Caveat emptor: The illusion of a political Center
By MARTIN SHERMAN, JPOST
Into they Fray: Time and time again the Israeli voter has been hoodwinked into voting for allegedly centrist parties only to have them evaporate later.
This [remark by Yair Lapid] showed a kind of crude contempt, mixed with a whiff of racism, for those whom Lapid does not consider part of his political camp. Zoabi was duly elected to the Knesset by Israeli voters who supported her party.
– “Yair Lapid’s mental block,” Haaretz editorial, January 25
It seems that neither the protests nor the vote for Yair Lapid were ever about “social justice,” in the sense of narrowing the gap between the upper and lower deciles. On the contrary: If Lapid… finds a way to get money from others and bring it to his electorate, as they hope he will, then the income gap… will only grow wider
– “The wealthy minions of Yair Lapid,” – Haaretz, January 27
By Barry Rubin, RUBIN REPORTS
One of the main features of this misguided contemporary foreign policy debate is the corruption of the concept of Realism. In some ways, the school called Realism was simply a way of teaching principles long regarded as obvious in Europe to Americans, whose idealism about the world had both good and bad implications. Both isolationism and the idea that America’s mission is to spread democracy are typical non-Realist patterns of how American exceptionalism plays into foreign policy thinking. That’s why the concepts that made up Realism were introduced to the United States by Hans Morgenthau, a refugee from Germany, and most clearly practiced in office by Henry Kissinger, ditto.
Netanyahu feels negotiations with Yesh Atid are starting off on the wrong foot because of Lapid’s many demands.
By Elad Benari, INN
Coalition negotiations have not yet formally started, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is reportedly already losing his patience with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Channel 2 News reported on Thursday.
The report quoted associates of Netanyahu as having said the Prime Minister believes Lapid is working towards becoming Prime Minister himself in the future and is thus making it difficult for Netanyahu by setting impossible demands on the negotiations.
“This is not how a person who wants to be the senior coalition partner behaves,” the associates said, according to Channel 2, adding that Lapid wants to be the one to determine the government’s basic principles and the number of ministers that will be appointed, prerogatives of the Prime Minister’s party.
By Ted Belman
I was beginning tp think highly of Lapid. No more.
Excerpts of his interview with TIME were released Thursday. He is quoted as saying:
“you make peace with foes, not with friends.”
“Israelis convinced themselves that there is no use in talking to the Palestinians because they’re not to be trusted. I think they’re wrong. I think the Palestinians are not to be trusted and this is exactly why we should talk to them,”
By Jeff Dunnit z, Yid with Lid
Regular readers of this site know that I have not been in favor of former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination—but even his biggest detractors did not expect the performance he gave today during his senate confirmation hearings. It wasn’t that he said things that people disagreed with, or got caught with some sort of scandal–he looked totally unprepared and out-classed. He was pathetic.
The guy knew what he would face…his own statements and record, many of them were posted here. Chuck Hagel had weeks to figure out responses–and OH MY GOD, he didn’t even understand what containment means.
Scent of ‘germ’ warfare
By JILL BELLAMY VAN AALST, CLARE LOPEZ, REZA KAHLILI
The sectarian war in Syria has reportedly claimed more than 60,000 lives and spawned concerns in the Middle East and the West about access to chemical weapons by non-state actors such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are of immediate concern to Israel, Jordan and the United States, whether in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s hands or those of terrorist organizations. Yet the locations of chemical weapons munitions and Scud missiles equipped with chemical warheads in Syria have been identified and are continually monitored. That is not the case with the arguably even more dangerous biological weapons being developed by the nexus of Iran, Syria and North Korea.
5 Reasons Why Now is the Time for Israel to Reconsider Accepting US Aid
Dovid Efune, ALGEMEINER
Only weeks ago, a small kerfuffle erupted when rising Israeli politician Naftali Bennett indicated in an interview with The Jewish Press that Israel’s ongoing acceptance of US military aid, to the tune of $3 billion, was not a good idea.
“I think, generally, we need to free ourselves from it,” he was reported to have said. “We have to do it responsibly, since I’m not aware of all the aspects of the budget, I don’t want to say ‘let’s just give it up,’ but our situation today is very different from what it was 20 and 30 years ago. Israel is much stronger, much wealthier, and we need to be independent,” he concluded.
A spokesman for Bennett later clarified in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that Bennett intended this as an idea for the long-term, and that it was “currently irrelevant.”
By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com
Chuck Hagel is unqualified and ill-qualified to become America’s Secretary of Defense. Hagel is too cozy with enemies of the U.S. and is openly hostile towards Israel, one of America’s closest allies. According to FOX News, Hagel “appeared to agree with the assertion that America is ‘the world’s bully’” and that he has “complained about the ‘Jewish lobby.’” Yahoo! News noted Hagel’s beliefs about the “‘Jewish lobby’ and its influence on American-Israeli ties.” According to Senator John Cornyn (R), “Hagel voted against a 2007 measure that called for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be designated a terrorist group;” “In July 2008, Hagel recommended that Washington go beyond direct talks and establish a U.S. diplomatic mission in Tehran;” “in his 2008 book, ‘America: Our Next Chapter,’ Hagel appeared to suggest that the United States could live with a nuclear Iran;” and, “Hagel wants us to be softer on the Iranians, he thinks we should be tougher on the Israelis.” Given Hagel’s dubious track-record, the nonprofit organization SecureAmericaNow.org has been lobbying against his confirmation as U.S. defense secretary. SecureAmericaNow has provided a set of resources enabling concerned citizens to help block President Obama’s move to confirm Senator Hagel.