World

Washington Diarist
August 26, 2009

On August 4, Haaretz reported that Benjamin Netanyahu called Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod self-hating Jews. A spokesman for the prime minister later denied this, but I have heard from Israeli friends that this conspiratorial explanation is quite popular in the prime minister’s office. I have no reason to believe otherwise. The accusation of ethnic infidelity is an old feature of the political culture of the Likud. The defenders of Greater Israel have values, but the critics of Greater Israel have motives.

OK, It's a Little Coarse. But the Question Is Worth Asking.
August 25, 2009

Can anyone, and Eric Holder in particular, "find 12 [random] Americans who would vote to convict an American citizen for threatening the life of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?" I doubt it. Not even on the Upper West Side. (The question has been posed by Michael Goldfarb on the Weekly Standard web site.) But not even that fact can dispose of the problem. Which suggests that Attorney General Holder, by foraging into what is by contemporary standards ancient history, has put himself outside the matrix of democratic standards.

An Unprecedented Settlement Freeze?
August 25, 2009

That's what Aaron David Miller tells Politico-bound Laura Rozen will come from the peace-process announcement expected from the Obama administration next month. But Miller remains a deep pessimist about the possibility of an actual peace deal.

Aliyah and Interest Rates
August 25, 2009

Aliyah is the at once mystical and practical "going up" to Zion. Stanley Fischer is one of the very many men and women who have made that journey and are, thus, olim. It was Bibi Netanyahu who, as minister of finance in Ariel Sharon's government, summoned him to the service of the Jewish state and turned around his whole life.

Madoff Has Cancer, Too. Why Not Release Him or At Least Send Him Home on House Arrest?
August 24, 2009

The New York Post and Reuters both report not exactly that Bernie Madoff has cancer. But that he's told his fellow inmates that he has cancer, pancreatic cancer, at that. Which means that, if the tale is true, he'll be a goner soon, very soon. Unless there's a medical miracle, as sometimes there is even in such terrible afflictions of the pancreas. Now, a federal judge has sentenced Madoff to 150 years in federal prison, a sentence--as is obvious--he cannot possibly serve. So the master Ponzi schemer is now in the hands of the president as top man in the federal penal system.

A Sabotage of Justice: Our Inert Response to Libya's Terrorist Pep Rally
August 24, 2009

This was a matter of American interest. More than that: it was actually an American matter. And the contempt that Great Britain, particularly Scotland, and Libya have shown the United States in it is a fact with which we must conjure, lest this drama in four parts otherwise define, delimit and demean our very position in world affairs. This is a choice that neither Russia nor China ever seem to face. That is, they never stand down (or seem even to contemplate standing down) from what they deem to be core.

A Sabotage of Justice
August 24, 2009

This was a matter of American interest. More than that: it was actually an American matter. And the contempt that Great Britain, particularly Scotland, and Libya have shown the United States in it is a fact with which we must conjure, lest this drama in four parts otherwise define, delimit and demean our very position in world affairs. This is a choice that neither Russia nor China ever seem to face. That is, they never stand down (or seem even to contemplate standing down) from what they deem to be core.

Unsettled
August 24, 2009

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.

Moderate, Shmoderate ... What Does Palestinian Moderation Really Mean?
August 22, 2009

David Feith won his journalistic battle stripes at Columbia University, where the administration of Lee Bollinger has so distorted the notion of academic freedom that it has become a shield for fantasy and fakery. But this shield is not actually defensive. It is an aggressive weapon wielded under pretense of being under attack.   Anyway, from today's international edition of the Wall Street Journal, here's a piece by David about the strange contours and character of the "moderate" wing of Palestinianism. 

This Is Not Mercy. It Is Pandering.
August 20, 2009

The Associated Press reported yesterday that thousands of youths welcomed the return to Libya of the only man convicted for participation in the 1988 bombing of Pan American Flight 103. 270 people, mostly Americans, perished in the jetliner explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland. According to Ha'aretz, Hillary Clinton correctly criticized both the British government and Scottish authorities for the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was met at the Tripoli airport by, aside from the young celebrants, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, nutcase Moammar's son and likely successor. A civilized man, say the exp

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