Douglas Bloomfield's blog

2011 Human Rights Report Tough On Haredi, Settlers, Hamas

The 2011 Country Reports On Human Rights Practices issued by the State Department on Thursday found many improvements in the Arab world and a "yearning for change," particularly in Tunisia where the Arab awakening began, and in Egypt, where the first-ever contested elections for president began this week, but also considerable deterioration, most notably in Syria with its brutal assault against its own people. 

Egyptians Head To The Polls

Egyptians, whose only choices in presidential elections have been voting for the dictator or staying home, now have a dozen presidential candidates to choose from in the country’s first-ever contested election, which begins this week, and interest is running high.

A new Gallup poll shows the Islamists, who scored decisive victories in the parliamentary elections six months ago, “appear to be losing steam.”

It's Time For The Vatican To Let In Some Light

The Vatican has branded as "criminal" the publication this weekend of confidential papal documents exposing the internal power struggles surrounding possible corruption and mismanagement involving international money laundering, the Associated Press reported.

Already dubbed "Vatileaks," the scandal had been brewing for months and was further inflamed with Saturday's publication of "His Holiness," a book by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, that included a trove of Pope Benedict XVI's correspondence.

Assad And His Foes Find Common Ground

It seems that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his enemies have finally found something they can agree on:  Both blame Israel for their problems and accuse it of aiding the other side.

Assad has long said the uprising against his brutal regime has been instigated by foreign forces, saboteurs and a long list of enemies topped by the Zionists.

Obstacles On Egypt's Road To Democracy

UPDATE -- In the first-ever presidential debate in an Arab country, two leading candidates vied to see who was more anti-Israel.  Abdul Moneim Aboul Futouh, an Islamist and candidate of the ultra-religious Salafi Call party, said, "Israel is an enemy" and the peace treaty with the Jewish state" should be revised" to remove "immediately" parts deemed "against Egypt's interest." He said, “Israel is an enemy, built on occupation.

Why Is Congress So Dysfunctional?

If you think the U.S. Senate is polarized now, just wait.

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the man who trounced six-term Sen. Richard Lugar  in Tuesday's Republican primary for not being conservative enough, has served notice that if he is elected in November things will get even worse.

Mourdock, who had strong backing from the Tea Party and other ultra-conservatives, told Fox News and others that he wants more partisanship, not less, and he believes bipartisanship means Democrats must accept GOP positions. 

Israel's Nuclear Triad Gets New Muscle

When INS Tanin, the new super-Dolphin submarine Israel took delivery of this week, finishes its sea trials and goes operational some time next year, the Israeli Navy will be able to station a nuclear-armed submarine in the Arabian Gulf full time.  That should worry Iran's rulers a lot more than all the talk coming out of the United States and Israel telling the ayatollahs to abandon their plans to build nuclear weapons.

It's The Policy, Not The PR

For more than 30 years I've been speaking to pro-Israel audiences and the most frequent question I've been asked consistently remains,  “Why don't Israeli leaders get better PR advice?” My answer is always the same:  “They do, but they think they know better.” I'm sure the Arabs' friends are asking the same question.

El Al...eee Oooops!

 

When Shimon Peres went to Canada this weekend he flew with Air Canada because El Al was too expensive.  The country's flag carrier wanted to charge the country's president $4,700 to bring on board an oxygen tank that is required whenever Israel's president or prime minister flies.

That's $4,700 more than Air Canada charged the 88-year-old peripatetic president.

Is Bipartisanship A Sin?

 

UPDATE -- Six-term Indiana Senator Richard Lugar was trounced in Tuesday's Republican primary by Tea Party-backed  state Treasurer Richard Murdock, who accused the incumbent of not being conservative enough.

Sen. Richard Lugar is in a fight for his political life. The latest numbers show him running as much as 10 points behind his firebrand Tea Party challenger in Tuesday's Indiana Republican primary, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

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