Douglas Bloomfield's blog

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."

Winds Of War Or Just Hot Air?

The Russian seizure of the Crimea may be one of the most serious international crises in years and should stimulate serious foreign policy debate in Washington.

Instead, there's just more of same old political posturing and partisan bickering as both the President and his critics are fumbling around looking clueless.

Jews: Canaries In Russia's Coalmine

"Treatment of Jews and the status of Jews in Russia has often been a barometer for judging Russian rulers," Princeton politics professor Stephen Cohen said Sunday, and " [Vladimir] Putin has been better for Jews in Israel than any Russian leader in history. If you want evidence of that, just ask Israel."

Speaking on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, Cohen said "of all the autocrats who have ruled Russia over the last 400 years, Putin is the least authoritarian," with the possible exception of Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev.

AIPAC's Dog And Pony Show

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference going on at the Washington Convention Center is the best dog and pony show in town, replete with a variety of interesting breakout groups, intelligent speakers, training sessions for activists, hasbarah, hands-on lobbying for the rank and file and the star power of meeting a glad-handing herd of pandering politicians.

Is Obama Upping Role In Peace Talks?

In a sign that Barack Obama may be stepping up his personal involvement in the peace talks, the White House announced Thursday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been invited to meet with the President on March 17, two weeks following Monday's scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The White House denies that the President will be pressing the two leaders to embrace a framework for peace being prepared by Secretary of State John Kerry.  Obama just wants to “take stock” of the negotiations, officials said.

Ted Nugent, Keeping Minorities Out Of The GOP

If you’re a conservative politician courting the votes of bigots and racists, especially in Texas, Ted Nugent is your go-to guy.

Chris Christie, Piano Player

Political scandals are like the motto on the box of Morton Salt: when it rains it pours. 

Once the initial story breaks, it is often only the beginning, and more seem to follow.  There's a hemorrhaging of revelations that is hard to stanch, as Chris Christie is learning. 

Senator For Sale

While in the Senate, Missouri Republican Kit Bond was an outspoken opponent of Obamacare and a reliable vote against health care reform and just about everything else supported by the Obama administration.  But once out of Congress he’s a changed man.  The epiphany wasn’t spiritual; it was monetary. 

Is Jordan Palestine?

Jordanians are becoming a minority in their own country, outnumbered by refugees from the conflicts around them.  The latest are 600,000+ Syrians who have fled the war in their country that has become a humanitarian disaster, and 200,000 Iraqis who have seen renewed fighting erupt in their country as bombings are a daily occurrence in Baghdad and other cities. 

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