Israel

Bibi Brings It

Featured image Last night Power Line’s roving correspondents (that would be me and Scott—you can see how handsome we are nearby) turned up for the AEI dinner honoring Prime Minister Netanyahu with AEI’s Irving Kristol Award. And he did not disappoint. Rather than a formal speech, the Prime Minister had a conversation with AEI’s Dany Pletka. I was especially struck by his forthright embrace of the dilemmas of the responsible statesmen: “Most »

Halting Halbertal

Featured image Minnesota United States Attorney Andrew Luger took to the pages of the Star Tribune to denounce the “Islamophobia” allegedly rampant in “the news.” The column appeared under the heading “Minnesotans must face Islamophobia head-on.” Luger condemns a “current wave of Islamophobia.” There are several problems with Luger’s column. I want to note two. “Islamophobia” is a term of art invented by fanatics to stigmatize their opponents. Speaking as “Minnesota’s chief »

Inside the fraying US-Israel ties

Featured image On October 23 the Wall Street Journal published the page-one story by Adam Entous on the United States’ intelligence activities directed against Israel. Given the headline “Spy vs. spy: Inside the fraying U.S.-Israel ties” (accessible here via Google), the story was full of revelations including measures taken by the United States to deter Israeli military action against Iran. Entous works the national security beat at the Journal, and his story »

Rabin’s legacy

Featured image The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 20 years ago has been the occasion of observances and retrospectives that honor his role in the Oslo Accords. Over the weekend, for example, Bill Clinton was in Jerusalem telling Israelis they must “finish the last chapter” of Rabin’s legacy. Among knowledgeable observers, Peter Berkowitz, Jeff Jacoby, and Caroline Glick have written columns worthy of note on the subject. Oslo of course »

Netanyahu vs. the Mufti: Why the Controversy?

Featured image Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he told the World Zionist Congress yesterday that Hitler’s “final solution” was originally the Grand Mufti’s idea: Netanyahu’s comments have been just about universally denounced. Yad Vashem’s chief historian, Professor Dina Porat, told Ynet that Netanyahu’s statements were factually incorrect. “You cannot say that it was the mufti who gave Hitler the idea to kill or burn Jews,” she said. »

Netanyahu to Kerry: No concessions

Featured image The spate of stabbings by Palestinians of Israeli Jews has caused John Kerry to spring into action, defined as it always is for Kerry as attempting to wring concessions from Israel. Kerry plans to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in the Middle East next weekend. In advance of these meetings, Kerry will meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamim Netanyahu on Thursday, assuming events allow »

Spontaneous Combustion on the West Bank

Featured image In Israel and the West Bank, violence is always “breaking out,” “erupting,” “flaring,” “raging,” becoming a “wave” or a “cycle,” and so on. These locutions are generally intended to obscure who is committing violence against whom. This morning, in an act of historical vandalism reminiscent of the Taliban or ISIS, Palestinians set fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, a Jewish historic and religious site: CNN tweeted about the arson with »

The State Department Clown Car Makes Things Worse In the Middle East

Featured image Palestinians have launched at least 28 attacks on Israeli Jews over the past week, leaving seven dead and more than 70 wounded. These attacks, mostly using knives while a few involved guns or motor vehicles, have been encouraged by Islamic preachers on the West Bank and by Mahmoud Abbas. This violence, while of great concern to Israelis, pales in comparison with the human catastrophes in Syria and elsewhere in the »

The Times Backs Off on Temple Trutherism

Featured image The New York Times provoked widespread dismay when it published an article yesterday titled Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place. The article claimed that it is an open question whether the first and second Jewish temples ever existed at Temple Mount. This assertion is an explosive one because some Arabs allege that the temples, if they ever existed at all, were located somewhere other than Temple Mount, and »

Bon Jovi to Waters: Drop Dead!

Featured image Some years ago, I was in the office of a straitlaced, middle-aged lady who was in charge of my law firm’s support staff. I noticed a photograph on her desk of herself with a long-haired guy who looked like a rock musician. It seemed incongruous, so I asked about the picture, and she told me this story. She and her husband had a boat in a marina on the St. »

Netanyahu’s message

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered an address to the United Nations General Assembly this afternoon (video below, about 42 minutes, also posted here by C-SPAN). The Prime Minister’s Office has posted the text of the speech here. David Horovitz provides a useful guide to the speech in his column “Netanyahu silently indicts the world.” This is an angry speech that is directed in part to President Obama, in part to Obama’s »

Netanyahu returns

Featured image I want to share this announcement from the American Enterprise Institute: American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks announced today that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will receive the 2015 Irving Kristol Award on November 9, 2015, in Washington, DC. The annual award, AEI’s highest honor, is given to individuals who have made exceptional practical and intellectual contributions to improve government policy, social welfare, or political understanding. The winner is »

Hillary endorsed Blumenthal email attacking Netanyahu and Israel [UPDATED]

Featured image The latest trove of Hillary Clinton emails includes, to no one’s surprise, additional commentary from Sid Blumenthal. Nearly all of it is vicious. The Obama administration’s decision to exclude Blumenthal from a position at the Department of State certainly was a good call. It must also have been an easy one, inasmuch as the Obama campaign experienced Sid’s viciousness first hand. (While on the subject of good Obama calls, we »

The Iran deal and the Israeli veto [UPDATED]

Featured image This weekend, CNN reported that in recent years, Israeli leaders planned three attacks on military targets in Iran. CNN based this story on an audio recording with former Defense Minister (and one-time Prime Minister) Ehud Barak. The recording was leaked to an Israeli television station. Why didn’t Israel carry through with the planned attacks? In the first case (2010), Israeli military leaders reportedly nixed the idea. The head of the »

The tenth anniversary of a tragic Israeli mistake

Featured image Jeb Bush’s candidacy has turned his brother’s presidency into a campaign issue. The focus, naturally, is on President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. This month marks the 10th anniversary of another controversial Bush policy preference — Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. The withdrawal was, of course, Israel’s call, not Bush’s. However, Bush strongly urged then-Prime Minister Sharon unilaterally to “disengage” from Gaza and he lauded Sharon’s decision as »

Wiping Israel Off the Map

Featured image If Israelis aren’t paranoid, they should be. Every time they turn around, someone is trying to wipe their country off the map. Literally. These stories keep on coming: Poundland is a discount chain in the United Kingdom that offered a globe for sale. So, you know, it’s important to be geographically accurate. Here is the eastern Mediterranean region: Oops! No Israel! But there is a place called “Palestine.” Now, Israel »

Speaking of the Iran deal (12) [updated with video]

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke via live webcast this afternoon about our deal with Iran. I understand that the recorded video will be available later this afternoon. If it is embeddable I will post it here. Please check back later. The webcast was sponsored by and addressed to supporters of the Jewish Federations of North America. Thousands tuned in. The show got on the road 30 minutes later than scheduled. I »