Put an End to the War Metaphor

Several decades ago, Lyndon Johnson declared the “war on poverty.” Since then, the war metaphor has been turned on its head, with those involved in political debates insisting that their opponents are waging war on the subject de jure. In the last few weeks, for example, liberals have said that Republicans are declaring a “war on women.” Conservatives, on the other hand, have said the president and Democrats are now declaring a “war on marriage.”

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Put an End to the War Metaphor

Must-Reads from Magazine

One States, Two States, Whatever

Commentary podcast: A new pathway to peace abroad and a new war at home.

On the second Commentary podcast of the week, we (Abe Greenwald, Noah Rothman, and I) dilate upon Donald Trump’s seeming revolution in the U.S. posture toward the Israelis and the Palestinians while asking this question: Does the president actually know what the “one-state” or “two-state” solution is? We also point out that just as paranoids have enemies, Trump has reason to believe he is under attack from inside his own executive branch—but that his response may hurt him and not help. Also, like Jack Benny and Fred Allen’s radio shows of old, we have a sponsor! Give a listen.

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An Unconventional Middle East Peace?

A Middle East peace that abandons the Peace Process.

It was a shock to the status quo on Tuesday when, standing beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump abandoned decades of U.S. policy by suggesting he would no longer insist on a two-state solution as a prerequisite for peace. Trump went on to demonstrate his contempt for precedent by noting that Palestinian school children are “taught hate from a very young age.” Trump’s disregard for diplomatic niceties may yet end up causing him headaches, but he could also find the restive Middle East more receptive to a breakthrough. Ironically, it was Barack Obama who made Trump’s job of pursuing an out-of-the-box solution to the region’s conflicts all the easier, albeit inadvertently.

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Is BDS a Bust?

BDS has failed to turn Israel into a pariah state.

In 2005, a coalition of organizations claiming to represent Palestinian civil society issued a call to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. Since then, the BDS movement has acted, in church organizations, on college campuses, and elsewhere, to make Israel the equivalent of apartheid-era South Africa; a pariah state. BDS has been active in the U.S., and COMMENTARY has covered many of its individual wins and losses. But it is worth pausing every now and again to consider its overall effect on American public opinion.

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Beinart’s Complaint

Peter Beinart makes his critics' arguments for them.

Peter Beinart is part of a cast of liberals lamenting the fact that conservatives who were skeptical of Donald Trump during the campaign have inexplicably declined to join him in the Democratic party now that Trump is president. And he is now among a more select group on the left to name names in an effort to shame such people over their seeming hypocrisy. Except he doesn’t call it hypocrisy. Rather, Beinart’s argument is that these conservatives don’t share his prohibitive focus on Trump to the exclusion of virtually every other matter of public policy relevance or political salience. And so Beinart inadvertently validates the arguments of those he sought to condemn.

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Beware Triggering the Coup Theory

Time for a national deep breath

I can’t believe I’m writing this after the administration has been in office for 26 days, but here goes. The idea that Donald Trump is now inexorably on a path to impeachment has taken almost gleeful hold in the wake of the Michael Flynn resignation among liberal elites and anti-Trumpers generally—and everybody better stop and take a deep breath and consider what might arise from this. This isn’t fire we’re playing with, it’s a nuclear war.

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