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Latest Leak: Obama the Computer Warrior by Jonathan Tobin

Leaks like these can only add to the level of distrust the Israelis feel for the administration’s intentions on Iran. The administration’s effort to enhance its image via these stories is a poor substitute for a genuine commitment to do whatever it takes to end the nuclear threat that can’t be stopped by viruses alone.

 

• Latest Leak: Obama the Computer Warrior by Jonathan Tobin http://t.co/qtqWhOoL

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Israeli elections must become a referendum on Iran by Ari Shavit

The prime minister of Israel is determined to get to the Israeli election booth before the president of the United States gets to the American election booth in November. The prime minister is determined to strike Iran, and judges that he will only be able to do so before the U.S. election in November. He wants to make sure he has some wiggle room after the Israeli election and before the American election. During this interim the new Israeli government will have absolute authority, while the U.S. administration will be impotent. By bringing the election forward Netanyahu is defining the ideal time to attack Iran: September or October.

 

• Israeli elections must become a referendum on Iran by Ari Shavit http://bit.ly/JtYpqi

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New Book: The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel by Caitlin Carenen

In The Fervent Embrace, Caitlin Carenen chronicles the American Christian relationship with Israel, tracing first mainline Protestant and then evangelical support for Zionism. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, American liberal Protestants argued that America had a moral humanitarian duty to support Israel. Christian anti-Semitism had helped bring about the Holocaust, they declared, and so Christians must help make amends. Moreover, a stable and democratic Israel would no doubt make the Middle East a safer place for future American interests. Carenen argues that it was this mainline Protestant position that laid the foundation for the current evangelical Protestant support for Israel, which is based primarily on theological grounds. Drawing on previously unexplored archival material from the Central Zionist Archives in Israel, this volume tells the full story of the American Christian-Israel relationship, bringing the various "players"--American liberal Protestants, American Evangelicals, American Jews, and Israelis--together into one historical narrative.

 

• New Book: The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel by Caitlin Carenen http://amzn.to/IvhXx3

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The Second-Term Illusion by Aaron David Miller

The Second-Term Illusion by Aaron David Miller | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Of all the urban legends swirling around the presidency and America's Middle Eastern policy, few are as compelling (or as wrong) as that of the empowered two-term president. Like the belief in the existence of a peace-process tooth fairy, it's more myth than reality, and here's why.

 

• The Second-Term Illusion by Aaron David Miller http://t.co/NVEKqwI0

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Poll Finds Obama Remains Overwhelming Favorite Among Jews by Walter Russell Mead

Poll Finds Obama Remains Overwhelming Favorite Among Jews by Walter Russell Mead | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The strong and persistent support in American public opinion for a pro-Israel foreign policy doesn’t rest on vociferous, knee-jerk support from American Jews. American Jews by and large are closer to President Obama’s more liberal instincts than they are to the views of Prime Minister Netanyahu. American policy in the Middle East isn’t about the policy preferences of American Jews.

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Israel's New Strategic Environment by George Friedman

Israel's New Strategic Environment by George Friedman | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Since its peace treaty with Egypt, Israeli dependence on outsiders was limited. Israel could act on issues like settlements, for example, regardless of American views. That period is coming to an end, and with it the period in which Israel could afford to deviate from its patron. People frequently discuss any U.S.-Israeli rift in terms of personal relations between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but this is mistaken. It is uncertainty in Egypt and Syria and the emergence of Iran that have created a new strategic reality for Israel.

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US thwarting Israeli strike on Iran by Ron Ben-Yishai

US thwarting Israeli strike on Iran by Ron Ben-Yishai | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The US Administration recently shifted into high gear in its efforts to avert an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities by the end of the year. The flood of reports in the American media in recent weeks attests not only to the genuine US fear that Israel intends to realize its threats; moreover, it indicates that the Obama Administration has decided to take its gloves off.

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Diversionary war games by Zalman Shoval

Diversionary war games by Zalman Shoval | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The U.S. government has made a decision, oddly timed to coincide with the IDF chief of staff’s visit to Washington, to increase the pressure. Not necessarily on Iran, mind you, but on Israel. The aim of this pressure is to limit Israel’s freedom to act against the Iranian nuclear threat. The method: periodic leaking of supposedly top secret information to The New York Times.

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Washington and Israel on Iran: Unresolved Differences by Michael Herzog

Notwithstanding their differing perspectives on the subject, the less daylight seen between Washington and Israel regarding Iran, the better.

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AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation by Alex Joffe

AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation by Alex Joffe | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The most effective politics creates a shared sense of belonging not through scolding or fear but through a sense of being wanted, not by politicians but by the polity and by causes that are larger than the individual. This is a lesson that American democracy, a cause in need of reaffirmation, could re-learn from AIPAC.

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Iran and U.S. Election-Year Politics by Aaron David Miller

The notion that 5.5 million American Jews in tight alliance with the country’s evangelical Christians hold America’s Middle East policy hostage is one of the most dangerous yet enduring myths of American politics and foreign policy. The pro-Israel constituency has a powerful voice, to be sure, particularly in Congress, where politics dominate. But that community doesn’t have a veto, or anything close to one. When a smart and determined president chooses to follow the national interest rather than a narrow political one — from arms sales to the Arabs to the peace process, the White House prevails.

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AIPAC's Victory by Michael J. Totten

AIPAC's Victory by Michael J. Totten | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

For decades public opinion polls in the United States have shown that Americans sympathize with the Israelis more than the Palestinians by nearly four to one. Barack Obama may not have always sided with the majority on this question, but he appears to have been mainstreamed in the meantime. And if he's faking it like some of my colleagues seem to believe, well, that just goes to show that the consensus in Washington and in America as a whole is one not even a president has the power to break.

