Some Elul Suggestions for Liberal Zionists and for Progressive Jews who are Not

Elul is the Jewish month for soul-reckoning. Traditionally, Jews don't make New Year resolutions, but they are expected to try harder in anticipation of the High Holiday Season. So in that spirit, I have a few practical suggestions for my liberal Zionist as well as my progressive non-Zionist and anti-Zionist brothers and sisters (and for myself). 1. Pay for a subscription to Haaretz, and read it several times a week. Sign up for the daily Continue Reading...

Qatar Deserves Kudos for Handling Crisis with Maturity and Logic

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt had listed 13 demands on June 23, 2017, warning that there would be serious consequences if Qatar failed to yield by July 2. Qatar rejected the ultimatum and the four countries have not yet carried out their threats. Instead, they have softened their stand, vaguely signaling that it might be enough if Qatar were to accede to ‘Six Principles’. In short, there has been no escalation and we Continue Reading...

Did UAE Plant Fake News about Qatar to Fool Trump?

The intrepid Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post that anonymous US intelligence officials have decided to go public with what they know about the attempt of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to frame Qatar. The hacking attack on May 23 that planted fake news, such as doctored video showing the emir of Qatar praising Hamas, the fundamentalist Palestinian party-militia, and praising Iran, was planned out by high Continue Reading...

“Can You Believe the World We Live In?” Trump Doesn’t Understand “Classified”

Donald Trump is most probably not a Russian spy.  He may have unusual connections to Russian businessmen (that isn’t clear), and seems to have made $100 million off Russia since 2008 (not that huge a sum for a multi-billionaire). Donald Trump is a braggart.  He grabs a piece of information the way a crow grabs paste jewelry.  Unlike the crow who will likely hoard it, Trump passes it around for all to see. Continue Reading...

Does Trump’s slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?

The US foreign aid budget is not mainly about helping the poor.  It is an instrument for buying influence in countries important to the US.  The poorest countries in the world do not get much help from the US. Israel, which is a wealthy country, gets over $3 billion a year, some of it going to Israeli civilians!  Egypt is a relatively poor country, but most US aid to Cairo goes to the Egyptian military.  In fact, they don’t need or know what to Continue Reading...