- Have the administration's israel and iran strategies changed?
- If ... you must 072210
- Blog friendly periodicals
- Council speak 07/22/10
Posted: 22 Jul 2010 04:36 AM PDT
Yesterday Meryl observed that once again:
Mahmoud Abbas has said the Palestinians will not resume direct talks until... and now you get to fill in the blank, because he keeps on changing the rules.
Rabbi Kaufman wondered if the administration has taken note:
That said, the Obama administration seems to have taken a different track lately, one less conducive to this Palestinian goal and at a distance from J Street's lobbying position. ...Yet, one cannot infer too much from the reports of the recent meeting between Netanyahu and Obama because they could be motivated by a desire by both men to hide problems that are occurring behind closed doors. On the other hand, the change in public is important in and of itself.
What is the lesson of all this? As some readers may recollect, I have been saying all along that it takes two years to learn the job of American president. As Obama passes his 18th month in office, he may finally be learning. (Here's hoping). The second comment is that after being a disastrous prime minister first time around (1996-99), Netanyahu seems to have learned his job, too. He understood better than Obama how things might go, and he mostly stood his ground until reality trumped vacuous idealism.
There's one other thing that Netanyahu has done that's probably helped him. When Clinton was President, Netanyahu went to speak before a group organized by Jerry Falwell, a very vocal political opponent of President Clinton. To be sure Netanyahu was treated unfairly by Clinton, but some of his actions clearly antagonized the President. In retrospect, Netanyahu indulged his pique against the President and that hurt him politically.
They have reached the conclusion that keeping a distance from Israel, picking unnecessary fights with Israel, was not going to advance the peace process. They are not getting anything in return from the Arab world. This is why Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to Obama, when he came to Israel recently on a private visit, a bar mitzvah for his son, said in so many words, "We screwed up".
So what's going on?
The option of accepting a nuclear Iran, unwillingly of course, and then trying to contain it, was advocated by many important players on the American foreign policy scene. This option is now apparently off the table.
And most surprising:
How do we know this? Among other things, because this is what the Americans have been telling Arab leaders over recent weeks.
And Walter Russell Mead has provided a context for understanding the President's apparent shift:
The dream that the great powers of the world will ever form a kind of universal European Union also strikes many observers of world politics as naive.
I do believe that the President is the most ideological driven man in the job in a long time, so I'm not entirely convinced that he's changed his views towards Israel and that the warm feelings he displayed with Netanyahu were not part of a cynical political charade. But if he's shifted his strategy from containing Iran to preventing Iran and realizes that he'll need to work with Israel towards that end, that's something to be thankful for.
The coming months will tell of Ya'ari and Mead are correct.
Crossposted on Yourish.
Posted: 22 Jul 2010 04:27 AM PDT
If you haven't read More Brainy Billboards at Not PC ; you must.
If you haven't read Travis Banton vs. Claudette Colbert, Costume Design as Blood Sport at Seraphic Secret; you must.
If you haven't read Protecting Israeli Democracy at The Muqata ; you must.
If you haven't read UN Moves Forward to Implement Goldstone Report at the Weekly Standard blog ; you must.
If you haven't read Gush Katif: five years on at Jerusalem Diaries ; you must.
If you haven't read Turn off the AC, turn on the bad times at Yourish ; you must.
If you haven't read The ultimate P.C. administration at The Colossus of Rhodey ; you must.
Posted: 22 Jul 2010 04:27 AM PDT
A little more than a month ago, Legal Insurrection said "goodbye" to the Times of London because of it's paywall.
A columnist at rival The Guardian estimates that The Times could lose 95% of its "browsers" and still do okay.
According to data from Experian Hitwise, which charts Internet traffic, visits to The Times of London and The Sunday Times' Websites have dropped by 66% since parent company News International put those sites behind paywalls on July 2.
Apparently the Times of London is sitll doing "okay," as it still has 1/3 of its pre-paywall audience.
Not all publications are becoming less blog-friendly. Though I don't link to them as often as some others, the New York Daily News, New York Post and Time Magazine have all done something to make themselves more blog friendly. When you cut and paste from an article on those websites, you also paste the URL (i.e. the http address). This means that a blogger doesn't need to go back to the source to get the URL. It's a blogger friendly time saver.
Now Lebanon, added something else that I like.
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished.
So there's no guesswork about what the publication considers fair use, it let's the blogger know it's terms.
I figure that the periodicals that encourage bloggers, will be rewarded with greater traffic. Whether the revenues the traffic generates will be significant, I have no idea.
Posted: 22 Jul 2010 03:38 AM PDT
The council has spoken.
Non Council Submissions
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