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The 'Jewish' President by Bret Stephens

The 'Jewish' President by Bret Stephens | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Should Israelis and pro-Israel Americans take President Obama at his word when he says—as he did at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday—"I have Israel's back"?

 

No.

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Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams

Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

President Obama, like many world leaders, has called an Iranian nuclear weapon “unacceptable.” He is right, and that should remain the US position—not just that it would be a bad outcome, not just that we would be angered by it, but that we refuse to accept it and, as the president also once said, will prevent it. If we are unwilling to act, or to act soon enough, it should be our position that Israeli action is justifiable.

 

• Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams http://bit.ly/IUnA6c

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The Israel Lobby’s GOP Past by Lee Smith

The Israel Lobby’s GOP Past by Lee Smith | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Jewish voters are a reliable Democratic bloc. But the Republican Party established the first platform on Israel—and brought the Democrats along. It’s conventional wisdom that it’s the Democrats who have always been the Jews’ greatest allies and most ably represent their views, from domestic policy to foreign affairs. And with good reason: The Democrats certainly get the majority of Jewish votes, without fail. But as the book "Herbert Hoover and the Jews" reminds us, it was the Republicans who got there first in helping to establish a formal Israel platform.

 

• The Israel Lobby’s GOP Past by Lee Smith http://bit.ly/IncaZH

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Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom

Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Israel Hayom hosts special discussion: Experts in Middle Eastern and international politics discuss the Iranian nuclear threat, whether Israel can trust the U.S. and whether the era of American deterrence in the region is over. Experts: Efraim Inbar, Eytan Gilboa, Joshua Teitelbaum, Ze'ev Maghen, Hillel Frisch.

 

• Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom http://bit.ly/IMb3C

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NY Times weaves a Netanyahu-Romney conspiracy tale by Leo Rennert

Barbaro notes ominously that Romney has suggested "that he would not make any significant policy decisions about Israel without consulting Mr. Netanyahu." Wow! But what's wrong with that? Doesn't Obama consult with Britain's David Cameron or Germany Chancellor Merkel on NATO decisions affecting them? Aren't consultations with close allies a perfectly normal part of U.S. diplomacy? Why, even Winston Churchill slept in the White House during World War 2 without being able to twist FDR around his little finger. When the chips are down, U.S. presidents act according to their views of U.S. national interests.

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Who Leaked Israeli Iran Plan? by Lee Smith

Who Leaked Israeli Iran Plan? by Lee Smith | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Is the United States leaking information in order to discourage an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities? That’s what some experts are saying in the wake of a controversial piece published last week in Foreign Policy magazine, which reported that Israel may be intending to use Azerbaijan as a base of operations in the event of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

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State Department Spin on Jerusalem Meltdown is Already Wrong by Omri Ceren

This morning, the State Department will begin to walk back the spectacular meltdown that was yesterday’s press briefing, wherein State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland gave the Palestinians a de facto retroactive veto over Israel’s 1949 decision to make Jerusalem its capital.

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Netanyahu Sees Strike on Iran’s Nukes as Worth the Risk by Jeffrey Goldberg

I came away from this visit certain that Netanyahu isn’t bluffing. I disagree with Panetta’s view that an Israeli attack could come by June, but I do think that, if current conditions prevail, there is a very good chance Israel will strike by the end of the year.

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Six Big Lies about How Jerusalem Runs Washington by Aaron David Miller

Six Big Lies about How Jerusalem Runs Washington by Aaron David Miller | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Before we lose our collective minds (again), it might be useful to review some of the myths and misconceptions about domestic U.S. politics and America's Middle East policies that still circulate all too widely in Europe and the Arab world -- and sadly in the United States too.

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Gay Times at AIPAC by Jayson Littman

While I came into AIPAC a bit apprehensive, I surely left with a renewed hope in my love for Israel, not only for the Western values she affords the LGBT community in the region, but also for her democratic nature. I was inspired by the strong connection between global gay political values and the democratic values that the state of Israel affords its people.

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The Netanyahu-Obama divide by Yoram Ettinger

The Netanyahu-Obama divide by Yoram Ettinger | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The ideological divide between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama is unbridgeable. It cannot be papered-over by photo-opportunities, smiles and warm hospitality. On the other hand, the worldview expressed by Netanyahu during his recent visit to the U.S. is consistent with the majority of Americans and their representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

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Why Israel Still Can’t Trust That Obama Has Its Back by Yossi Klein Halevi

Why Israel Still Can’t Trust That Obama Has Its Back by Yossi Klein Halevi | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Obama wasn’t speaking primarily to Iran but to Israel. Even when he seemed to be warning Tehran, he was really warning Jerusalem. His goal these last days hasn’t been so much to deter them but us. The headlines got it right: Cool down the war talk. Give sanctions—and diplomacy—a chance. For me to trust Obama on Israel’s ultimate security threat, I need him to speak directly to Iran, not to American Jews and the Israeli public. I need to know that he is as committed to a military solution as he is to a diplomatic solution, if the first option fails.

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By conjuring the Holocaust, Netanyahu brought Israel closer to war with Iran by Aluf Benn

By conjuring the Holocaust, Netanyahu brought Israel closer to war with Iran by Aluf Benn | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

In his speech to the AIPAC conference Monday night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved closer than ever to the point of no return en route to war with Iran. Netanyahu compared Iran to Nazi Germany, its nuclear facilities to death camps, and his current trip to the White House to a desperate plea to former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt by the U.S. Jewish community to bomb Auschwitz. The Holocaust talk has but one meaning: they force Israel to go to war and strike the Iranians. The justifications against an attack, weighty as those may be, turn to fumes when put up against the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Treblinka.

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