“YES, SOMETIMES I GO into the room with my advisers and I start shouting. And then they say, ‘And then what?’” The question hangs in the perfectly cooled air in Sa’ad Hariri’s marble-floored sitting room, where Beirut appears as a sunlit abstraction visible at a distance through thick windows. Hariri’s father, the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, martyr of the Cedar Revolution, arches his black eyebrows from a giant poster near the sofa, looking out at his son with a sidelong, mischievous glance. “It hasn’t been a joyful trip,” Sa’ad Hariri is saying.
Mike wrote earlier today of the federal government's decision to drop its scurrilous espionage case against two former AIPAC employees, an abuse of prosecutorial power that ruined the careers of these men and damaged the reputation of America's premier pro-Israel organization. That's all well and good. The question I have is whether the legion of bloggers who recently attacked one of those men, Steve Rosen, over his role in l'affaire Chas Freeman, will acknowledge this news and apologize for their trumping of charges that have now been dropped.
Geneva, Switzerland Just because the Israeli government decided to boycott this year's Durban Review Conference doesn't mean they weren't well-represented in Geneva this week. I was surprised to meet Andy David, the deputy spokesman of Israel's foreign ministry, at a Sabbath dinner last weekend when I arrived in Geneva. "We're here, but we're not here," he whispered to me. He revealed to me that the ministry has quietly brought a group of Israeli students--mostly attractive, eloquent, and from diverse countries of origin--to plead Israel's case on the sidelines of this week's conference.
April 17: Should I Be Scared? Will Durban II spur the same anti-Israel, anti-Semitic vitriol that plagued Durban I? April 19: Libya On Trial Libya, an egregious human-rights violator, is the face of this year's conference--oh, the irony! April 20: In Search Of Anti-Semites Where's the sloganeering, chanting, and hate-filled rhetoric? April 20: Live-blogging Ahmedinejad The Iranian president speaks; the EU walks out. April 20: Following Ahmedinejad Journalists, big-name protesters--who attended A-jad's press conference? April 22: Spoiling For A Fight The conference was supposed to be filled wi
Several recent op-eds advocate aligning U.S. interrogation policy with those of Israel and the United Kingdom. Both countries have unequivocally outlawed the torture of detainees, despite their long experience combating terrorism. Exactly how does each country deal with the issue? Israel has not had an easy time of it. Following two public scandals that raised questions about the accountability of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, the Israeli government established an independent commission to set clear guidelines about coercive interrogation.
I love The New Republic, even when I disagree with its gifted writers. This is not the case of Alexander Stille's "The Prime Minister of WTF" about Silvio Berlusconi's performance at the last G20 meeting in Europe. I loved the funny TNR headline, but the article is ridiculous, something good for The National Enquirer, not for a serious publication.
To illustrate the point I made in my article yesterday -- about how the dynamics of Durban I have been reversed in Durban II, with pro-Israel activists vastly outnumbering and out-organizing anti-Israel activists -- here are two photos: The first photo (above) is of a pro-Israel rally held in the plaza right outside the UN complex, which included hundreds of people waving Israeli flags and holding placards with slogans like "End Double Standards!
As Israeli paper Maariv first reported on Sunday, TNR contributing editor Michael Oren is being considered as a top contender for Israel's ambassador to the US. Oren, who immigrated to Israel from the U.S. in 1979, is the author of most recently of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present; he is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University. I spoke with Oren last night, who denied early reports that he was actually offered the position, but confirmed that he is in the running.
"Unfriendly Fire: Why Did Israeli Troops Attack The USS Liberty?" July 23, 2001 "The Rescuer," Review of Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust, by David S.
Of three or four in a room there is always one who stands at the window. He must see the injustice among the thorns and the fires on the hill. So wrote Yehuda Amichai in 1958, and I have been feeling rather like the morbid observer who has wandered away from the warm company. The glass through which I gaze is far from the place that I lovingly and disquietedly see; I have to squint past the coercions of the media, and correct also for the distortions of solidarity. But in Israel now I see fires on the hill.