August 19, 2019

April 5, 2012

Egypt’s Muddy Waters

The Muslim Brotherhood decision to name a candidate for the Egyptian presidency throws an already wobbly transition process into further disarray, writes Nathan J. Brown of the National Interest.

Assuming al-Shater’s candidacy and the balloting move forward, Egypt simply has no experience in competitive presidential campaigns, making it very hard to predict how people will vote. After the 2011 parliamentary elections, we have some sense that in those elections, organizational presence and local reputation are critical to mobilizing supporters, likely far more than specific program or ideology. But what of presidential balloting? The campaign and the balloting could be quite different. Who will vote, and how much will name recognition, individual reputation, personal charisma, program, organization and ideology count?

Dear Abu Mazen: End This Farce

Yossi Beilin issues a startling call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an open letter in Foreign Policy.

Dissolving the Palestinian Authority and returning daily control to Israel would be an action nobody could ignore. It is not at all similar to a demonstration in front of the Municipality of Ramallah, nor is it similar to appealing to the United Nations for member-state status. This is a step that only you can take, and a step that will demand a response.

Günter Grass’s Lyrical First Strike

Sebastian Hammelehle of Der Spiegel responds to the German author’s damning poem about Israel.

It is in poor taste when the Germans, of all people, start telling the Israelis what to do. Never in the history of postwar Germany has an intellectual as prominent as Grass presented such hollow clichés about Israel in such a vain manner. It completely overshadows his reasonable call for both the Israeli and Iranian nuclear capabilities to be monitored by “an international entity.”

Who Leaked Israeli Iran Plan?

Lee Smith of Tablet tries to get to the heart of accusations that the Obama administration leaked details of a plan for Israel to use Azerbaijan as a key location in an attack on neighboring Iran.

Presumably, hurting a president who has spoken of putting some distance between the United States and Israel was the last thing that Mark Perry and his sources had in mind. But there are obviously plenty of actors, throughout American and Israeli politics, who are eager to see Obama weakened in an election year. 

When the Exodus was now

Matti Friedman of the Times of Israel recounts Pesach for soldiers of the British army’s Jewish Brigade in the aftermath of the Holocaust, many who had been recruited from the Yishuv.

“This Haggada,” reads an inscription at the beginning, “is dedicated to the men of our unit and the guests gathered with us, with the hope that this Seder – our third on Italian soil – will be our last in a foreign land. Our hope is to return quickly to our birthright and build a home there for ourselves and for the masses of our brothers longing for it.”