Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, unlike his predecessor Yasser Arafat, meant it when he renounced terrorism and publicly pursued negotiations as the path to peace with Israel, but sometimes his rhetoric makes you wonder.
Watching Ken Burns' excellent PBS series about the Roosevelts pointed out how some things haven't changed over the past 80 years.
In the installment about the 1930s the Republicans were opposed to setting a federal minimum wage and maximum working hours while protecting the interests and influence of the wealthy at the expense of the workers. The party is still anti-union and anti-immigrant.
They also opposed Social Security and still do but now they call it "privatization" of the program.
President Barack Obama told the United Nations and the world today what Israel and the rest of us have known and have been saying all along: The Arab-Israeli conflict is not the cause of instability in the Middle East. Rather it has been a convenient excuse for Arab leaders to fail to give their own people freedom and respect their basic human rights.
There is a greater likelihood that the United Nations will vote to blame Israel for global warming than it would to put Yom Kippur on the official holiday calendar of UN Headquarters as called for in an op ed in Wednesday's New York Times.
Whether Republicans elect Jews is not as important as why we Jews don’t vote Republican. The GOP agenda, for the overwhelming majority, is not ours.
When it comes to the Jews, Republicans are single-issue campaigners – all Israel all the time – while Jews are multi-issue voters and Israel is not the top issue for most.
What’s more, the rest of the Republican agenda, dominated by far right social and religious conservatives and the Tea Parties, turns off the 70-80 percent of Jewish voters who consistently vote Democratic.
In case you didn’t notice, the Hamas spokesman announced acceptance of the ceasefire at a news conference in the Al Shifa Hospital. Why is that important? Because many journalists covering the war in Gaza as well as the Israeli Defense Forces believe the Hamas leadership hid out during the fighting in bunkers beneath the hospital. In other words, the doctors, staff, patients and visitors were their unwitting human shields.
A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is not the only truce needed to restore peace for the Jewish state. There are at least two others.
The Israeli cabinet looks like a circular firing squad as ministers take pot shots at one another and particularly at the Prime Minister, whose job each covets. It's gotten so bad that Bibi Netanyahu is reluctant to hold a Likud leadership vote because he could get dumped by his party's settler-nationalist wing.
I'll bet you didn't know that ISIS was a Zionist conspiracy created to discredit Islam. In fact, I'll bet even ISIS didn't know it.
But Yasmina Halfi, who worked in the Dutch government's Cyper Security Center, says that's just what happened. On Wednesday she posted on Twitter, "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It's part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam's name."