Barack Obama’s Commitment Problem

Obama’s waffling over the red line he himself painted cuts to the core of whether he can be relied upon to keep even his own commitments anywhere else–such as American peace process guarantees for Israel.  Would you buy a used peace plan from this man?

This column was first published in American Thinker  Continue reading

America’s Racial Spasm (And The President Who Isn’t Helping Matters)

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

Kerry Squanders Obama’s Good Work In Israel

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

Neocons, Realists…Now Meet Obama’s Foreign Policy Surrealists

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

Romney Wins in a Landslide (at Least in Israel): What it Means

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

From Under the Bus: A Response to Efraim Halevy and the NYTimes

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

למי אובמה טוב? [Hebrew version of “Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago? Yes!”]

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