Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Third Narrative: Not So Third, Not a Narrative, Not New

April 7, 2014

(This essay originally appeared in the Algemeiner on April 3, 2014.) I regret to say that a fair number of people I respect (and some not so much) have signed on to a statement about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that, evince as it may the best of intentions, is nonetheless, in truth, very considerable twaddle. I [...]


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More on the Israeli-Palestinian School Book Project

February 8, 2013

. At the Algemeiner today, I address the just released Israeli-Palestinian School Book Project. Since posting I have gained further clarity and focus on problematic features of the project and the information about it released to the press. About the number of books and items “analyzed,” The official list of books included those approved by the [...]


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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]


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Why Obama Hearts Hagel

January 14, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 11.  The last time I wrote about President Obama’s then only rumored selection of Chuck Hagel I said two things I knew I would wish to revise. The first, rhetorically, was the question: “What was he thinking?” The second was a quotation from Gil Troy’s generally very good writing [...]


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The Hagelian Dialectic

January 7, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 4. Today, President Obama announced his nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense. The Chuck Hagel trial balloon has been aloft for weeks now, not to burst or land – since its lofting was never officially acknowledged – until either he [...]


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Israel, Its Foes, and the Plain Truth

December 27, 2012

. You could find smoking guns like this all over the scene, and some people would still be smelling roses. (Maybe the one in the desert.) Adam Levick at CiF Watch brings us today, posted below, news of an astonishing, revelatory nature. Whether attributable to the reactionary autocratic nature of their political systems, the  repression of [...]


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When Is an Open-Air Prison a Terrorist Camp?

December 13, 2012

. (This post originally appeared in the Algemeiner on December 11, 2012.) It is a term we hear a lot in the twenty-first century anti-Israel propaganda storm, flung wildly against the truth – that Gaza is an “open-air” prison. We hear it not only from Arab and Muslim anti-Semites and the committed anti-Israel ideologues, but [...]


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Reflections on the Spirit of Resistance

November 22, 2012

. Paul Newman’s 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, the apex of journeyman Stuart Rosenberg’s directorial career, imbued popular culture with many iconic scenes and memorable lines. (“What we have here – is failure to communicate.” “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”) Among the famous scenes is that of the prison camp boxing match [...]


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Not So Random Questions, Facts, & Observations about Gaza & Israel

November 17, 2012

. If forces in Mexico – drug cartels, for instance – were firing rockets and missiles into an area roughly covering 25% of the United States this is what it would look like. If the U.S. equivalent of one million Israelis were under threat of this bombardment on a daily basis, running for cover, hiding [...]


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Los Angeles Times Slants Coverage of Israel-Gaza Conflict

November 15, 2012

. Years from now – How long, O Lord? – when the historical studies are done of yet another period of profound human and political failing, the evidence of even journalistic prejudice against Israel and Jews in the first part of the twenty-first century will be too bountiful for the whole to be encompassed. Yesterday, [...]


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The Israeli-Palestinian Enthymeme

October 22, 2012

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on on October 18, 2012. In rhetoric, an enthymeme is an argument that contains an unarticulated premise. Commonly this is because the conversation is among a group of people with shared values, among whom one or more of those values — premises to an argument — it is assumed, [...]


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Maureen Dowd and her Critics

September 24, 2012

. A couple of interesting comments from Noga and David on my post, “A Political Hall of Mirrors,” prompts these further considerations on the reaction to Maureen Dowd’s neocon puppet master column. I don’t think this is a subject in which people need necessarily hold hard positions unwaveringly and completely opposed to differing views. Of [...]


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(Updated) Impenetrable: The Hollow Rhetoric of Judith Butler

September 10, 2012

. (Update) Tomorrow, September 11, 2012, the birthday of Theodor Adorno, and only chronologically coincident with the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attack, Judith Butler is set to receive the triennial Adorno Prize, awarded by the city of Frankfurt. Resonant with the themes addressed in the commentary below, originally posted last week at the Algemeiner, is this [...]


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The Palestinian Failure

August 16, 2012

. Some nations are lucky in their leaders. For decades now, academic historians have downplayed the significance of the leader – the “great man” – in the understanding of historical epochs and focused their attention elsewhere. Still, you cannot study the early American republic without renewed appreciation for the role of George Washington. How lucky was the U.S. again [...]


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Anti-Labor, Anti-Free Press, Anti-Gay, Anti-Israel

August 8, 2012

. Some people never get the point. Some people once got the point, or claimed to, claimed to see it – there it is, over there – and then they got their hands on the point and stretched the point, to make a point, turned it inside out, inverted and perverted the point, developed a [...]


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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a Single Conversation

July 12, 2012

. The following is a partial transcript of a “discussion” on Democracy Now between Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin and Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. In this brief exchange we see all of the essential characteristics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tobin makes the point that regardless of any opinion regarding the settlements, peace can be had. Legal settlements can [...]


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The Boys Who Cried the Boy Who Cried anti-Semitism

April 30, 2012

. One of the salient features of the evolving massively networked media environment is the readier production than ever before of manufactured realities. Enough people simply assert something to be true, enough people virally lift the assertion across the MNM and write about it as true, and the idea takes almost unshakeable hold in the [...]


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Israeli Ambassador Fears 60 Minutes “Hatchet Job”; Bob Simon Protests, Then Delivers

April 23, 2012

. On 60 Minutes last night, Bob Simon explained in backgrounding the excerpts of his interview with Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren that Oren asked to respond to the 60 Minutes report – before it even aired – because he had heard the report would be a “hatchet job.” (The reported charge is [...]


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Tenth Anniversary of a Lie

April 16, 2012

. The Battle of Jenin was waged between April 1-11 2002. Recently, Myrrh, at Harry’s Place, took note of that anniversary by surveying the historically malicious and misinformative coverage of the conflict by England’s Guardian. But the Guardian‘s campaign of hysterical distortion constituted only a part, if a prominent one, of a campaign of lies and anti-Israel calumny [...]


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The Unsound Judgment of Peter Beinart

March 22, 2012

. Just over two years ago, I wrote a post titled “The Unsound Judgment of Andrew Sullivan.” Sullivan, for all his true virtues, is a man of strikingly unsound judgment. He swings, he swings frequently, he swings with emotion from one impassioned response to another, a kind of journalistic Thaïs transforming regularly from the life of [...]


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What Can “Free” Palestine

February 24, 2012

. On Wednesday The New York Times published an OpEd by Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Parliament and “secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative.” The article is entitled “Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine.” Peace is always a good start to resolving disputes. Here is what else would help to “free” Palestine. The [...]


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