Tag Archives: US State Department

Clinton Confirmation Hearings: Good or Bad?

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

First of all, hello! We at Moment and ITM hope you had a lovely holiday season. Here’s to a beautiful 2009! (Or at least one without World War 3 and total economic meltdown.)

In case you haven’t seen it, our January/February issue is out, with a pretty set of photographs chronicling Jewish/black relations in this country to celebrate the inauguration of our 44th president. Darn, what’s his name again?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The important news of the day involves yesterday’s confirmation hearings of Hillary Clinton for Secratary of State.  Clinton took the opportunity to prepare the country for a new kind of State Department that would have a renewed focus on diplomacy and direct negotiation with Iran and other previously untouchable rogue states; thereby signaling a break from the kind of shunning politics the Condoleeza Rice State Department often utilized.

We are all hanging on every thread of information that could clue us in to how the Obama administration will deal with Israel, especially with the Gaza crisis upon us. Clinton did not get into specifics, but she drew the line on inclusive diplomacy at Hamas. Here’s what she said, from the LA Times:

“The president-elect and I understand — and are deeply sympathetic to — Israel’s desire to defend itself under current conditions and to be free of shelling by Hamas rockets,” she said. “However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East, and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”

Clinton echoed the Bush administration stand in part by declaring: “You cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements. That is just for me an absolute. That is the United States government’s position; that is the president-elect’s position.” Continue reading

This Week’s Links

  • Yeesh. A radical Muslim leader threatened to have Paul McCartney killed on his upcoming trip to Israel. Come on. His solo albums aren’t that bad. [Ha’aretz]
  • Finally. We’ve defined a “Chassidishe tuna beigel.” [Jacob Da Jew]
  • Yael Larer is conflicted about his work translating recently deceased Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish’s poems into Hebrew. [Ha’aretz via Nextbook]
  • “There is a wine revolution going on” in Israel right now. Sounds good to me. I guess I no longer have to buy Israeli wines just to feel like I’m supporting the homeland. Now, who’s got an opener? [JTA]
  • Germany’s federal archive made a list of some 600,000 Jews who were harmed by Nazis. [JPost]
  • The hippest hebrew magazine, Heeb, has its super hip fall music preview out. Did I mention how hip it is? [Heeb HQ]
  • 900 rabbis were on a conference call with Barack Obama the other day. Here’s one recap. [Jewschool]
  • Hillel is 85 years old! [Hillel]
  • Oy: “the Pew Survey of Global Attitudes found that hostile attitudes to Jews were rising all across continental Europe from Russia and Poland in the east to Spain and France in the west.” [Guardian]
  • Former managing editor of Moment, Josh Rolnick, writes about why he loves John McCain. Sort of. [Neurotic Democrat]
  • Seriously, who’s in charge here? Fran Drescher, she of the voice that turns entire city blocks to dust, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of State to be the newest U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy. [Jewlicious]

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Photo by colros.

—Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

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