When it became clear last December that he was about to be indicted on corruption charges, Avigdor Leiberman resigned as Israel’s Foreign Minister. He did not quite resign from wielding influence, however. Indeed, having since held elections and formed a new government, Prime Minister Netanyahu is essentially retaining the Foreign Ministry for its former occupant, at least until the trial is completed; Lieberman himself is expected to testify in two weeks. In the meantime, the Foreign Ministry essentially stands bereft.
Mind you, Netanyahu did name a Deputy Foreign Minister: the ultra right-wing Ze’ev Elkin, an MK with no diplomatic credentials who boasts a strikingly anti-democratic voting record, and who said this past January that
We will try to apply sovereignty over the maximum [of the West Bank] that we can at any given moment. It will take time to change people’s awareness but in the end this will penetrate. And then, what seems today like a fairy tale will eventually become political reality, and the reality on the ground.
So the Foreign Ministry does have the anti-democratic, fairy tale guy (who, coincidentally, doesn’t speak English) at its disposal; Elkin met with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan just the other day.
And there’s also Yuval Steinitz. Steinitz currently holds the “International Affairs” portfolio, and may be given the real Foreign Relations post if Lieberman is convicted. According to veteran Israeli political scientist and commentator Shlomo Avineri, Steinitz’s office is “a kind of second Foreign Ministry, but without the staff or the means,” and though many visiting diplomats have been referred to him,
The Israeli Finance Ministry’s new budget proposal states, among other things, that ultra-Orthodox schools will need to dedicate at least 55 percent of school hours to teaching the Ministry’s core curriculum if they wish to receive any state funds.
July 30, 2012 Jerusalem, Israel A boy looks on as tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews attend a celebration marking completion of a seven-and a-half year daily study-cycle of the entire Talmud (Uriel Sinai / Getty Images)
Though there are many serious, substantive problems in Israeli education that necessitate reform, and not all of them will be remedied by this new proposal, the bill does plan to address one fundamental problem facing the future of a democratic Israeli citizenry: civic education.
This past summer I traveled to Israel to learn more about how they teach civic education. I wanted to understand if and how the Israeli government fosters a sense of civic solidarity amongst Israelis who are divided into sometimes quite distinct public schools. Public schools, from a Durkheimian sociological perspective, are institutions meant to cultivate citizens—individuals with a shared understanding of norms, values and expectations of their society.
Yesterday's news that the U.S. had evidence of chemical weapons "exposure"—not necessarily "use," as Max Fisher astutely noted—means that America might be at war in Syria sooner rather than later. That's because Barack Obama previously warned Bashar Al Assad's embattled regime "that the use of chemical weapons is a game changer." Some seventy-thousand Syrians have already reportedly perished in Syria's brutal civil war, many at the hands of the tyrant Assad. So the question becomes: why do chemical weapons change the game? Not without irony, the answer "has nothing to do with the future of Syria," points out Jeffrey Lewis at Arms Control Wonk. "We have a stake in strengthening the norm against chemical weapons use. If Assad is using chemical weapons to hold on to power, we have an interest in ensuring that his government falls and that the responsible regime figures take their turn at the Hague." That doesn't mean you rush in. "Once we go in, the gloves are off," Lewis warns. Experts from the Arms Control Association echoed that sentiment: "Such an intervention would not necessarily prevent further use of chemical weapons. In fact, it could increase the chances that Assad will follow through on his threat to use chemical weapons more broadly or cause the military conflict to spread into neighboring countries."
