Archive: Aug 2008

Many American Jewish observers welcomed Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. As a member of the Senate since 1973, and the serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is a seasoned political player and foreign policy heavyweight. His experience, it is argued, will make up for Obama's inexperience; his moderate liberal views will make up for Obama's radical liberal views.  Biden has a track record of often supp…
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On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced: "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new cold war." Medvedev made this declaration after signing an order recognizing the sovereignty of Georgia's two pro-Russian provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Some observers warn that Russian annexation of the two territories is just a matter of time. While a cold war is less attractive than a competitive alliance, Russia's violent, bullying behavior makes…
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The Olmert-Livni-Barak government is apparently maneuvering to stand down on Iran, and they'd like the US to be blamed for their timidity. A careful reading of a bizarre article in Sunday's edition of Ha'aretz brings this point home clearly. The report details Israel's recent agreement with the US to deploy the X-Band high powered early warning radar system in Israel. The system will be manned by a team of three US military personnel from a trailer somewhere in the Negev. The US&…
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Russia's invasion of Georgia is exposing many aspects of the international system that the US-led West has studiously ignored since the fall of the Soviet Union. One old truth that deserves attention is that the domino-theory of international relations remains true. That theory asserts that events in one arena will foment similar events in other arenas. Great powers are not the only ones that can cause dominoes to fall. Small states can as well. Israel's actions make this point clearly.…
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US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the darling of Bush administration foes. Gushing about Gates in a recent column, Washington Post writer David Ignatius crooned, "Gates is an anomaly in this lame-duck administration. He is still firing on all cylinders, working to repair the damage done at the Pentagon by his arrogant and aloof predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld." Ignatius called on the next administration to give Gates a major role leading its foreign and defense policy. It can only be h…
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In their statements Wednesday on Russia's invasion of Georgia, both US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice openly acknowledged that Russia is the aggressor in the war and that the US stands by Georgia. This is all very nice and well. But what does the fact that it took the US a full five days to issue a clear statement against Russian aggression tell us about the US? What does it say about Georgia and, in a larger sense, about the nature of world affairs? Russia&…
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Russia's invasion of Georgia should serve as proof that there are some regimes that simply cannot be considered strategic allies of the West. And as the US and NATO try to assess the wreckage of their attempt to forge a post-Soviet alliance with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, another erstwhile ally is showing that it too, cannot be trusted. On Wednesday, Iran's genocidal, nuclear weapons-seeking leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will arrive in Istanbul for a "working visit&qu…
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Monday will mark the third anniversary of the forcible expulsion of the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria from their homes. Those expulsions were followed weeks later by the withdrawal of IDF personnel from the Gaza Strip. Unlike the Rabin-Peres government's decision to embark on the Oslo peace process with the PLO in 1993, Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza did not take years to be discredited. It t…
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Six years ago last week, a bomb went off in the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus. Seven students were murdered. The attack was the work of a Hamas cell from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The Silwan cell was one of the most prolific and murderous cells Israel has seen. In addition to the massacre at Hebrew University, its four members carried out the massacre at Moment Café in Jerusalem in which 12 were murdered; the Sheffield billiards club bomb…
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After the dust settled on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's surprise announcement Wednesday evening that he will resign from office after Kadima's leadership primary on September 17, the main question is, What possessed him to act as he did? Olmert did not actually resign from office in the normal sense of the term. That is, he's not planning to leave office any time soon. What Olmert did was force Israel into a long period of governmental instability. According to the elections law, when…
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