Yet another embarrassment to Israel’s prime minister in his effort to drum up support for a military attack on Iran: Haaretz reports that the newly appointed director of the Mossad intelligence agency, Tamir Pardo, downplayed the severity of the Iranian nuclear project, telling a closed gathering of senior Israeli diplomats that an Iranian nuclear weapon is not necessarily the “existential threat” it’s often described as being.
If you’ve been following the news in the American and international press, you’ve probably heard that the unity talks between Fatah and Hamas have reached a new and alarming phase. According to an Associated Press report that’s been widely reproduced, Hamas has agreed to join the Fatah-dominated umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, the body that has been negotiating with Israel for the past 20 years, which “could have deep repercussions. Hamas has opposed the peace talks and rejects Israel’s right to exist. A strong Hamas voice in the group would further complicate the already troubled Mideast diplomatic process.” Not surprisingly, “Israeli officials reacted with alarm to the emerging agreement.”
The Shmooze reported last week that the prominent Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef gave his consent to the freeing of a man who plotted to kill him. It was a remarkable story given that Yosef is pretty hard-lined and has spoken in the past about opposing mercy to Palestinian terrorists. But those of us who were hoping that the development could provide material for the next Hollywood feel-good movie, with the terrorist showing remorse and becoming friends with the rabbi, are to be disappointed.
Newt Gingrich’s December 9 Declaration of Palestinian Inventedness (“we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs”) caused a bit of a stir at the Saturday night GOP debate.
Dialogue with Hamas is anathema to many Jews. But just like we once had to bite the bullet and talk to Yasser Arafat, it’s time to hear what Hamas has to say, Leonard Fein writes.
A Conversation With Ambassador Maen Areikat
It is sadly fitting that in a play about language’s inability to explain political and religious differences, set design and subtitles conspired to thwart the actors.