In this Friday, Dec. 07, 2012 photo, damaged buildings are seen along a desolate street on the front line after several weeks of intense battles between rebel fighters and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Amarya district of Aleppo, Syria. (Narciso Contreras/AP)
The most striking thing about intervening to uphold an international norm is that slaughtering tens of thousands of civilians seems just as good a reason for Assad to be out of power and in the clutches of international justice. This, then, might be less about the lofty goals of removing a murderous dictator and sparing civilian lives, and more about Obama adhering to a "red line" that he's drawn in the sand. Just hear out Obama's former Democratic Senate colleague Dick Durbin: “From what I’ve heard our intelligence indicated with some degree of certainty that [Obama's red line] has been crossed,” Durbin told Politico. “That’s up to the commander in chief, but something has to be done.” One of the most important Democratic national security voices, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, pressed just as hard: “It is clear that ‘red lines’ have been crossed and action must be taken to prevent larger scale use,” she said. "The world must come together to prevent this by unified action which results in the secure containment of Syria’s significant stockpile of chemical weapons.” Others, like the former Clinton National Security Council official Jim Lindsey, have noted that for Obama to not follow through on his "red line" could "make it harder to deal not just with Syria but with Iran and North Korea. Tough talk and inaction seldom yield good results." It's notable—and new—that all this pressure is coming from Democrats and their associates; many of the Republicans who've been clamoring for direct U.S. involvement in Syria for the better part of the civil war have been even more forceful.
This revelation of the American assessment came after France and the United Kingdom raised the possibility of the weapons' use in private letters to the U.N., and a public announcement by Israel this weekend that it too had evidence of chemical weapons use. Piggy-backing on the international moves, the Obama administration began pushing for a thorough U.N. investigation, perhaps laying the groundwork for a U.N. Security Council resolution. Feinstein explicitly called for one in her remarks, specifically demanding Russia's accession. But the Russians, Assad's top international backers, look unlikely to budge. That could mean a unilateral intervention, or maybe a so-called coalition of the willing: "[I]f the U.S.A. implements a no-fly zone it would almost certainly do so without the support of the Security Council as Russia would almost certainly veto such a measure," U.N. Dispatch's Mark Leon Goldberg wrote. "We saw what happened the last time the U.S.A. fought a war in the Middle East without solid international backing." The Iraq reminder is a useful one, particularly because the U.S. must be damned sure what went on in Syria before directly entering the conflict. Though, as Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman reported, the evidence of a sarin gas attempt would be difficult to fake, the U.S. seems unsure of exactly where and when the evidence comes from, as well as it's chain of custody. Lewis suggested that, before taking action, the U.S. ought to know definitively that there was a chemical attack and that it was carried out by Assad's forces.
"Death to Arabs...Go away."
--Graffiti written on door of apartment rented by young Arabs in Tel-Aviv.
- Racism in Tel Aviv: 'Death to Arabs' on apartment door - Unknown assailants break into apartment inhabited by Arab youngsters, spray-paint 'death Arabs' and 'go away'. Police launch an investigation. (Ynet)
- '3 children detained' by Israeli police in Issawiya, E. Jerusalem - Israeli police detained three children, aged 13, on Thursday morning during a raid in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh. Issawiya is the hometown of Samer Issawi, who ended a 266-day hunger strike on Wednesday after Israel agreed to release him in eight months. (Maan)
- Locals say Israeli tanks, bulldozers enter Gaza - Eight bulldozers were accompanied by tanks, entering approximately 100 meters into farming land east of Khan Younis, witnesses said. On Wednesday, witnesses reported a similar incident east of Beit Hanoun. At the time, an Israeli army spokeswoman said there was "routine activity adjacent to the security fence," without providing further details. (Maan)
- Jerusalem agrees to honor Prof. Yeshayhu Leibowitz after years of strife - Rightists and ultra-Orthodox city council members have repeatedly protested against naming of street after renowned Israeli Orthodox philosopher who spoke out against the occupation, settlements and the IDF. (Haaretz+ and NRG Hebrew)
- Ultra-orthodox group: Resist draft with all your soul - They are not waiting for Military Police to arrest deserters – an emergency guide being distributed over past few days within haredi communities, yeshivas, reflects resistance planned for upcoming drafts; includes story about 93 Krakow girls who committed suicide. (Ynet)
- Fatwa council approves artificial insemination for prisoners' wives - The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council on Wednesday approved artificial insemination for the wives of Palestinians in Israeli jails. The Razan Medical Center for Infertility, which has clinics in Ramallah and Nablus, has offered free insemination treatment to the wives of political prisoners who manage to smuggle sperm out of Israeli jails. (Maan)
- U.S. denies plan to convene 4-way Mideast summit in June - Despite denials, well-placed U.S. sources insist that a four-way summit heralding the launch of renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians had been discussed with Mideast leaders and foreign ministers. (Haaretz)
For the full News from Israel.
