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Alan Elsner
Author and journalist Alan Elsner had a 30-year career with Reuters News Agency, including stints in Jerusalem, London, Stockholm and Washington where he covered foreign policy and presidential elections. In 2007, Elsner was a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Romania where he advanced the cause of a free media in an emerging democracy.

Elsner’s first book, “Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons” won praise as a dramatic exposé of appalling neglect and abuse in the nation’s jails. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy said: “This book should be a wake-up call for federal, state, and local governments across America.”
In 2007, Publisher’s Weekly called Elsner’s first novel, “The Nazi Hunter” “a gripping debut thriller” while Kirkus Reviews praised its "intriguing protagonist, terrifying historical lessons, and a well-orchestrated, pulse-pounding conclusion." Elsner also wrote a memoir of his father's experiences in Soviet Gulag camps during World War II called "Guarded by Angels."
His second novel, "Romance Language" which appeared in October 2009, is a love story that takes place against the backdrop of the 1989 revolution in Romania.
Elsner isa Special Advisor at J Street, a pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group.

Entries by Alan Elsner

On Settlements, Israel has Runs Circles Around One US President After Another

(36) Comments | Posted July 6, 2016 | 11:31 AM

Over the weekend, the Israeli Prime Minister's office announced plans to build 1,400 new housing units across the Green Line in response to a wave of recent terrorist attacks.

We've all seen such statements countless times before. Over the past 49 years, Israeli governments have made innumerable decisions...

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Trump's Scary Mideast Vision

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2016 | 11:50 AM

Until now, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has offered some juicy -- and sometimes contradictory -- sound bites but no real policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That changed dramatically last week when one of his two top advisers on Israeli affairs was interviewed in Haaretz.


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A Tale of Two Pro-Israel Evenings and What They Mean in 2016

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 2:24 PM

On two recent Monday evenings in Washington DC, major US political figures addressed pro-Israel audiences. Their speeches could not have been more different.

On March 21, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), winning ovation after ovation, especially when he declared...

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Note to Fellow Jews this Passover: Let's Stop Behaving Like Eternal Victims

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 5:56 PM

An interesting thing happened the other day when Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders vastly overstated the number of Palestinian fatalities in the 2014 mini-war between Israel and Hamas.

Though Sanders quickly corrected himself, this did not stop former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren,...

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A Disease Israel Must Confront

(16) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 6:22 PM

Some years ago, my mother broke her hip and was rushed for emergency surgery to Hillel Yaffe hospital in the northern Israeli town of Hadera.

Visiting her during her painful recovery, I was struck by the high number of Israeli Arab citizens working at the hospital at...

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The Author Versus the Demagogue

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2016 | 9:11 AM

While Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was bringing thousands of delegates to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) national conference to their feet the other night, a very different event took place just a couple of miles away where a theatrical adoption of Israeli author David Grossman's moving novel...

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Trump Is Morally Unfit to Be Our President

(422) Comments | Posted March 17, 2016 | 12:11 PM

The growing possibility that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee is stirring a debate within the American Jewish community about how to view his candidacy, particularly in the light of his upcoming address to the AIPAC policy conference on Monday.

Trump's candidacy has provoked a visceral and response...

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Israel's Home Demolitions Policy Is Morally Wrong

(21) Comments | Posted February 22, 2016 | 9:15 AM

Recently, Sue Klebold has been making the media rounds, promoting her new book "A Mother's Reckoning."

For those who may not recall, Sue is the mother of Dylan Klebold, who on April 20, 1999, together with Eric Harris, killed 13 people and wounded 24 in the horrific massacre...

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In Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, There Is No Status Quo

(24) Comments | Posted February 18, 2016 | 3:10 PM

Israeli opponents and skeptics of a two-state peace solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, often argue that the risks right now are too high and that maintaining the status quo is the safer option.

This is dangerously misleading because there is no status quo in...

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Who Are Israel's Friends?

(12) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 10:20 AM

Memo to: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
From: Director General, Ministry of Friendship
Subject: Our Friends

An Op Ed in the New York Times by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon headlined "Don't Shoot the Messenger, Israel," raises the issue once again of who are our real friends...

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Israel's Creeping Annexation of West Bank Speeds Up

(10) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 1:28 PM

As is is well known, many members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government are strident opponents of a two-state solution and would like to annex at least a major portion of the occupied West Bank.

Until recently, many in the international community assumed that Netanyahu would block such...

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Hélène Grimaud's "Water" Expands Language of Classical Piano Recital

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 11:34 AM

In recent years, there have been valiant attempts to revive the tired format of the classical piano recital. You know, the one where the audience sits in reverent hush while soloists, clad in evening dress, display how fast their fingers can move up and down the keyboard and how loud...

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Opponents of Iran Nuclear Deal Just Won't Quit

(38) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 12:36 PM

Opponents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and six world powers to deal with Iran's nuclear program mounted a massive campaign last summer, spending tens of millions of dollars to sabotage the agreement.

They failed -- but they have not quit.

Days after reports that Iran...

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Disturbing Trends in Israel

(54) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 11:19 AM

The arrest of a Jewish settler, who has been charged with burning to death three Palestinians, including an 18-month-old infant in the West Bank village of Duma in July 2014, is tremendously disturbing in many ways.

First and foremost of course is the confirmation of the long-held assumption that this...

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Incitement Grows Against Israeli NGOs

(6) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 9:59 AM

For some time, we have seen a growing climate of intimidation in Israel aimed at silencing non-governmental organizations that monitor human rights and report on the situation in the Palestinian Territory. Such intimidation now even extends to the country's ceremonial head of state, President Reuven Rivlin, who has been

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The Steps We Take

(1) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 10:45 AM

On Sunday October 25, the day on which a dear friend died suddenly aged 58, I took 13,737 steps -- beating my target of 13,171 by 566.

I know this because the device I wear strapped to my wrist told me so. The following day, moving through a fog of...

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Netanyahu Broke New Ground in U.S. Trip -- But Not in a Good Way

(304) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 10:57 AM

In his trip to the United States this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advanced a very dangerous narrative of why, in his view, Israel and the Palestinians cannot possibly make peace under current conditions.

During his visit, Netanyahu made a special effort to reach out to American progressives by going...

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Israeli-Palestinian Violence Is a Failure of Political Leadership on Both Sides

(4) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 11:05 AM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets tomorrow with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and later this week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Hussein, aiming to find ways to tamp down the horrible wave of violence and terrorism that has erupted in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank...

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Head of Group Opposing Iran Deal Comes Out in Favor

(10) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 12:07 PM

Gary Samore, a former advisor to President Obama, was never pollyannish on the prospects of a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. After decades working on arms control for Presidents Clinton and Obama, he knew firsthand how hard it can be to roll back a nation's nuclear program once its scientists have mastered...

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What Netanyahu Really Thinks About Military Action Against Iran

(96) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 11:24 AM

Israel's former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, is on a crusade to discredit President Obama and derail a possible nuclear deal with Iran -- and his new memoir contains interesting information about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's real thoughts on how to stop the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon.


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