Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu received a standing ovation at the recent AIPAC conference when he declared, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It’s our capital.” Pronouncements about Jerusalem as the united, eternal capital of Israel have long served as guaranteed applause lines in virtually every Jewish audience. Israel and world Jewry devote a great deal of attention to the city’s current and future political status.
One side effect of the current showdown between Washington and Jerusalem is that it has provided an opportunity for American diplomats and Mideast experts to step back and reassess the situation, and the results have been fascinating. Several key figures long involved in pushing the Oslo/land-for-peace equation are now saying quite bluntly that it doesn’t make sense, at least for now, and that the Obama administration should back off.
I've always regarded Aaron David Miller as one of the smartest, most thoughtful U.S. peace processors. Since he left the State Department a few years back, he's been one of my favorite analysts for the simple reason that his take on the Middle East doesn't flow from hardened ideology but from long experience and a willingness to constantly reevaluate old assumptions.
Call most Middle East analysts about the crisis du jour, and you know in advance what they're going to say; calling Miller often produces interesting journalistic surprises.
Have you heard that President Obama, in his private meeting at the White House on Tuesday, urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to call on Jews around the world to refrain from singing or reciting “Next Year in Jerusalem” at their seders next week?
Apparently the administration views such prayers as “unhelpful” to the peace process, and even “provocative,” given the political sensitivities of the moment.
East Jerusalem housing announcement seen marring Biden visit amid ‘proximity’ talk launch.
The Israeli approval Tuesday of another 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem — coming just hours after Vice President Joe Biden announced in Jerusalem the launching of new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — stunned the White House but should not have been surprising, according to Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen.
Jerusalem — Lynda Prince, a Native American from British Columbia, Canada, received more than a few curious stares last week when she explored the Israeli capital in Indian authentic garb.
Prince, who was in Israel to attend an annual evangelical Christian conference called the Feast of Tabernacles, wore a 30-pound deer-skin wedding dress and brightly colored feathered headdress during much of her visit, despite the sizzling autumn heat.
A PR expert on the Goldstone report, Haiti and what Israel should learn about controlling its message.
Special To The Jewish Week
In October of 1982, seven people in Chicago died under what at first seemed mysterious circumstances but quickly became linked to cyanide-laced Tylenol that had been placed on drugstore shelves. At the time Tylenol had a whopping 37 percent share of the painkiller market.
I mention it now, in the context of public relations for Israel, because the Tylenol Crisis, as it is called in the industry, is universally considered a benchmark case to study in terms of response to the kind of negative public relations that could have forced the company to fold.
Some years are more memorable than others. I can still recall the end of 1987, the year I moved to Israel and, six weeks later, the start of the first Palestinian intifada. I was living in Abu Tor, a Jerusalem neighborhood split right down the middle, with Jews on one side and Arabs on the other. I could smell the burning tires and tear gas from my apartment.
Now that both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have issued significant pronouncements on the prospects for (and path to) Middle East peace, American Jews are scrambling to figure out how to make sense of it all. We are, quite obviously, no longer dealing with an American president who will write Israel a “blank check” as regards its policies, a la George W. Bush. But many of the people I’ve spoken are struggling to figure out whether or not, in the words of the classic joke, this is good or bad for the Jews.