When Yair Lapid surprised pundits by leading his new party to a second place finish in Israel’s parliamentary elections three months ago, it gave hope to those looking for a real alternative to Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, and other right wing politicians. Perhaps, some speculated, Lapid could even claim the Foreign Ministry and revive the ailing peace process. That outcome wasn’t in the cards—Lapid’s Yesh Atid party did well, but Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu did better—and with limited ambitions in his first election, Lapid invested all his political capital in domestic affairs rather than diplomatic issues.
Though Lapid’s potential as a force for peace will not be realized in this Knesset, it may well be in the next. Indeed, the prospects for peace in the next government will hinge on Lapid’s ability—or inability—to prove to the Israeli people that he is the right person to lead the country.
Israeli actor, journalist and author Yair Lapid, who heads the new Yesh Atid political party, delivers a speech in the Ariel University in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Ariel on October 30, 2012. (Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images)
The next election may not be that far off. Few people expect this uncomfortable coalition to last; odds are that one crisis or another will lead it to dissolve in the next two years. The region is in flux, the ultra-Orthodox are unhappy, and Netanyahu knows that his coalition “partners” Lapid and Bennett are both waiting for the right moment unseat him. They all see it as a temporary arrangement focused on domestic affairs until a more definitive election determines the 20th Knesset.
With regards to Lapid and the peace process, there are four possible outcomes.
The Australian Jewish community has traditionally been a very strong supporter of Israel. The support has been mostly dominated by the political Right, despite (or perhaps because of) the great physical distance that separates the two countries. But there may be changes in the wind, as we see a combination of converging factors.
To explain the situation, we must first understand some history and context of the unique Australian Jewish community.
Supporters of Shahar Peer of Israel display the country's flag during her women's singles first round match against Isabella Holland of Australia on day two of the 2012 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 17, 2012. (Findlay Kember / AFP / Getty Images)
While Jews arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, the roots of the community were established in the immigration wave in the late nineteenth century and then with a huge post-Holocaust immigration surge of some 30,000 people—which doubled the population. Even now, over 30% of the Jewish community are either Holocaust survivors or their descendants. But why Australia? Two reasons: First, our government welcomed European immigrants of all ethnicities—Jews, Greeks, Italians and many more. Second, many Holocaust survivors were quite comfortable with the idea of getting as far away from Europe as possible.
It’s been several weeks since Yair Lapid took his recently-established Yesh Atid party into the government coalition. Lapid’s success at winning 19 seats while its rival for the center, Kadima, was devastated and its main challenger from the right, Likud-Beiteinu, dropped 12 seats seemed to make of him a boy wonder who could change Israeli politics. Reports of him in both the Israeli and American press commented on his grand achievement, and much of that sense of accomplishment has continued since then.
Israeli politician Yair Lapid (L), leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to Naftali Bennett, head of the Israeli hardline national religious party the Jewish Home during a reception marking the opening of the 19th Knesset on February 5, 2013. (Uriel Sinai / Getty Images)
Five weeks isn’t a lot of time by which to judge a new politician, but if we want to get a sense of how he’ll do in the near future, it might be useful to track what Lapid has done thus far. And by the standards and expectations he set out after the election through his rhetoric and actions, he’s done a really great job.
Despite some early hopes that Lapid would be a savior of the peace process, others quickly pointed out that his alliance with Naftali Bennett and Jewish Home would stifle his otherwise-important declaration that peace with the Palestinians, through real negotiations, was critically necessary. By that standard, Lapid’s stuck to the expectations he generated.
