Israel USA 

Two national leaders: two TV addresses to fire up their base

Last Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on TV to make what was billed in advance as a “dramatic announcement.” Reacting to rumors that Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, might announce during Israel’s general election campaign an indictment against him on the three corruption cases under investigation, he declared that this would be unjust, and that he hadn’t been allowed to confront the three state’s witnesses in the investigations against him despite asking twice to do so. “How can you get to the essence of the truth if…

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crazy world Israel 

Our crazy world: US Syria pullout, EU antisemitism survey

Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired some major events of the past few days in our crazy world. We consider the implications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, the ramifications of which are more complex than might be imagined from the shallow mainstream media accounts. You can also read my take on what really matters about America’s approach to Syria and Iran here. We also talk about the recent EU survey of perceptions by Jewish communities in Britain and…

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de-radicalisation Global conflict 

Who are the real isolationists in America?

Ever since President Donald Trump astounded the world by announcing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, commentators have been trying to work out the significance of this decision. Among those conservatives who believe America should make alliances against the enemies of the West and then stand by those allies, there has been shock and consternation. A number of Israeli analysts have expressed similar dismay. The cause of the concern is obvious. By withdrawing the 2,000 or so U.S. troops stationed in the border area between Iraq, Syria and Jordan,…

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nazanin Global conflict 

The lethal error in appeasing Iran

When the Obama-brokered Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015, one of the many spurious reasons offered for that agreement was that it would help the supposedly moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani draw the sting of the Islamic regime’s extremism. Now Rouhani is no longer bothering to conceal his real side. Addressing the annual Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran last weekend, Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” that was formed as a result of World War II. Descending to full-blown Jewish-conspiracy theory, he said: “They deployed a power in the…

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USA 

The muddled obsessions of progressive American Jews

Having spent the past week or so in Los Angeles, I have been struck once again by the deep anxiety in the American Jewish community over the intensifying demonization of Israel on campus and over self-styled progressive Jews. I have also been exposed to the even more intense divisions within that community over President Donald Trump. One of the most bizarre conceits among those who hate him is that he’s an antisemite, or at the very least knowingly encourages antisemites. A guest of the Hanukkah celebration at the White House…

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USA 

How Pittsburgh has deepened the chasm dividing American Jews

For Diaspora Jews, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre has felt like a family bereavement. Among Jews in America, the trauma has been profound. Their sense of inviolability has been shattered. The fact that Jews were gunned down in the sacred space of a synagogue service has caused even greater torment. Yet in the midst of the communal grief, something has surely been overlooked. In 2014, six were gunned down and murdered in Jerusalem’s Har Nof synagogue. Attacks on Jews in Israel are relentless. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has said…

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border caravan USA 

The caravan of hatred marches ever on

The mainstream media is continuing to betray journalism by framing President Trump’s utterances and policies in a jaw-dropping way. Two days ago, Trump told a rally he was a nationalist. Pass the smelling salts! He made it quite clear what he meant by this: that he loved America. He was using it as a synonym for patriotism. Good luck with that one! What he meant was irrelevant. He had apparently damned himself irrevocably as an anti-human. The New York Times reported: “Asked in the Oval Office on Tuesday why he…

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Culture wars 

Liberal sore losers don’t respect democracy

Liberal sore losers don’t respect democracy What’s so alarming is the way that political and ideological disputes are driving many into positions where minds are closed against evidence in a culture war which brooks no deviation. Speaking from my own experience, it’s apparently not possible to want to see rapists locked up and oppose the destruction of the presumption of innocence by #MeToo; to stand up against the West’s appeasement of Islamism and criticise Tommy Robinson; to be appalled by the psychological and other flaws of President Trump and acknowledge…

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laughing Culture wars USA 

No laughing matter: Europe’s appeasement of Iran

Remarks this week about Iran by US National Security Adviser John Bolton contained some of the most ferocious language ever used by an American administration about a foreign state. Bolton told the Iranian regime: “If you cross us, our allies or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay. Let my message today be clear: ‘We are watching, and we will come after you.’” Earlier this year, the US pulled out of the nuclear deal…

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