Palestinian Statehood: Dispensing with Bad Arguments

The debate over the Palestinian Liberation Organization's imminent application for full recognition at the United Nations continues to rage domestically and internationally. The dominant perspective here in the U.S., at least among Republicans, is that Palestinian statehood should be denied except on Israel's terms. The most common reason given seems to be that the Israelis … Continue reading Palestinian Statehood: Dispensing with Bad Arguments

Yemen’s Vanishing Jews and the Totalizing Effects of the Modern State on Human Identity

Nationalism generally predicates itself on cultural attributes, but it often destroys the rich diversity of culture that was the legacy of premodern societies. The descendants of Arabic-speaking Jews who leave for Israel or the United States will speak Hebrew or English, and the identity will eventually disappear, amalgamated into broad, generic identities politically supported by the states that now depend on nationalist sentiment to help field armies and keep the taxes paid.

Capitalism: a Uniter, not a Divider

I spent the day today with my dear wife walking the streets of old Jerusalem. I was struck by the absolute beauty of capitalism. Religion so often divides, and the divisions are perhaps no more evident than in this city. Concerns over potential conflicts  today led the IDF to mount a rather impressive number of … Continue reading Capitalism: a Uniter, not a Divider

Frustration and the Flotilla

It is an interesting and sad time to be in Tel Aviv. Tonight we were returning from dinner via taxi and we had to get out and walk because the pro-Israel rally outside of the Turkish embassy had become so large that the police were forced to close down traffic. People young and old were … Continue reading Frustration and the Flotilla

U.S.S. Liberty

With many international observers focused on the Cheonan incident in Korea which killed 46 South Korean sailors, it is a good time to remember another tragedy at sea - and one that has become a pretty much forgotten episode in American history.  On June 8, 1967, the U.S.S. Liberty - a Navy electronic  intelligence ship sailing in international waters off … Continue reading U.S.S. Liberty

The Future of Israel

University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer argues that the two-state solution is dead and the future of a Jewish Israel in trouble.  Here is his conclusion: Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state … Continue reading The Future of Israel