As if you needed another reminder that the Republican foreign policy right—the dominant wing of the party in Washington—isn't exactly to be trusted on Mideast issues, just take a glance at the region this past week. When the Obama administration sent two cabinet level officials there, the picture couldn't have played out more differently than Senate Republicans and their D.C.-fellow travelers said it would this winter. Recall the atmosphere as now-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Republican, was bruised and battered during confirmation hearings. GOP Senators and their supporters in the right-wing media made specious allegation after allegation against Hagel: raising the possibility that he took money from North Korea and Iran; that he joined the "Friends of Hamas"; and, most infamously, that the Nebraskan hated Jews. In contrast, John Kerry sailed through the Senate to be confirmed as Secretary of State. John McCain, one of Hagel's most vociferous opponents on the Hill, said of Kerry, "I commend his nomination to you without reservation"—even though the former Massachusetts Senator held many of the same positions that gave rise to the charges against Hagel. On the terms of their own right-wing pro-Israel perspective, these forces on the right could not have gotten it more wrong. The past weeks of Kerry's shuttle diplomacy to the Mideast and Hagel's own trip to Israel paint the opposite of the picture that emerged at their confirmations.
The ease with which Republicans and their right-wing allies accepted Kerry as someone they needn't worry about contrasts starkly with Israeli rejection of his initiatives. Kerry's efforts to jumpstart talks between the Israelis and Palestinians by focusing on a limited set of goals were dismissed out of hand by Israel. One Israeli official involved in the talks with Kerry went so far as to cast the Secretary of State aside with what Haaretz described as "cynical, slightly scornful comments" about him. "Kerry believes that he can bring about the solution, the treaty and the salvation," the official told Haaretz. Kerry's other initiatives revolved around the so-called program of economic peace, a centerpiece of Israeli Prime Minister's limited engagement with the West Bank government of the Palestinian Authority. But Kerry's calls for meaningfully expanding these sorts of initiatives—even an apparently premature announcement that a plan had been agreed upon—also won scorn from Israeli officials. The plan revolves around expanding Palestinian economic activity in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, where Palestinian development is blocked but where settlers flourish with Israel's tacit encouragement. The Israelis seem unlikely to budge: "There is no problem with setting up sewage treatment plants, schools or roads in Area C," a senior Israeli official told Haaretz at the end of Kerry's visit. "But if we're talking about transferring land through economic projects, then we're not ready to do so." (If the Israelis have "no problem" with transportation and water infrastructure in Area C, they have a funny way of showing it.) Notably, Kerry was unable to keep the outgoing Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad—perhaps the official most responsible for Palestine's modest economic gains under occupation—from resigning.
Then Kerry really stepped in it: his latest effort to shore up a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey with a trip to the latter this weekend fell flat. On his own Mideast trip last month, Barack Obama brokered an apology from Netanyahu to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over the killings of eight Turks and an American in an Israeli raid on a flotilla aimed at breaking Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Kerry requested that Erdoğan delay a planned visit to the Hamas-controlled Strip. But after nearly three years of acrimony between the two former allies, the stubborn Erdoğan clung to his plans. Kerry proceeded to made matters worse, rousing Israeli ire over his comparison between the deaths at the Boston Marathon with those of the activists on the fotilla ship the Mavi Marmara. "I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you," Kerry said. "It affects a community, it affects a country. We’re very sensitive to that." Israelis reacted swiftly and furiously: "According to what Kerry said, he should fly now to Chechniya to pay a condolence call to the parents of the poor terrorists in Boston," said Ayelet Shaked, the second in command of a right-wing party in the governing coalition. Right-leaning American pro-Israel publications were no less clear: Commentary Magazine writer Seth Mandel called the remark "shameful moral relativism" (it's not quite, but another day).
"It doesn't look good on camera."
--Senior IDF officer tells Maariv why Israel has decided to stop supplying itself with white phosphorous bombs.
