Race is an inherently loaded and divisive topic; when race is a key component of a politician’s winning election identity, it remains part of his governing identity. Racial divisiveness is thus likely to be more present, not less. Continue reading
This piece was originally published in The Daily Beast.
President Obama said all the right things in his Middle East visit; John Kerry has quickly undone his good work. Continue reading
This column was originally published in The Times of Israel.
How else does one describe Kerry, Brennan and Hagel, who so breezily substitute a wishful alternate reality for the obvious, menacing threats to America and the West? Foreign policy is easy once one imagines away the threats. Unfortunately, these surrealists are taking charge of foreign policy and defense of America, not of Fantasy Island.
For some time, American foreign policy has been dominated by two camps. The neoconservatives advocate an idealistic, assertive promotion of liberty, democracy and American interests, including through military means. They are opposed by the self-described “realists” who advocate a pragmatic, realpolitik approach, focusing on power and material considerations.
The realists criticize the neocons for dreaming too big and overextending American power. The neocons criticize the realists for being amoral, disloyal to allies and Machiavellian. Both see the dangers facing America and the world with clear vision; they disagree in their approach to addressing those challenges.
So, where on the spectrum does one place President Obama’s new foreign policy team? Continue reading
On the election map, the State of Israel is not just blue and white; it is solidly red.
The Presidential election results are in. Well, at least the votes from Americans in Israel. Not one to keep readers in suspense, I’ll reveal the most important numbers up front: Gov. Mitt Romney received 85%–85%!
–of the vote; President Obama managed only 14.3%. This, according to exit polling just released by iVoteIsrael, the non-partisan group promoting and facilitating voting by U.S. citizens currently in Israel. Their statistics reveal some fascinating results. More importantly, these results have implications for the outcome of next week’s election. (Again, not to keep you in suspense: those implications favor the Republicans.) Continue reading
This column was originally published in The Times of Israel
Although President Obama has his own record — and what a record it is — regarding Israel, Halvey has nary a word to say about it. Furthermore, Governor Mitt Romney has a sterling record of support for Israel, and a staunchly pro-Israel foreign policy team; yet Halevy deems this unworthy of comment. What kind of analysis of the election ignores entirely any analysis of the actual candidates or their records?
Efraim Halevy, the former director of Israel’s Mossad, has penned a most peculiar column published in The New York Times. Halevy maintains that “no Democratic president has ever strong-armed Israel on any key national security issue,” and that Republican presidents were the ones who have thrown Israel “under the bus.”
Halevy used to be a serious man. But his unserious analysis is as incomplete as it is irrelevant. In fact, it amounts to historical malpractice. Continue reading
This column originally was published in Ha’aretz
למרבה הצער התשובה לשאלה לא תמיד שלילית. ישנם רבים שבשבילם כהונתו של אובמה הביאה שגשוג ופריחה. הנה רשימה חלקית של המרוויחים הגדולים שהיו עונים על השאלה “האם מצבכם היום טוב יותר?” בכן מהדהד.
אז הנה אנחנו, בתום סדרת העימותים בבחירות לנשיא ארה”ב. מאז שאל רונלד רייגן שאלה פשוטה ויעילה את הבוחרים – “האם מצבך היום טוב יותר משהיה לפני ארבע שנים?” – מנסים מועמדים חדשים לנשיאות לשחזר את ההצלחה הזאת. במערכת הבחירות הנוכחית, כאשר הנשיא ברק אובמה מציג כלכלה אמריקאית מקרטעת, אחוזי אבטלה גבוהים ושיא בגירעון הלאומי, מיט רומני יכול להניח כי שאלה זו תעורר מחשבה בקרב הבוחרים. Continue reading
If Obama has been so heavy-handed in dealing with Israel up until now, while Israel still ostensibly maintains the ability to cripple Iran’s nuclear development, just imagine the concessions he’ll demand from Israel as the price of American action when he alone holds Israel’s security in his hands.
Speculation simmers as to how and when Israel may launch a preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear-genocide facilities. But as Iran races toward nuclear capability, a couple of things are becoming clear: first, whatever else Israel may have up its resourceful sleeve, the window in which Israel by itself is capable of inflicting serious damage in conventional air strikes is closing fast; and second, once that window closes, relying on a second-term Obama administration to take out Iranian nukes would be a grave mistake for Israel.
It’s not about who wins a debate; it’s about who wins the election. And this debate, whoever “won,” actually helps Mitt Romney’s election chances a lot more than it helps President Obama’s.
Let the race to over-analyze the debate begin! What’s that? Oh, it seems I’m a bit late—instant analysis and spin were already in full force within seconds of the debate’s completion. Instead, I’ll have to analyze the over-analysis of the debate that blankets today’s news coverage. Continue reading
Precisely because Israel-based viewers are less engaged in details of this campaign than voters in America. They are, therefore, arguably a better reflection of the less-engaged and still-undecided voters in America than the hardened political junkies whose impressions of the candidates were formed long ago.
The first Obama-Romney debate is over, and has been followed by predictable torrents of over-dissection and over-analysis. So, why add more? Because reactions in Israel may be surprisingly instructive in projecting the likely impact of this debate on the coming election. Americans in Israel, as well as native-Israelis, make for an interesting group with which to measure the effect of the debate, especially on the impression made by Governor Romney. Continue reading
This column was originally published by the Times of Israel.
While various statistical methods may be sound, all polling analysis depends on the quality of assumptions and data inputted. Garbage in, garbage out: skewed data inputs lead to skewed poll results, no matter how brilliant any particular statistical methodology.
At first, it was just a trickle, a misguided throw-away line here and there, easily ignored. Then it started picking up momentum, showing up in one Israeli commentary after another. And now, it is conventional wisdom in the Israeli press and public that the U.S. election is already over, that polls show President Obama’s reelection is inevitable, and that Republican Mitt Romney might as well throw in the towel now.
Of course, this is nonsense. It is based on the most superficial reading of the most superficial polls. Continue reading