Golda Meir

The Nowhere Bomb
August 18, 2010

Should Jerusalem bring its bomb out of the basement? Israel, for at least the moment, is the sole possessor of atomic weapons in the Middle East, with an arsenal that now includes approximately 200 warheads. But it is also the only nuclear-armed nation to hide its cache behind a façade of official silence–neither confirming nor denying its existence. Iran’s mounting nuclear capability arguably demands a reconsideration of this stance. Explicitly announcing its nuclear status would have its advantages. It would upgrade Israel’s deterrent.

Better A Bad Press Than A Good Epitaph
June 13, 2010

Actually, the hysteria about the Israeli encounter with the Turkish goons has abated. And it has probably come to the attention of some reasonable people that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working the seas not exactly for the interests of the Turks but for the Islamic crusade being led by the Iranian clerisy and secret police. I know little about Erdogan but something more about Turkey. The last century of its history is being betrayed in an avalanche of thuggish holiness. Its economy is not doing as bad as that of Greece. But just wait. Tourism is going down, down, down ...

Jews Still Democratic
April 16, 2010

Republican pollster John McLaughlin has a new poll showing that only 42% of American Jews want to re-elect President Obama. This has a lot of Jewish Republicans excited. See Jennifer Rubin ("Jews Wake Up?") and Tevi Troy ("Jewish Awakening?") for some excited reaction. I don't mean to burst their bubble, but this poll is near worthless. It asks, "Would you vote to re-elect Barack Obama as President or would you consider voting for someone else?" There are two problems with the wording.

The Party Line
April 07, 2010

Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East from the Cold War to the Present By Yevgeny Primakov Translated by Paul Gould (Basic Books, 418 pp., $29.95) Over the decades, many people in the West, and certainly most Israelis, came to view the Soviet Union and then Russia as a force for ill, if not evil, in the Middle East, and perhaps farther afield as well.

Go Ahead and Admit It. Say You're "Pro-Palestinian." Just See Where It Gets You.
October 27, 2009

J Street is having an identity crisis right in front of the cameras. For a year and a half it's been trumpeting that it's both "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace." Actually, that's how I would characterize myself. I am for a two-state solution and always have been. I was for a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state" ever since I was a kid. That's ultimately what nearly every Israeli prime minister has been for, too. And that's what Israel has been trying in different ways and in different circumstances to negotiate.

The Olmert Omerta
January 31, 2008

The good news about Ehud Olmert is that he is not a willful murderer of Israeli soldiers.

Jerusalem Dispatch
October 16, 2006

"Olmert, we forgive you," read an unsigned pre-Yom Kippur ad, placed in the newspaper Maariv by the amorphous movement to oust Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We forgive you for the first defeat in war since the founding of the state of Israel. We forgive you for the penetration of corruption into government. We forgive you for the confused leadership. We forgive you because the job is simply too big for you." Israelis have seldom been kind to their prime ministers, even the most beloved.

Stanley Kauffmann on Films: Spielberg's List
January 23, 2006

By now the filmgoing world knows that Steven Spielberg has three selves. First is the self most frequently summoned, the maker of superlative entertainments (Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). His second self applies his talent seriously to serious subjects (Schindler's List, Amistad). The third self produces hybrids, films that use both of the other two selves (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saving Private Ryan). Spielberg's new film, Munich, was made by the third self.

The Revisionist in Power
April 21, 1978

Recently a number of commentators, friendly and otherwise, have been urging American Jews to express their dissatisfaction with the policies of the Begin government. Ideological and political debate flourishes in democratic Israel, so why is the “Jewish establishment” in the United States less vocal, in fact supinely acquiescent? I. F. Stone, though hardly lacking forums for expressing his views, disingenuously mourns the failure of American rabbis to invite him to expound his familiar pro-Arab stance to their congregations.

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