- Syria says it would not use chemical arms, 'even against Israel' - Comments by Information Minister come a day after Israeli intelligence officer said Assad regime used chemical weapons against rebels; Hagel: We must not rush to conclusion on WMDs. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Shin Bet can continue to access tourists' emails upon arrival at Ben-Gurion, AG says - Responding to petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein chooses not to interfere with security procedure, stating it's 'performed only in exceptional instances, after other relevant incriminating indications are found.' (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- IDF rabbinate removes controversial 'Laws of Mezuzah' booklet from website - The pamphlet included a section stating that non-Jews are not equal to Jews in Israel. (Haaretz+)
- Olmert announces: I will run for prime minister in next Israeli election - At a fundraising event in London two weeks ago, the former prime minister, who was forced to resign in 2008 for corruption charges, stated his intention to give it another go in four years. (Haaretz+)
- Deputy Finance Minister calls ultra-Orthodox 'parasites' on the air, and immediately apologizes - Micky Levy of Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party was discussing the issue of ultra-Orthodox joining the military and serving in the workforce. He quickly said he was sorry for using such a derogatory term. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Cross spray-painted on Kiryat Malachi synagogue - Worshippers arriving for morning service find words 'Jehovah is a son of a bitch' written near shul's entrance. (Ynet)
- For Palestinian prisoners in Israel, hunger strikes become a winning strategy - Samer Issawi's successful hunger strike has not only gained him an early release but has put the plight of Palestinians in Israeli prisons back in the headlines. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian convicted of murdering Asher Palmer and son receives 98 year prison sentence - Waal al-Arja was found guilty of hurling stones at Palmer’s car, striking Palmer, 25, in the face, and causing him to lose control of his vehicle in September 2011. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
For the full News from Israel.
This year’s Israeli elections were about the ultra-Orthodox, not the Palestinians. Israelis said they were tired of the ultra-Orthodox not serving in the military, largely not working, and taking tremendous amounts of welfare both due to unemployment and high birthrate. Shas, their biggest party, has long been a coalition kingmaker and could thus get its constituency child subsidies and welfare. But no longer.
For the first time since its establishment in 1984, Shas did not enter the coalition after elections. The party’s only other experiences with being in the opposition were between 1993 and 1996, after one of its leaders was charged with corruption, and when the party exited the coalition (back when Barak was PM) over disagreement with left-wing Meretz regarding the Camp David talks. The first result of this new coalition: Sharansky’s plan to create a permanent egalitarian section by the Kotel has been adopted. The second: the Israeli Treasury’s plans for the ultra-Orthodox, leaked to the press yesterday.
Lior Mizrahi / Getty Images
For one, the treasury plans to halve the budgets of public schools that don’t administer Israeli state tests—that is, don’t teach math, or science, or literature, or history. There are Haredi public schools in Israel that are legally not required to teach these subjects, and even those that are required to teach some of them rarely do. The state will also stop funding private schools, since they have even fewer educational requirements.
The day after last week’s attack in Boston, David Sirota wrote a column for Salon entitled “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a White American,” arguing that this would limit the resulting crackdown on civil liberties. At first, conservatives were appalled. Then, when police fingered the Tsarnaev brothers, they were triumphant. “Sorry, David Sirota, Looks Like Boston Bombing Suspects Not White Americans,” snickered a headline in Newsbusters. “Despite the most fervent hopes of some writers over at Salon.com,” added a blogger at Commentary, “the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing are not ‘white Americans’.”
L-R: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (via AP)
But the bombers were white Americans. The Tsarnaev brothers had lived in the United States for over a decade. Dzhokhar was a U.S. citizen. Tamerlan was a legal permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship. And as countless commentators have noted, the Tsarnaevs hail from the Caucasus, and are therefore, literally, “Caucasian.” You can’t get whiter than that.
So why did conservatives mock Sirota for being wrong? Because in public conversation in America today, “Islam” is a racial term. Being Muslim doesn’t just mean not being Christian or Jewish. It means not being white.
As anyone who has spent any time observing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can tell you, it’s pretty much Gospel among Israeli government types that “there’s no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side.
Oh, alas and alack (goes the argument), if only we could make peace with the Palestinians! Everyone knows that no one wants peace more than we—but there is no partner! Etc, and so on.
