Netanyahu and Obama: Name-Calling and its Discontents

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

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.

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

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

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)

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)

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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