Alan, what did you mean when you said J Street had "gone over to the dark side"? That those who don't think ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a U.S. national security interest are the forces of light?
Occupation is an ugly word. That is why people who support the idea of a Jewish state should use the term. Because, on this, Israel's 62nd independence day, the Occupation has to be identified for what it has become: Israel's worst enemy.
Mohammed Omer is a 25-year-old Palestinian journalist. In 2008 he won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. One the way home from the awards ceremony he was detained at the airport by Israeli security forces and tortured.
Israel persistently conflates self-defense and deterrence, while employing collective punishment to advance its strategic aims. The international community must act quickly to force the Israelis to abandon this failed strategy.
Indeed, if the Gaza aid flotilla succeeded in anything, it was in painting precisely this portrait of Israel's army to the world: soldiers as terrorists, and terrorists standing alongside humanitarians like Scott Hamman, magically transform into peace activists.
It would be very interesting to hear a response from the Israeli government in the form of an actual list of excluded items other than the now-permitted soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy.
The conflict in the Middle East is not between Israelis and Palestinians so much as between extremists and moderates. And the extremists on both sides have been steadily winning through mutual provocation.