With President Barack Obama announcing — to nobody’s surprise — his intention to seek a second term, and Republicans fighting for the chance to oppose him, this might be a good time to lay out our early views on the 2012 election.
No, we’re not making endorsements. Consider this, instead, a plea for a sober and respectful debate on the candidates and their positions on a wide range of issues, starting with the always explosive issue of U.S. Middle East policy.
Pardon my bloggerly desuetude, but last week I was out on vacation. Now I'm back, and to make up for the lost time in blog-o-land, I'm posting a few longer essays you might have missed. (I did, at least.)
With Israeli-Palestinian negotiations back in the deep freeze, the past few days have seen a flurry of speculation about possible movement on the Israel-Syrian diplomatic front. Last month President Barack Obama appointed the first ambassador to Damascus since 2005. This week Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Presidents Conference, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, prompting speculation he was there at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
If you needed any more evidence that the Jewish left is really advocating surrender to the Palestinians instead of peace with the Palestinians, check out the reaction of the Jewish left to the Palestinian claim that Rachel's Tomb and the Kotel (Western Wall) are really mosques.
In Democratic circles, it is scandalous to join a club that excludes women, say, or blacks or gays. The New York Times, a few years ago, devoted dozens of articles, many on the front page, to the horror of the Master's Tournament being held in a golf club for men only, in Augusta, Georgia.
The Jewish Week ran a story last week by a J Street college girl, "Exclude Me At Your Own Peril" (Oct. 26) in which the Columbia student complained that she was made to feel like "a stranger" in her synagogue because -- at a political event, not prayer services -- representatives of the left-wing J Street were met by "hisses" and boos.