Israel Matzav: Livni's bald friend calls for 'one-state solution'
Well, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's 'negotiating partner,'
Ahmed Qrei Abu Ala has called for a 'one-state solution' to the Arab-Israeli dispute. I received the following press release from the Zionist Organization of America after the holiday started here on Thursday.
FP:Don’t underestimate this initiative, it is the logical conclusion of the West’s approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is the threat which it will use to pressure Israel into concessions which, if made, will have exactly the same result.
Ashton says she wants to see talks move to more "sustained process of dialogue"; Tehran rejects US request for bilateral meeting on the sidelines of nuclear summit; Israel waiting to see how it plays out.
FP: Expect a cave-in spinned as success.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, DFLP, prisoners demanding end to Israel's administrative detention; Fatah prisoners yet to join strike.
FP: Israel refuses to learn from experience and repeats the same mistake over and over again, with the same results.
PowerLine: Sheila Bair’s modest proposal
Sheila Bair was chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for a five-year term that expired last year. At the agency she was a power player with sharp elbows that she deployed to defend and extend the agency’s turf. Today RealClearPolitics features her Washington Post column “Fix income inequality with a $10 million loan for everyone.”
It’s an unusual column for a former agency ahead. Although it draws on her regulatory background, it is satirical rather than straightforward. It demonstrates a sense of humor. And it seems to be taking a swing at her former regulatory colleagues including Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his launches of the titanic QE. Or is it a gibe at President Obama and his OWS friends selling the Big Rock Candy Mountain to gullible voters. Or is this a twofer? I invite your interpretation.
FP: This could have been satire had it not been the case that today more than anything else inequality is due to the kleptocratic corporate welfare state which robs the public to enrich the rich but unproductive, who have discovered that it’s easier to own the political system than to produce wealth. See also: Matt Taibbi (Yes, Virginia, This Is Obama’s JOBS Act)
Bill Katz: SURE, CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN
One of the more depressing things about the current administration is how intensely political it is. Now, all presidents have to be politicians, but this one has carried the role to an extreme, essentially running a 24/7 political campaign.
The Weekly Standard documents one aspect of the continuing campaign, and how it has trashed the very idea that this presidency is about hope and change:
Access to the Obama White House is in direct correlation to the amount of money donated to the president's reelection effort and the Democratic party, the New York Times reports today.
We grudgingly commend The Times for the report.
The Times reports: "those who donated the most to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others. Among donors who gave $30,000 or less, about 20 percent visited the White House, according to a New York Times analysis that matched names in the visitor logs with donor records. But among those who donated $100,000 or more, the figure rises to about 75 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the president’s top fund-raisers in the 2008 campaign visited the White House at least once, some of them numerous times."
But the most explosive allegation in the news story comes from former Democratic congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Ted Kenney, who calls what the Obama White House is doing "quid pro quo."
Patrick J. Kennedy, the former representative from Rhode Island, who donated $35,800 to an Obama re-election fund last fall while seeking administration support for a nonprofit venture, said contributions were simply a part of “how this business works.”
“If you want to call it ‘quid pro quo,’ fine,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to make sure I do my part.”
Republicans should turn this into a major story, and demand investigations into possible White House corruption. Reading about this must be discouraging for all those young people who really thought they were getting Mr. Wonderful when they worked for Obama in 2008.
FP: While Obama may have exacerbated this process, it’s been a core characteristic of a political system that privatizes profits and socializes costs for a long time now. There is hardly another aspect that explains this society better. The next president will probably do it even more. Part and parcel of American decline, here’s more of it:
THE IRAN TALKS – I'm just so excited. The first day of talks with Iran about that country's nuclear program ended today, and observers say they were "positive." What does this mean? Why, it means they agreed to meet again next month. It's wonderful when peace breaks out, isn't it? How brilliant Obama is. His diplomacy achieved an Iranian agreement to meet today...to plan another meeting. That Nobel Peace Prize was deserved. Oh, the Iranians are apparently demanding that the U.S. and Europe agree not to attack Iran while the talks are ongoing. At one meeting a month, that might be, say, 10 years.
WE APOLOGIZE AGAIN – The U.S. has apologized to a major Indian movie star, Shah Rukh Khan, who was detained for 90 minutes after his private jet landed at a New York airport. Khan arrived to deliver a speech at Yale. He also complained he was delayed for more than two hours in 2009. Hey, do you think maybe that Mr. Khan, who is very full of himself, isn't following some rules? Apparently, people flying to America can avoid these hassles by following some very simple procedures before they leave. Maybe Khan thinks he's too important. Incredibly, the French news agency that reported the story compared it to the Trayvon Martin case. I'm not kidding.
CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN? – The United States has always run the World Bank. And, given the amount of money involved and our contributions to the Bank, that's a good idea. But this is the age of Obama, where a big neon sign saying WEAKNESS flashes outside the White House every night. There's a vacancy at the top of the Bank following the resignation of American diplomat Robert Zoellick. Ordinarily, it would be a foregone conclusion that another American would be appointed. But now other nations, especially in Africa, are challenging our supremacy. Candidates like Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have stepped forward to challenge Obama's choice, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim. The Bank's board will decide next week. Although it's unlikely, don't be shocked if we lose the presidency. We've lost pretty much everything else under Obama.
And it accelerates in all dimensions:
At least one supervisor was among the agents involved, King said. He was not certain exactly how many women were involved.
The scandal — a black eye for the United States’ reputation abroad — was revealed Friday just hours before President Obama arrived in Cartagena.
The 11 agents were part of an advance team assigned to secure a local hotel before the summit began, yet their attention apparently turned to taking advantage of Colombia’s policy of legal prostitution.
Five American service members were also accused of misconduct stemming from the scandalous incident at the hotel, according to the U.S. military.
Once it starts, rot spreads.
Israel will survive. That's what Israel does. The question is whether American Jewry will survive. Looking at the history of Diaspora communities from Spain to Holland to Yemen, there's little reason to think that American Jewry will endure indefinitely. Looking to American Jewish life -- including skyrocketing assimilation rates and a diluted, disappearing culture -- there's even less.
Beinart's prescription for the ailment is to peg American Jewish identity to a certain political stance on Israel. But the move is factitious and off-mark, a fact underscored by the almost universal derision Beinart has received in reviews of his book, including by some of the most distinguished American Jewish commentators.
FP: I’ve always consider what’s underlying Jewish life in America as a sort of social identification, not Jewishness.