Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

InspireConversation is the parenting blog of, together with his wife, Jason Greenblatt. He is the presidential envoy who accompanied Israel’s Head of Security Services to Jordan to defuse the recent Israeli embassy crisis there.

Saturday, July 1st, 2017


Peter Niesewand


In a bookstore this thriller paperback jumped out at me due to its familiarity; I had read it or author Peter Niesewand’s previous thriller Fallback decades ago as an early teenager and remembered it positively.

It’s Americans versus Russians towards the end of the Cold War, and disarmament talks are going on, but the Soviets have been cheating and using secret weapons in Afghanistan. Turns out this author did indeed spend time in Afghanistan, hence the persuasive veracity of the book’s second half. He was a white Rhodesian, a political prisoner, who became a rather glamorous and celebrated foreign correspondent for The Guardian. Sadly he died at the very young age of 39 — Wikipedia says from a disease he contracted in Afghanistan.

It’s fun to read this sort of thing once in a while, even if the protagonists are a bit plasticky. The passage of time arguably gives it more value, as it captures the concerns and conflicts of a particular period.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Dispensability of Allies by George Friedman — probably the only required reading on President Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, even if it is rather dismal.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Good point, yes. If under Trump it’s between the symbol of a U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem or the reality of continued building throughout the city—as it may well come down to—then the choice is clear, writes Nadav Shragai.


Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The world’s most (only?) prescient columnist takes a step back to show us where Russia and China are similar and different to America. This article is one for these new times, to be sure.

Ian Buruma on Brussels. I found it a pretty exciting city so when I saw this article I jumped on it (plus I vaguely remember being impressed by something else this fellow wrote) and it’s pretty sweeping and fun.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

The New York Times attempts to embarrass Trump’s new appointment by linking to eight of incoming American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s columns in Arutz Sheva as if his words alone are enough to horrify. I for one though agree with everything he writes in these, except perhaps in “Time to Regroup on Iran” where he suggests hitting Hamas harder — not sure about that. I’m with him on J Street, and there’s great stuff on what he dubs the two-state narrative.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, talks to Die Zeit about Germany’s own debt relief and the proper way forward now.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

In tandem with Robert Kagan’s recent piece on post-WW2 Pax Americana, Lee Smith suggests Obama is (mistakenly) pursuing a balance of power rather than hegemonic arrangement in the Middle East.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Perhaps the most frightening thing about this much-lauded essay on America’s post-WWII hegemony is that it was written at all, that our world order is receding so far so fast that we, or at least Robert Kagan, can see outside it.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Jonathan Spyer bracingly articulates the Right’s two fundamental arguments for the inevitability of the failure of John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Dore Gold recounts Iran’s first ‘charm offensive’: its use of the tactic of khod’eh, ie, “tricking one’s enemy into a misjudgment of one’s true position”, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini waged a successful deception campaign from exile in Paris.

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Galei Zahal (IDF Radio)‘s Arab Affairs correspondent looks acutely at the Syrian civil war from Hezballah’s perspective. It’s all-out Sunni-Shiite confrontation.

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Peres and the Pope as covered by the Voice of America (Reuters). This meeting has not gotten much coverage.

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The power shvitz in the basement of the Finnish embassy in Washington.

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Dore Gold’s Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs summarizes the gradual thawing of China-Israel relations as China matures.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

There’s a name for something I’ve always wanted to do and lacked the gumption and follow-through and doubted it: Radical Honesty. The FAQ.

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

“European “normality” was based to a large extent on West German “abnormality”. Now that the reunified Germany is becoming more “normal”, it is undermining European “normality.” A sobering analysis of Deutsch affairs by Tony Corn.

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

What’s there to disagree with in The Third Man, Elliott Abrams’ account of the Obama-Bibi-Abbas fracas.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Walter Russell Mead waxes deep on Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. “…The people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul.”

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Finally, the piece of news I’ve been after, and it comes from Yossi Klein-Halevi in TNR“: According to an Israel Radio poll on March 16, 62% of Israelis blame the Obama administration for the crisis, while 20% blame Netanyahu. (Another 17% blame Shas leader Eli Yishai.)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Beginning of Wisdom

Leon R. Kass


The book of the Book. I am biased but there is just so much here, and the good doctor is such graciously juicy writerly company. I especially like the Babel treatment.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Elliott Abrams encapsulates a year of the Obama Administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It ain’t pretty, but it does have the merit of being so feckless as to be irrelevant, thereby not interfering with the real progress on the ground.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Some quickly digestible nuggets of imperial wisdom from Byzantium, as channelled by Edward Luttwak in Foreign Policy.

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Friday, August 28th, 2009

If ever the US has been close to achieving potentially terminal self-marginalization in the Middle East, it is now, under Obama. By Michael Young, opinion editor, Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Joe Lieberman points out the unprecedented convergence of concerns about Iran among Arabs and Israelis alike — and that some of the strongest alliances in history have been forged among old antagonists when confronted by a new, common threat.

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Mark Steyn isn’t even trying to be funny any more. In “The End of the World as We Know It”= he expresses what I’m thinking and feeling, that we’re in deep trouble because Americans voted impetuously and like spoilt children for a Feelgood o’Balma that’s going to stop feeling good mighty fast as Americans realize that given the choice, and if you can’t have both, it is indeed better to be feared than loved — and in America’s case, better for everyone.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The title of Krauthammer’s latest, “It’s Your Country Too, Mr President”, seems borderline treasonous. (Not that I don’t agree.)

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

The United States is too big a country, too important a country, too gracious a country to have permanent enemies.

Condoleezza Rice

Condi Rice, for the hour, on Charlie Rose. What a babe at 54. “The United States is too big a country, too important a country, too gracious a country to have permanent enemies.”

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Tom Friedman gets aboard the 3-state solution (though he calls it 5-state). My only complaint is his notion that Israel withdraw from all settlements in the West Bank and Arab Jerusalem. Why should these areas be Judenrein? This issue, reciprocal minority rights, to me is the real inflection point, not Palestinian right of return.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Sunday, March 9th, 2003

If land for peace seems a wrongheaded policy for a large country, it is obviously far more so for a small one.