But then along comes American-Israeli neocon Ron Dermer, a man whose writing reportedly influenced George W. Bush; a man who once said that the U.S.-backed Road Map for Peace (signed, then quickly ignored, by Ariel Sharon) undermined Israel’s sovereignty; a man who has had Netanyahu’s ear for years (indeed, a man who was once famously called “Bibi’s brain”)—along comes Ron Dermer and in a meeting with Jewish American leaders last week, says the following:
I don’t believe that the Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad’s departure from the scene is going to be very good for peace. In my view, Fayyad was the first Palestinian leader in a century who cared about the Palestinians. There’s been many Palestinian leaders that cared about the Palestinian cause, but Fayyad is the first to actually care about the Palestinians. And from that point of view—not because he’s a Zionist—from that point of view, I think he was a peace partner, because he wants a better life for them. Any Palestinian leader who wants a better life for the Palestinians would want to have peace with Israel. So he is now departing from the scene; that doesn’t bode well. [emphasis Dermer’s]
There’s a word for this. It’s a Yiddish word, a word that has crossed oceans and land masses and worked its way into the languages of many peoples, and that word is chutzpah.
Dermer’s chutzpah takes a variety of forms, not least that special kind required for an American-Israeli Jew to pass judgment on all Palestinian leaders in the last century and find precisely one with a heart for his or her own people. That’s some ding-dang chutzpah, right there.
“It’s complicated.” That was what my Birthright tour guide said when I asked him if Hebron was actually in the State of Israel. It was what he said when someone asked a question about the shabbiness of Bedouin villages in the Negev. It was what he said when we were gazing out over the Old City and East and West Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade. Whenever questions of conflict or civil rights were raised in group discussions on my Birthright trip, he was ready with this all-purpose answer.
Birthright proudly proclaims that it is not a political organization, and that it does not have political goals or programming. Program officials, including CEO Gidi Mark, insist that it is therefore inappropriate to suggest or expect that Birthright trips delve into the political tensions—both internal and external—that Israel experiences.
Uriel Sinai / Getty Images
Avoiding politics, dismissing politics, being “apolitical”—these are political decisions. Birthright does have a political agenda, young American Jews do have political significance, and though the issues really are complicated, the way they were discussed on my Birthright trip was consistently one-sided and simplistic. The particular political lessons Birthright wanted me to take away from the experience were obvious. From the moment our plane landed and we were given a map without the Green Line or any acknowledgment of a border between Israel proper and the occupied territories, to the moment we stood at the edge of the Negev seeing Palestinian towns in the distance and were told to appreciate the beauty of the Judean Hills, it was impossible not to come away with the message that Eretz Israel, the Greater Land of Israel, rightfully belongs only and exclusively to Jews.
If Chuck Hagel didn’t know his Middle East geography before, he does now—thanks to a birds-eye tutorial from the Israeli military.
This is how an article in yesterday’s Washington Post, entitled “Chuck Hagel visits Israel, gets geography lesson,” began.
Hagel, the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense, was taken on a helicopter tour by his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The helicopter of course, like so much Israeli military equipment, was U.S. made. But what kind of tour would Hagel really get from the Israeli military? I doubt they would take the time to point out the locations of all the Palestinian villages they depopulated—that would be a real geography lesson.
Of course, it’s very hard to locate those villages, in large part because most have been razed to the ground; many have had forests built over them. If only there was a way to go back in time and take a helicopter tour to get a real geography lesson.
Well, now you can, sort of. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Palestinian researcher Salman Abu Sitta, who has painstakingly collected historic aerial imagery of Palestinian geography prior to 1948, you can now take a virtual helicopter ride over Palestine and see Palestinian towns and villages before they were destroyed.
On September 11, 2001, Benjamin Netanyahu told the press that the day’s attacks would likely heighten American sympathy for Israel by giving the U.S. a taste of global terrorism. As the New York Times reported:
Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, ''It's very good.'' Then he edited himself: ''Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.'' He predicted that the attack would ''strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''
People observe a moment of silence near the Boston Marathon finish line on the one week anniversary of the bombings on April 22, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
Now, a dozen years later, the U.S. has gotten another taste of terror—and the response coming out of official Israel is exactly the same. Last Wednesday, a mere two days after the Boston Marathon bombings killed three and wounded many more, Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s diplomatic adviser, told a closed meeting of American Jewish leaders in New York that the bombings would boost American support for Israel:
Matthew Kalman broke the story of physicist Stephen Hawking’s boycott of Israel. Then Cambridge University tried to falsely deny it.