Netanyahu and Obama: Name-Calling and its Discontents

Originally posted on The Third Way:

The obsession in politics and diplomacy with decorum–largely a relic from the past–can easily distract people from the realities of the present. 8575956802_b0f1918361_zCase in point, the uproar over Jeffrey Goldberg’s latest article in the Atlantic, the headline of which, The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here, would seem important enough to warrant more attention than it has gotten so far.

Instead, the whisper of an unnamed “senior Obama administration official,” who called Netanyahu a “chickenshit,” has occupied headlines. And instead of taking a strong, or even a weak stance on Netanyahu’s repeated declarations about expanding settlement activity everywhere in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the White House has only tried to distance itself from the remark, describing it as “unauthorized” and “inappropriate.” Read more at LobeLog

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Ditching Israel, Embracing Iran

Originally posted on :

Ditching Israel, Embracing Iran

Nov 10, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 09 • By LEE SMITH

via Ditching Israel, Embracing Iran | The Weekly Standard.

Last week, the Obama White House finally clarified its Middle East policy. It’s détente with Iran and a cold war with Israel.

Our new partners?

Our new partners?

NEWSCOM

To the administration, Israel isn’t worth the trouble its prime minister causes. As one anonymous Obama official put it to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, what good is Benjamin Netanyahu if he won’t make peace with the Palestinians? Bibi doesn’t have the nerve of Begin, Rabin, or Sharon, said the unnamed source. The current leader of this longstanding U.S. ally, he added, is “a chickens—t.”

It’s hardly surprising that the Obama White House is crudely badmouthing Netanyahu; it has tried to undercut him from the beginning. But this isn’t just about the administration’s petulance and pettiness. There seems to be a…

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Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets complete first mission over Iraq, return to base without firing missiles

Originally posted on National Post | News:

KUWAIT CITY — Canadian warplanes have flown their first operational flights, but have yet to carry out strike missions against Islamic State targets.

Six CF-18 jet fighters, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes and a C-150 refuelling jet are operating out of undisclosed airfields in Kuwait and will launch bombing missions against the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant soon.

“Operational flights have begun,” said a senior defence source. “No bombs have been dropped, but ops are indeed underway.”

The source would not reveal when the missions were conducted and what sort of tasks the fighters carried out, whether it was training or combat air patrols, or whether the Auroras have started to carry out surveillance of potential ISIL targets.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Andrew Vaughan

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Andrew Vaughan

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Word of the missions comes from a series of defence sources because the Canadian military has not allowed media…

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Israel Recalls Ambassador to Sweden

Originally posted on TIME:

(JERUSALEM) — Israel has recalled its ambassador to Sweden to protest Stockholm’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson said Thursday the ambassador was being recalled for consultations, but declined to say how long he would remain in Israel.

Hirschson said the move was made “because of the recognition of the Palestinian state.”

Earlier Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had called it “a miserable decision that strengthens the extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism.”

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A lovely set of kosher white, rose, and sweet wines

Originally posted on Wine Musings Blog:

2012 Makom Grenache Blanc - back labelWith the polls going into action next week, I thought I would take a very unofficial poll of favorite wine types among my friends and wine posts in general. The outcome, ignoring a few people, myself in that smaller group, most kosher wine drinkers do not care for white wines! Why? Simple enough, they want to be beaten over the head, AKA overripe wines are easier to appreciate. Yes yes, I know I just posted about this in my Dear John letter post, but really – give it a try! Ask your friends what they prefer and then ask them why???

What you will find is a sad fact that even in warm climates, red wine rules. This post is not meant to take the place of my previous white, rose, and bubble posts of the past, but it is meant to augment the list with a few…

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Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother: I cry for the victims, not my son

Originally posted on National Post | News:

The mother of the man accused of killing a soldier at the National War Memorial before opening fire in Parliament said she is crying for the victims of the shooting, not her son.

In a brief and tear-filled telephone call Thursday, Susan Bibeau told the Associated Press she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.

“Can you ever explain something like this?” she said. “We are sorry.”

Authorities have identified the shooter as Michael Zehaf Bibeau, who was known to police in Montreal and Vancouver.

He is suspected of shooting and killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a reservist from Hamilton who was standing guard at the National War Memorial, before opening fire in the halls of Parliament.

Zehaf Bibeau was then killed in a gunfight in the Centre Block.

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Three other people were injured in the melee, but were released from hospital…

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Stephen Harper’s speech on the Ottawa shooting, full text

Originally posted on National Post | News:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the nation on Wednesday to denounce the savage murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and declare: Canada will never be intimidated. Here is a transcript of his speech.

My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil. Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders.

Cpl. Cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood, as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society. Likewise our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and Levant]…

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Guest Post – Middle East news you might have missed over the chagim

Originally posted on Anne's Opinions:

This is another guest post by frequent contributor Brian Goldfarb, who brings us a review of Middle East-related news that you might have missed over the Jewish holiday period.


So, let’s start with some good news (sort of), with David Cameron and most of the Conservatives abstaining in the “Palestine vote”.  You will know by now that the result of that vote was a “victory” for the pro-Palestinian faction. However, note that well over half the MPs failed to vote. More importantly, it should be noted that David Cameron was firm in his commitment that:

“[he] has indicated that a favorable outcome of the vote would not change the country’s foreign policy toward the Palestinians, Reuters reported, citing Cameron’s official spokesperson.

‘I’ve been pretty clear about the government’s position and it won’t be changing’ the spokesman [on his behalf] told reporters ahead of the vote”

We can add the following…

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My Final Visit to Studley’s Chest (And Your First One)

Originally posted on Lost Art Press:

brace_studley_IMG_3968

In about 90 minutes I leave the real world to enter the shadowy territory of H.O. Studley. His tool cabinet and workbench are under the kind curation of a man who wishes to remain anonymous. And so we turn off all the location services on our smart devices.

During this final visit, we will shoot a video about the chest, including a time-lapse film of us unloading it. And we will finish all the extra still photos we need for Don Williams’ forthcoming book, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.”

Don is almost finished with his manuscript. I have read his first draft, and Don has uncovered a lot of information on Studley himself and the interesting journey of the chest from Quincy, Mass., to the wall of a collector’s Batcave.

The photos, by Narayan Nayar, are of museum quality.

The book will be released in…

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Parshat V’Zot haBerachah (5775)

Originally posted on Hardcore Mesorah:

The Security of Dwelling on Your Own, Under Your Own Vine And Tree

We have now entered into a new Jewish year, and we today find ourselves in the middle of the holiday of Sukkot. The year is over but we still have some more Torah to read.

The Hollenbeck home, La Villa de Paredon Blanco, from Thompson and West's history of Los Angeles County (1880). This one one of the first residences  east of the river here in the paredon, the bluffs.

The Hollenbeck home, La Villa de Paredon Blanco , from ‘T’hompson and West’s history of Los Angeles County (1880).’ This is one of the first residences east of the river here in the paredon , the bluffs.

However, normally this parsha does not get the same attention that we give the other parashiot. This Torah portion is regularly reserved as a final reading, meant to be paired with the start of the Torah cycle as we start over again at the beginning with Genesis. We don’t want this Torah learning to end, so we save this last reading for when we…

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