Review Category : Articles

Hopes, Dreams and Nightmares – An Analysis of President Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech of June 5, 2009

President Barack Obama’s much anticipated Cairo speech had within it some high points and some rather disappointing ones. It carried a positive tone of respect to the Muslim world which can only help to build bridges and ease some unnecessary tension and several lofty universalist and humanist messages that can only resonate well with anyone with a sense of the common thread of humanity and decency. However, there were also several deeply disturbing elements.

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In meeting with Bibi, Obama boosted Iran

Special to WJW

All lies and jest. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest – “The Boxer,” Paul Simon

President Barack Obama emerged from his meeting last week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu with these words: “If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way.

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Escaping the Prison of One’s Own Paradigm

“Abandoning existing assumptions is no easy matter. Students of world politics, like politicians, are prisoners of their paradigms, unwilling or unable to escape the state premise of state predominance and constantly tempted to cling to familiar assumptions about hierarchy, authority and sovereignty.”
—-James N. Rosenau, The Two Worlds of World Politics

Like an abusive marriage which should have ended in divorce years earlier, many people seem wedded to their unexamined political ideas, and will end up taking them to their graves without ever, once, having had let some empirical data creep in to challenge them.

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The Belief in Impossible Things

There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen…. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”

As I write these words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to enter into the oval office and have his first meeting with President Barak Obama.

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Happy Birthday, Israel

This week, Israel has celebrated its 61st birthday. The miracle of its existence, let alone its robust emotional, ethical and economic health and its unparalleled contributions to the disciplines of medicine, of science and of the humanities is simply astounding. This, despite the seven brutal wars, the intifada, the economic boycotts, the systematized anti-Semitism among some of the chattering classes of academia and within the diplomatic community and, most particularly, in the United Nations, and the imminent threat of a nuclear bomb coming out of Iran.

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The Southern Front- Islamic Terrorism and Failed States, South and Central America

Concern over the potential threat of Islamic terrorism operating from South and Central America to strike the United States is not new. As early as 1992, Iranian proxy Hezbollah utilized the lawless enclave known as the Tri-border Area (TBA) which conjoins Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay to strike Jewish and Israeli targets in Argentina . Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah are all believed to conduct organization and fundraising in the area. In 2002, Paraguay’s public prosecutor for drug trafficking and terrorism stated that since 1995 around $50 million dollars had been remitted to Hezbollah by Lebanese businessmen in the TBA , with as much as $300 to $500 million being transmitted to all of the active Islamic terrorists both Sunni and Shiite.

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Stretching the Definition

On March 1st, I participated in the JCPA annual plenum in Washington, DC in a debate/dialogue with Ken Jacobson of the Anti-Defamation League and Jeremy Ben -Ami of J Street entitled “How Big a Tent for Pro-Israel Advocacy?”

Jeremy Ben Ami of J Street would like very much to consider himself a “pro- Israel advocate.” J Street is a new lobby in Washington made up, primarily of left wing Jews who are of supporters of “American Friends for Peace Now”, “Israel Policy Forum” and “New Israel Fund”, and the like. On their web site, they dub themselves as “pro-Israel”, yet by their words and by their deeds that would stretch the definition of pro-Israel to include the most egregious critics of Israel’s existence.

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