Given their long, tempestuous and mostly acrimonious relationship over the past seven-and-a-half years, Wednesday’s meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama, touted as their last, could have been a grand finale. At one extreme, the two leaders might have expressed their true emotions and undergone catharsis, bro-hugging and making up at the end, while at the other they might have finally vented their pent-up frustrations, descending into an unseemly shouting match that their advisers would do their best to stifle.
As a New York Senator, Hillary Clinton fought like a lion a decade and a half ago on behalf of thousands of first responders who were poisoned by the toxic cloud that hovered over the ruins of the Twin Towers following the terrorist attacks of September 11. She was damaged when the anniversary of that attack was marked by Al-Qaida copycats who attacked the American Consulate in Benghazi, killed four diplomats and gave Clinton’s rivals an excuse to sully her name.
George W. Bush paved the way for Republicans and Democrats alike to recognize Palestinian statehood. In June 2002, Bush introduced his Road Map to Peace, becoming the first American president to officially endorse an independent Palestinian state. In 2004, for the first time in their history, both parties incorporated Bush’s new stance in their official platforms. If a Palestinian State is ever created, Bush should be honored as one of its founding fathers.
University of Wisconsin Professors Vernon Allen and John Levine conducted a series of experiments in the late 1960s to examine psychologist Solomon Asch’s theories about conformity and the influence of social forces on individual opinions. They found that even one dissenter from supposedly unanimous views enables others to express their opinions more freely.
A victory in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primaries is crucial for candidate Bernie Sanders politically, but it would also be poetic justice, historically, for the veteran Jewish socialist.
The campaign was even harsher than anyone had predicted. After being told by his advisers that there simply wasn’t enough time to win over enough African, Hispanic or Asian Americans, Donald Trump went for broke, in an effort to secure the 72% of the white vote that he would need in order to stand a chance of winning the ballot in November. “The War of the Races,” was how some pundits described it.
More than 1.2 million Jews live in the states participating in next Tuesday’s primaries, affectionately dubbed “Super Duper Tuesday.” Some 650,000 of them reside in Florida, comprising about 3.5 percent of the general population, though their electoral weight might be much greater: Florida Jews are significantly older than the rest of the population, with a higher level of political participation.
After appearing only as an extra in the nine previous engagements, Israel took center stage at the Republican debate Houston on Thursday night.
Unless America has metamorphosed completely, it is an intolerance that is bound to emerge and grow steadily stronger if a Brooklyn-born, Jewish son of a Holocaust survivor from Poland seems poised to become America’s strongest leader, even if his name sounds lily-white American like Sanders.
At a recent Haaretz side session at the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly, I hosted Peter Beinart for a conversation entitled “Israelis are from Mars, American Jews are from Venus.” A month later, our colorful caption was fully borne out by the 2015 Saban Forum, which highlighted the great gap between large parts of the American Jewish and Democratic establishment and the powers that be in Israel’s ruling coalition.