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Tom Friedman, the Obama administration and the "let them stew in their own juices" agrement

I remember Tom Friedman from the Madrid peace talks in Washington in the early 1990s.  An up-and-coming Israeli politician named Benjamin Netanyahu was the briefer at the Israeli delegation's daily press conferences at the Madison Hotel.  Dozens of reports fought to get Bibi's attention every afternoon, usually unsuccessfully,  but Tom would stand in the back, seemly above the melee; the merest nod from the New York Times diplomatic correspondent would cause Netanyahu to stop what he was saying and give him the next question.

Philippe Karsenty speech October 22, 2009

Rena Rackovsky Bannett has worn many hats in her 53 years, both the literal ones she dons as an observant married woman, and also the figurative ones — artist, scientist, educator, grandmother. In another four years, Bannett may gain another identity, that of Orthodox rabbi.

Netanyahu on his way to Washington, Obama cancels Jewish Federations speech

Sunday, November 8th, 2009 After all the pre-convention hoopla, the Jewish Federations of North America (“No acronyms, please,” said a press spokesman for the group formerly known as UJC), President Barack Obama won’t be addressing the group on Tuesday, after all. Instead, Obama will be traveling to the memorial service for the Fort Hood army base massacre victims, and sending White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel to the Jewish philanthropy’s meeting in his place.

Robertson at Birthright: is there a double standard for the Christian right, left?

Earlier this week  Sharon Udasin And Stewart Ain  reported that Birthright-NEXT, the group focused on reinforcing Jewish and pro-Israel identity among young American Jews, invited  Gordon Robertson – son of the controversial Christian broadcasting magnate Pat Robertson – as keynoter for a Birthright Israel alumni event. (read the story here)

Robertson at Birthright: is there a double standard for the Christian right, left?

Friday, November 6th, 2009 Earlier this week  Sharon Udasin And Stewart Ain  reported that Birthright-NEXT, the group focused on reinforcing Jewish and pro-Israel identity among young American Jews, invited  Gordon Robertson – son of the controversial Christian broadcasting magnate Pat Robertson – as keynoter for a Birthright Israel alumni event.  (Read their story here)

Shuls Of Straw: Yitz, Avi & The Big Bad Wolf

Friday, November 6th, 2009 It’s time to stop crediting “the Rav” (Soloveitchik) for having been the intellectual centerpiece of Modern Orthodoxy. He’s not. Never was. His “modern” Orthodoxy wasn’t all that modern, even in his prime. He was about as modern as your zaidy’s Eisenhower-era Dodge, equipped with only AM radio.

More bad news for Obama: Mahmoud Abbas bails

How much more bad news can the Obama administration Middle east peace team take?

Today's announcement by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas withdrawing as a candidate in next year's Palestinian presidential election leaves the administration without a Palestinian partner for the direct negotiations  with Israel that seem to be slipping further and further off into diplomatic never-neverland.

Washington Post on the Obama administration's Israeli-Palestinian dilemma

Following up on yesterday's post about the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process: the Washington Post has an editorial that neatly summarizes the dilemma the Obama administration faces.

The Best Victories Money Can Buy

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

“Congratulations to the Yankees on a well-purchased victory,” writes Dan Gerstein, a political consultant, on his Facebook status.

 

Within 24 hours this week, the highest spending politician in the world and the top-spending sports franchise both celebrated victories. Yet neither can claim a blow-out. Mike Bloomberg walked away with a 5 percent margin over an opponent who sent a tenth as much, losing some 200,000 of his 2005 supporters.

 

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