I was scheduling a lifecycle event with a congregant the other day and we ran into a snag having to do with his 27-year-old daughter's vacation schedule. "Oh, sorry rabbi," he said, "that weekend will be impossible. Amy will be trekking in Vietnam."
Isn't this called piling on? Well, sometimes piling on is justified.
Yesterday former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer heaped what looks to me like well deserved scorn on the Obama administration's attempt to “bribe” Israel back to the peace table, and predicted it will never work.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ended a six-hour meeting with little more than an agreement on the usefulness of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"The prime minister and the secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals," said a State Department statement at the conclusion of the meeting in New York.
What is it about Joe Biden and East Jerusalem housing announcements?
The Israelis did it again on the eve of the Vice-President's meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the results were as predictable as a Three Stooges script: the Israelis announced plans for more than 1300 new apartments (the bonk on Biden's head), the State Department reflexively emitted a shopworn protest (the poke in the eye), commentators commented (picture Curly woob-woob-woobing) and then everybody went about their business.
Since last week's story on the issue I've had a lot more conversations about the impact of tomorrow's election and likely GOP gains on the Obama administration's Middle East agenda. But talk doesn't necessarily lead to illumination.
Jewish hawks and doves are pretty much divided in parallel ways.
Jewish leaders are suddenly in a frenzy about the possibility the Palestinians may go to the United Nations and seek approval for a unilateral declaration of independence, and well they should be; such a move would put Israel in an impossible position without doing anything to really resolve the conflict.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.
The card hasn’t actually been played, but the mere threat that the Palestinians would push for international recognition of a state from the United Nations has been enough to push the Israeli government to reconsider options to return to the negotiating table.