Israelis Discuss Support for President Obama and Two-State Solution

J Street [http://tiny.cc/vo73Z] sat down with a number of prominent Israelis, including former military and security officials, to discuss the importance of a two-state solution and J Street’s work supporting the President’s efforts to achieve such a resolution. These interviews demonstrate the deep support among prominent Israeli former military officials, political leaders, diplomats, writers, and artists for the strong American leadership that is critical to achieving a two-state solution and providing real peace and security to Israel as a Jewish democracy.

To Boycott or Not Boycott? That is the question

To Boycott or Not Boycott--that is the question? Sol Salbe's previous post got me thinking, so I have written this post which is my personal view, and no one elses! It's become a nostrum in some left circles (including some supporters on the Israeli left), that there is no alternative but a general or selective boycott of Israel, or Israeli products, or for divestment from Israel. There's also been some attempts to associate AJDS with boycotters (false). The most recent call for a boycott came from Neve Gordon, an Israeli academic (http://tiny.cc/E6XB0), which released a torrent of critical opinion on 'right' side of politics. For someone like myself, the boycott poses a dilemma, particularly because so many people of my age supported a boycott against South Africa during the worst years of apartheid--

A nuanced view must be heard!

A blog post from Sol Salbe It is not black and white. No matter which way you look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict the same conclusion is reached: matters are not clear cut. It just is not true that one side is always right and the other side is invariably wrong. But of course that's the kind of view that one hears most often because those who see the world without shades of grey usually shout the loudest. Time after time one gets the hardline-one sidedness where the facts do not get a run, or at most are selectively picked to fit in with the view the writer had long ago predetermined. You only need to know whether the writer belongs to the Israel-first or Palestine-first crowd, and you can join the dots yourself blindfolded.

Is It Right To Speak Of A ‘Jewish Lobby’?

What motivates the fierce attacks by some Australian Jews against others? Larry Stillman looks at why some people want to shut down debate on Israel so badly. Many observers of the ongoing debate over Israel and its place in Middle Eastern issues have wondered at the ferocity and influence of those voices promoting what is often called a "pro-Israel" position. Published in New Matilda, 4 Aug 2009: http://tinyurl.com/o886rq (Note that some of the comments are patently offensive, erroneous and come from various racists and conspiracy theorists.)

Posing questions for the AFL and narratives of suffering

I'd thought that the Australian Football League's attempts to bring together Israeli and Palestinian young people was a good thing, though, I like many others had been puzzled by the lukewarm response from local Palestinians. As far as I know, the mainstream press has offered no opportunity to give them space for their reluctance to get involved.

Painting Obama as an enemy will hurt Israel badly

Middle East News Service Comments: The best indication I have seen so far that the US is slowly beginning to be perceived as the enemy in Israel has been in the writing of Australian Expatriate Isi Leibler who expounded on The case against Obama [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443820172&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull]. Leibler is hard-liner but he cannot but he is not in the same league as Obama other critics like Anne Bayefsky. The Obama White House is certainly scaring the Israeli right. Dan Fleshler highlighted a good reason when he wrote:

Denial – an imaginative story

Denial an imaginative story The chairman of the Public Speakers’ Union rose to his feet and addressed the meeting: “Ladies and Gentlemen. Our next speaker really needs no introduction but I will attempt one anyway…..” The audience grew restive, with booing and catcalls erupting from several sections of the packed hall. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” remonstrated the startled chairman, “Professor David Irwin is an invited speaker and he deserves a polite hearing. Those who wish to take issue with his views may do so after his speech, at question time.”

Reversal of Fortune

Sol Salby blogs the following-- In the United States we have had a situation over a long time that opinion polls and elections results reflected a very liberal Jewish opinion while community leadership was dominated by the conservatives especially on Israel/Palestine. The emergence of J-Street and the change of personnel in the White House is changing that situation slowly and as editor of the Forward conclude: “As to the new seating arrangements, our best advice is to get used to it.”

Can Hamas be part of the political process?

Bitter Lemons http://www.bitterlemons.org/ is an example of a website that can offer reasoned debate over controversial issues. Given the controversy over Hamas (a terrorist organisation or a legitimate political force?), the opinions expressed in a recent issue (July 6, 2009 Edition 26) are well worth considering. Follow the link above, and think! * The stick-and-stick approach has failed by Ghassan Khatib No political process can be successful without Hamas * Test Hamas intentions separately by Yossi Alpher