Debating Israel

According to Nicholas Kristof, writing in the New York Times last Sunday, American politicians, whether Republicans or Democrats, always bite their tongues when it comes to discussions about Israel. Both sides have “learned to muzzle themselves” and to acquiesce in President Bush’s “crushing embrace” of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. “That silence,” he argues, “harms America, Middle East peace prospects, and Israel itself.” Kristof’s piece is part of a growing genre: criticism of Israel whose starting point is to bemoan how such criticism cannot be made in public.

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Debating Israel

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A moment for moral clarity.

Dear President Trump:

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The Fiction that Destabilizes the Middle East

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Podcast: Follow the bouncing ball...

Trump has a meeting and everybody cheers, then he decides to oppose his own administration’s policies and everybody gets depressed again. Meanwhile, Right and Left are going bonkers over Russia, collusion, and the testimony of the oppo-research firm Fusion GPS. With these topics, we give you an hour of hot podcast content featuring me and Noah Rothman and Abe Greenwald and Sohrab Ahmari. Give a listen.

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Defending Trump’s Tweets Backfires

Is it really worth it?

When it comes to foreign affairs, Donald Trump has not governed as he campaigned. So far, he has largely abandoned radical populist isolationism and protectionism in favor of conventionally hawkish tweaks on the status quo, abandoning ideology in favor of consistency. Doing so, he’s had a relatively successful run. For this White House, cautious but positive verdicts on the Trump administration’s conduct just don’t cut it. Trump must be a transformative figure, incapable of miscalculation or imprudence; he says so himself, after all. Trump cannot have mere successes, and they most certainly cannot be unexpected or the result of a concession to critics. This president’s image must be burnished at every turn, even if that means besmirching the legacies of Trump’s Republican predecessors.

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