Begin and Biden, compare and contrast

Featured image Last month, in a guest post for Power Line, Stephen Silbiger wrote about a 1982 confrontation between Joe Biden and Menachem Begin, Israel’s prime minister at the time. When Biden threatened to cut off aid to Israel, Begin looked directly at the young Senator and responded, in part: Don’t threaten us with cutting off aid to Israel. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. Tevi »

Terrorists can’t hide from Israel and couldn’t hide from Trump

Featured image In August of this year, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding Israeli agents on the streets of an upscale Tehran suburb. Al-Masri was one of the masterminds behind the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, and was on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list. He was considered al Qaeda’s number two man. Also killed in the attack was al-Masri’s »

RJC: Closing arguments for Trump

Featured image I sought out former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman for lunch this week in St. Paul. Before his service in the Senate (2003-2009), Norm was the best mayor St. Paul ever had (1993-1998). I won’t revisit the voter fraud behind his painful defeat by Al Franken in 2008 post-election proceedings. I will only add that Franken himself proved a disposable commodity to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Thus we now contend »

Democrats Prefer Cuba to Israel

Featured image YouGov conducted an interesting survey, asking Americans their opinions of various countries. Among other things, the survey identifies differences between Republicans and Democrats in their views of nations, including the United States. This chart shows the countries with the greatest and least partisan divides with respect to the percentage having a positive view: Two things jump out at an observer. The first is the parties’ radically different opinions of Israel. »

Joe Biden and the Jews with trembling knees

Featured image Joe Biden, like his mentor Barack Obama, seems to get off on talking tough to Israeli leaders. In this guest post, Stephen Silbiger recalls an early instance of such behavior. He goes on to call out American Jewish leaders for their self-interested disregard of what a Biden administration would mean for Israel and its supporters. Stephen Silbiger was the chief legislative aide to Congressman Stephen J. Solarz of Brooklyn. He »

The Washington Post professes concern about Israel’s peace deal

Featured image Israel’s peace agreement with the UAE and Bahrain, signed yesterday at the White House, is historic. It hasn’t happened before, nor has Israel entered into such a deal since 1994 (with Jordan). The extent to which the deal is historically significant can be debated (but won’t be in this post). However, for those who wish Israel well (and who don’t have an ax to grind with Donald Trump or Benjamin »

Harvard Hires PLO Executive to Mentor Students

Featured image The Clarion Project reports that Harvard University has selected Saeb Erekat — who serves as secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — to be a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Erekat’s duties will include mentoring students and giving seminars in the school’s “The Future of Diplomacy Project.” Erekat is rabidly anti-Israel, as one would expect from a »

A skeptical note on Israel’s deal with the UAE

Featured image In a deal brokered by the Trump administration, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalize relations. In exchange for normalized relations, Israel agreed to suspend its West Bank annexation plans. The two sentences above point to an obvious problem with the deal. Normalized relations between two states are normal, and usually benefit both states. Why should one — and only one — of the two states have »

A Win In the Middle East

Featured image Today the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates jointly announced an agreement whereby Israel and the UAE have fully normalized their relationship. President Trump tweeted: Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020 The communique paints an optimistic picture: Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming »

Israel strikes Syrian targets in response to attempted terrorism

Featured image The Israeli military carried out airstrikes against Syrian targets Monday night. The strikes were a response to an attempted terrorist attack that was thwarted along the Syrian border on Sunday night. The thwarted attack consisted of four terrorists planting explosive devices inside Israel. IDF forces spotted them, opened fire, and thwarted the attack. Reportedly, all four terrorists were killed. Afterwards, the Israelis found weapons and a bag containing explosive devices »

The explosions rocking Iran

Featured image In the podcast below the Tikvah Fund’s Jonathan Silver interviews former IDF military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin on the explosions rocking Iran. At the least, Yadlin offers informed speculation on what is happening. I get the impression, however, that Yadlin knows a little bit more than he lets on. At one point, for example, he responds to Silver that he’d prefer not to address operational issues. Tikvah introduces the podcast »

Will Iran retaliate for attacks on its nuclear facilities?

Featured image We’ve written about the explosions and fires at various facilities associated with Iran’s nuclear program, though perhaps we haven’t given them as much attention as they deserve. The attacks are believed to be the work of Israel. At a minimum, Israel is thought to be behind the most significant explosion — a July 2 attack on the Natanz centrifuge facility. This attack may have set back Iran’s breakout time for »

Israel hit by second coronavirus wave

Featured image Israel has done extraordinarily well in preventing the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. It reports only 37 deaths per one million people (342 deaths in total). By way of comparison, the U.S. reports 405 deaths per million. Only Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii report fewer deaths per million than Israel. Israel’s success is probably due to the stringent measures it took early on to keep the virus from spreading. They »

The stage is set for Israel to annex part of West Bank

Featured image Over the weekend, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in for another stint as Israel’s prime minister. This time, he’s the head of a coalition government and, if the agreement he struck with the opposition holds, will serve for only 18 months. Netanyahu doesn’t want to waste them. His next big initiative will be the annexation of portions of the West Bank. Netanyahu wants to get this done before the U.S. presidential »

The Wuhan coronavirus in Israel

Featured image So far, Israel has come through the coronavirus scare in comparatively good shape. As of yesterday, May 9, only 252 deaths had been attributed to the virus. That’s 29 per 1 million people. The number of new reported cases has declined from a peak of around 750 per day at the beginning of April to around 50. The daily death count is down from a peak of around a dozen »

Coronavirus In Two Countries

Featured image A new demographic forecast for Israel projects continuing rapid population growth over the next 20 years, compared with most developed countries. The linked news story on the report is interesting in several respects, but I want to focus on the demographer’s answer to a question about COVID-19: Regarding the coronavirus outbreak, Weinreb said the pandemic was unlikely to have a large effect on mortality rates or life expectancy. “Remember, every »

Israel will have a “unity government”

Featured image Israel will avoid having to hold its fourth national election in a little more than a year. The Likud party and the Blue and White party have signed an agreement that ends the stalemate in Israeli electoral politics. The two parties will form a coalition government. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will remain as PM for 18 months. After that, if all goes according to the plan, Blue and White »