Israel

He's tall, trim, with shaved head, a confident demeanor, wearing a dark turtleneck, kind 'a funny and Yale Law School. Cool. Co-o-o-l. Or maybe even wow! He's Van Jones, and he resigned on Saturday as what the White House called its "czar" for the environment. There are actually many czars at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in this administration, and I wonder why the historical resonance of the word doesn't just give the Obama crowd the creeps. Unless, of course, they want to govern like czars ... and czarinas. To be sure, Mr.

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Everything about the Gadhafi family is news. Everything except, of course, the 40-year chronicle of what they have done to Libya and to its people. No one looks and no one cares. Moammar is an utterly deranged man with brutal instincts that he directs and redirects as his distemper decides. He holds no public office and is, therefore, under no one's supervision--and no writ or oath either. But he has been named "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution." Quite a revolution.

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“Well, it is blood libel isn't it? Of the most horrendous sort. It is also odd. Aftonbladet is a tabloid owned by the Social Democrats (I can't quite remember how, via a union perhaps, or trust). They have usually been quite pro-Israel. And traditionally in Sweden, while there was a huge degree of racialist nonsense in the interwar period, it was not directed towards the (800-odd) Jews. I know because I read the literature for an academic article I wrote.

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Back to Reality

President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are reportedly planning to meet next month on the sidelines of a UN conference in New York. An international Arab-Israeli peace summit might follow, which Israeli diplomats have already nicknamed “Obamapolis” after the most recent failed attempt to re-launch negotiations, the Annapolis Summit.

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I believe in "the two-state solution" even though I don't really believe that the Palestinians constitute much of a nation. I also think that this is the reason why the Arabs of Palestine, historically and now, have never been able to muster the inner resources to grasp the spiritual strength (as well as the materially transformational qualities) of Zionism that made it all but impossible to beat. Whatever Obama is trying to coax out of the Israelis will not alter the Palestinian realities. Still, the Jordanians aren't much of a nation either.

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King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud is the monarch of Saudi Arabia. He is 85, having succeeded his half-brother, the decrepit King Fahd, who succeeded his half-brother, Khalid, who succeeded... The founder of the "modern" Saudi state had 37 sons. Abdullah is the sixth of the male line to rule. No princesses, of course. It was King Abdullah before whom President Obama bowed during his April visit to Riyadh. It was also he from whom Obama got zilch in his quest for Arab assistance in easing the atmospherics--and really just the atmospherics--of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

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Recent reports have indicated that the way U.S. and Israel might be able to reach agreement on settlement freeze is by excluding East Jerusalem in such a freeze, among other things.

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Israelis are furious about an article printed in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet last week accusing the Israeli army of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.

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TNR contributing editor Yossi Klein Halevi argues that both the United States and Israel have taken significant steps towards calming tensions between

Unsettled

The Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem was a fitting venue for U.S. presidential hopeful and Republican leader Mike Huckabee this past Wednesday. The museum is a monument to the Gaza disengagement, which most Israelis see as a failure--and which looms large in their minds as they anticipate demands from Obama for further settlement evictions. Huckabee has come to the Holy Land this week to present Israelis with a completely different vision, spending much of his trip condemning Obama's pressure to halt settlement construction.

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