New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's extended interview with President Obama shed some light on how Obama can be well-informed, thoughtful, prudent -- yet still be seen as faltering as a foreign policy president. If you compare Obama with George W. Bush (okay -- a low bar), Obama wins, hands down. Unlike Bush, Obama inhabits the reality-based foreign policy space, with no apologies. Unlike Bush, he has no messianic zealots among his advisers. He gives the kind of well-considered responses that suggest a president who carefully engages with truly difficult policy conundrums. Yet at the end of the day, he often comes across as vacillating and indecisive -- an impression that can be fatal in his dealings with allies, adversaries, and of course electorates.
While criticizing Israel certainly isn't anti-Semitic, it is important to note there is a fine line to cross when some begin equating Zionism with Judaism in an effort to show support for Palestine during this politically charged time.
On the face of it, the gap between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating position would seem hard to bridge. Lifting the Gaza blockade would hand Hamas a political victory. Demilitarization would constitute a political defeat.
This weekend, there have been large protests on the streets of London, Cape Town, and Santiago, and smaller demonstrations in Paris and New York.
The Palestine Monetary Authority has kept cash flowing to a besieged population struggling to survive in a devastated economy. Gaza's 45 bank branches have been mostly closed during the nearly month-long conflict, with working ATMs depending on the availability of generator fuel and the daring of bank staff to maintain them.
Netanyahu to U.S.: Don't ever second-guess me on Hamas! Rick to Netanyahu: Don't hold your breath
I have been doing my best not to think too much about Gaza, not only publicly but for myself. I can no longer avoid pondering all the uncomfortable thoughts Israel's bombing of Gaza is bringing home to me. Of one thing I'm sure of -- I want to tell Netanyahu, "I told you so." Netanyahu's purpose was always designed to prevent any chance of rapprochement. What's unfolding was foretold by his actions.
With or without an infusion of massive amounts of international aid, clearing away the mess of this war will take years. Streets can be cleaned, but the wounds, both physical and mental, will not soon heal, nor will the survivors easily erase the feelings of helplessness, despair and anger with which they have been left.
Earlier this summer, a minor kerfuffle over an exhibition of artworks by famed Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) underscored a more serious problem facing Armenian culture and Armenia in general -- and, by extension, many of the former Soviet republics.
Joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains one of few options for the "State of Palestine," but it's one with profound implications for Zionism and Hamas.
This conflict has devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and readers of the Times require clear and accurate comparisons of data.
The Salaita case boils down to a simple question: did the University of Illinois have a right to not hire someone as a researcher and teacher because of his abhorrent political views?
All three groups have been dehumanized as the "other," the bogeymen that will destroy if they are not destroyed. And all of us know what it is like to be trapped in the ghetto and have the walls close in on them, and all know how it feels when the lynch mob comes.
There are four strong reasons to include Hamas in the reconstruction process. First, it is time to acknowledge the major transformations that the party has undergone over the past decades.
This situation is unlike previous rounds of fighting between Israel and Hamas for the very reason that Israel has found a partner so zealous in Egypt that it can afford to ignore signals from Washington urging restraint.
While the world's first concern is, and should be, humanitarian, it also needs to pay close attention to a key aspect of both these terrorist organizations that could escalate the crisis in the Middle East beyond measure and quite possibly bring the region to the brink of destruction.