Ha'aretz

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

Links: the U.S.-Israel crisis intensifies

The U.S.- Israel diplomatic firestorm continues to rage, and a lot of questions remain unanswered: exactly what did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu know about the plan to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, announced with such devastating impact when Vice President Joe Biden headed to Israel on a make-nice mission, and when did he know it? What is the Obama administration trying to do with its tough new demands on Israel and harsh rhetoric?  Where does all this lead?

Here are some interesting and very different takes on the  crisis.

Why are pro-Israel groups so quiet about U.S. arms sales to Arab countries?

Have pro-Israel groups in Washington essentially thrown in the towel when it comes to big U.S. arms sales to Arab countries?  It depends on who you ask. The issue has relevance this week because of a Ha'aretz story  about growing concern in Israeli military circles about big new U.S. sales to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates  of weapons like bunker-busting bombs and anti-ship missiles.  Concern, maybe. But once again pro-Israel groups in Washington, renowned for their political muscle, aren't doing much. At least publicly.

Hannah Rosenthal starts with a stumble

I've always admired Hannah Rosenthal. When she was executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), she brought a new energy and edginess to a group that was having a hard time finding its identity in a changing Jewish world and a strong, consistent dedication to  progressive Jewish politics – which is where a majority of Jews remain, despite persistent claims to the contrary.

So I'm even more mystified than most by her recent gaffe.

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