Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Gaza blockade angst

If you don't think the tide is turning against Israel's Gaza blockade, you're just not paying attention. There are numerous reports Israel is looking for a way out of what seems like a punitive and arbitrary blockade, but I suspect that won't do much to counteract the intense and mostly negative worldwide scrutiny that followed the botched Gaza flotilla raid and the lame Israeli PR efforts to justify it.

A modest Washington Post proposal for altering, not ending the Gaza blockade

Today a Washington Post editorial offers a surprisingly sensible solution to the problem of Israel's Gaza blockade, which is under mounting international condemnation and which the Obama administration calls 'unsustainable.”

Pollard, Madoff and prison life

Listening to Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard's fervent supporters talk, you'd think he was in a medieval dungeon, complete with anti-Semitic sadists as guards and a squalid physical environment as bad as anything during the Spanish Inquisition.

Helen Thomas, Israel and a graduation speech that won't happen

Update: JTA is reporting that Thomas has retired, effective immediately.

Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, a prosperous Washington suburb, had a graduation speaker all lined up for the June 14 event. But then the proposed speaker was caught on camera saying Israels should “get the hell out of Palestine” and maybe just go back where they came from – presumably places like Germany and Poland.

That was Helen Thomas, the Hearst Newspapers columnist and a member of the White House press corps for 60 years.  Her comments produced the predictable reaction, with some Jewish groups calling for Hearst to give her the ax because of her  blatant bias against the Jewish state and some Jewish Republicans trying to lay the controversy in the lap of the Obama administration.

The Gaza blockade: what do you do when U.S. and Israel interests aren't in sync?

Update: the New York Times asks  whether talk about Israel as a strategic liability instead of asset is gaining traction in this "Week in Review" article.  It's the New York Times, so look for some strong reactions from pro-Israel leaders in the next few days - and some qu

The BP oil spill and the religion of big oil

A nice column today by the Washington Post's irrepressible Dana Milbank, who takes some pokes at the oil state politicians – mostly Republicans – who claim the BP oil spill was an “act of God,” so there's no point in punishing BP or poking the government's nose into their busi

Washington Post: is Israel's blockade causing a Gaza humanitarian crisis?

This week's Gaza flotilla crisis has – no surprise here – renewed debate over Israel' blockade of Gaza, which, depending on which Israeli official is talking, is meant to choke off arms to Hamas, disillusion Gazans with the terror group's iron rule or win the release of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier held by Hamas.

But this is the Middle East, so getting facts through the morass of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda isn't easy.

Jewish Democrats attack Jane Harman primary opponent. Is there a trend here?

You don't hear many congressional candidates campaigning on a platform that includes a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that's what's happening in California – and the National Jewish Democratic Council isn't very happy with the Democratic hopeful who's pitching that line.

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