Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Sheldon’s Panderfest

Political pandering was in full blossom in Las Vegas last weekend as Republican presidential wannabes sought to impress GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his fellow big givers of their total devotion to Israel and just about anything else these wealthy contributors want.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon seems to have a penchant for insulting Israel's most important ally and defender.  His latest targets are the American president and secretary of state.  Making matters worse was the silence of his prime minister, who didn't do anything until Secretary of State John Kerry called.  And even then Yaalon's apology was so weak that, in an unprecedented move, the White House and State Department rejected it and responded with a stinging rebuke.

Confusing Partisan Politics And Diplomacy

In an unprecedented move, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer is going to Las Vegas this weekend to participate in a partisan political meeting and fundraiser at the Venetian luxury hotel owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's largest contributor.

Israel's World Cup Play

There's a remote chance Israel could have a soccer team on the field at this summer's World Cup competition in Brazil, but there's no question it will have a very important team overhead helping make sure the players and fans are safe and secure.

The protection will be provided by a fleet of Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft built by Israel's Elbit and equipped with advanced new intelligence gathering systems, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Jewish State Debate: Who's Right?

When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the White House last week he told President Obama that there was "no way" he would recognize Israel as the Jewish nation state, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says is essential to any peace agreement.

Is that the final word or just each leader's negotiating position?  Who is right in this debate?

The issues has been raised in prior negotiations but this is the first time Israel put it on the "must" list. 

Carter: Obama Snubs Me Because Of The Jews

Jimmy Carter is miffed that Barack Obama doesn't consult him on world crises.  The four men who served between the two – Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both Bushes – would ask for his advice and help on dealing with "unsavory characters."  But not Obama, and Carter says it is because of  his persistent criticism of Israel.

Carter feels his harsh criticism of Israel over many years has made him very unpopular in the Jewish community and Obama doesn't want to offend his Jewish supporters.

Putin Hits Congress Where It Hurts

Vladimir Putin made many Members of Congress very angry this week.

I'm not talking about his shades-of-Sudetenland takeover of the Crimea.  No, it was his retaliation Thursday against the stepped up sanctions imposed by President Obama.

Putin banned a handful of American officials from entering Russia, including six members of Congress:  Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Senators John McCain of Arizona, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Dan Coats of Indiana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. 

Outspoken Jew-Hater Fred Phelps Dead At 84

One of the most despicable hate mongers in this country, Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who died on Wednesday. He was 84.

Phelps and his followers, most of them family members, were particularly noted for spewing their anti-gay venom and messages of hate at the funerals of members of the armed services. But Jews were also a favorite target for their hate. 

Talking Tachlis With Abbas

The question being asked in Jerusalem is whether Mahmoud Abbas will hear the same unpleasant truths about making peace and not missing another opportunity to create a Palestinian state when he visits the White House on Monday that Barack Obama had for Bibi Netanyahu last week.

In Memoriam: Ambassador Sam Lewis

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, who died Tuesday at 84, was "the essential American at Camp David" negotiations between Israel and Egypt because "he was the only one who really understood the Israelis," said Graeme Bannerman, former staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  "Without his vociferous explanation of Israeli concerns and constraints, the American delegation may not have been able to develop a balanced position."

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