules it–to moderate its hatred of Israel or its hostility towards Jews, but talking to it won’t either. At least, that’s the dismal picture painted by Jeffrey Goldberg–based on discussions he had with several former Hamas leaders–in his fascinating op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times.
“Hamas is not a monolith,” he explains, “and opinions inside the group differ about many things, including engagement with the Shiites of Hezbollah and Iran.” That said, Goldberg argues, there is a consensus within the group that it should aspire to the ideals and successes of its northern counterpart, Hezbollah. “For Hamas,” Goldberg writes, “Hezbollah is not only a source of weapons and instruction, it is a mentor and role model.”
If Hamas is not as malleable as some on the dovish left like to believe (In his new book, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land, Jimmy Carter writes that “there is a real prospect of Hamas participating constructively in future peace talks.”) then is it worth talking to at all? Or was Hillary Clinton right? Continue reading
Over at their website, The Economist is conducting a rather interesting experiment. For the US presidential election, they’ve mapped out an electoral college for the entire world. As they write in the explication:
The Economist has redrawn the electoral map to give all 195 of the world’s countries (including the United States) a say in the election’s outcome. As in America, each country has been allocated a minimum of three electoral-college votes with extra votes allocated in proportion to population size. With over 6.5 billion people enfranchised, the result is a much larger electoral college of 9,875 votes.
Obviously, their poll doesn’t reflect the entire world’s actual preference. But it’s nonetheless a strong enough statement in recognition of globalization that Thomas Friedman probably wishes he thought of it. Continue reading
Ahmadinejad tries to make out with Jewish man
In an effort to improve his standing among Jews, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried yesterday to make out with a member of the ultra-Orthodox sect Neturei Karta.
Ahmadinejad has been in the dumps among pro-Semites since giving a speech at the UN earlier this week condemned by Barack Obama as anti-Semitic (see below for the full text).
On Wednesday, though, Ahmadinejad met with a group of Neturei Karta rabbis who presented him with a $700 silver trophy and told him they loved him. Continue reading
Watch Joe Biden deliver last night’s opening speech at the National Jewish Democratic Council’s Washington Conference.
Jewish politicians known for their support of Israel lashed out against the Republican Jewish Committee this morning, accusing it of dividing America’s Jewish community for the sake of politics.
During a panel discussion titled “Israel: Bipartisan Consensus or Partisan Wedge Issue” at a conference hosted by the National Jewish Democratic Council in Washington DC, House Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), and former Representative Mel Levine (D-CA) criticized the RJC’s anti-Obama campaign as “BS,” emphasizing that historically Democrats have been the most staunchly and consistently pro-Israel party.
“You cannot denigrate and destroy our community in the interest of getting someone elected and that’s exactly what they [the RJC] are doing Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged AIPAC, Biden, Brad Sherman, Elections, Israel, jewish, Mel Levine, NJDC, obama, RJC, Shelley Berkley
Placing his hand on the walls of the Kotel during his short visit to Jerusalem, Sen. Barack Obama shared his hopeful spirits with the people of Israel. In Sderot, the Amar family, the same host family to welcome Sen. John McCain back in March, was impressed by Obama’s optimism and wants to see him as the next president because of a certain promise. “[He] said if he did become president, I would be among his first guests in the White House,” Pinhas Amar said, adding: “Obama has this personal charm, and it looks like it’s going to get him elected.”
Obama reciprocated the warm reception and the gracious remarks of the Moroccan Jewish family, calling them an “example of the resilience of the people of Sderot and the people of Israel.”
The resilience he referred to is unquestionable. Continue reading
Posted in Misc, Politics
Tagged Ayalim Student Villages, Eli Moyal, Israel Diary, McCain, Negev, obama, Qassam rockets, Sderot, the Amar family, Zionist
One of my favorite Soviet jokes goes like this: An old Jew is taking a walk in a Moscow park when he sees a young black guy sitting on a bench reading a Yiddish newspaper. “What, it is not enough for you that you are black?” asks the Jew, sighing.
In the land of the free, however, multiple minority identities are celebrated, if not always understood, as today’s Christian Science Monitor article on African-Americans’ embrace of Judaism points out: Continue reading
More controversy regarding Barack Obama and his policies on Jewish-related issues has bubbled up and, perhaps, simmered down in the past few days.
According to the JTA, the Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement yesterday (which has since been removed from their website) condemning what they saw as Sen. Chuck Hagel’s accompanying Obama on his upcoming trip to the Middle East. The RJC demanded Obama drop Hagel from the trip. Continue reading
Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a front-page article on Barack Obama’s inner circles of advisors and friends.
Although the article focused on the Chicago-based commonality in Obama’s circles, we couldn’t help but notice another fascinating attribute they all had in common: The innermost circle that the Post assembled (which can easily be viewed in the accompanying graphic) is comprised of seven people, all of whom are minorities.
Four of the seven—John W. Rogers Jr., Valerie B. Jarrett, Eric Whitaker and Martin Nesbitt—are African American. The other three—David Axelrod, James Crown and Penny S. Pritzker—are Jewish. Continue reading