The IDF’s legacy of flight – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

December 13, 2012

Running from stone-throwers is a Jewish nightmare, a humiliating and depressing trauma of the Diaspora. The early Zionist writers often described the act of fleeing as undermining man’s basic honor, as a catalyst for picking oneself up and returning to the land of our forefathers. Once there, Jews would no longer have to flee hooligans throwing stones; whoever dared try would be taking his life into his hands.

Now the Jews have a state and a military. But its soldiers, though armed to the teeth, are still running away – a phenomenon that began around 25 years ago, during the first intifada. The Arab media, which continuously broadcasts these humiliating video clips, repeatedly expresses its contempt for “the Jews who fled like dogs.”

Here’s a sample of the “commander’s spirit,” circa 2012: “We expect our soldiers to behave with moderation, restraint and accumulation [sic; accommodation?],” a senior commander told military reporters on Tuesday.

A personality for whom “accumulation,” i.e., turning the other cheek, is the ultimate value, couldn’t possibly ascribe much importance to such values as “the honor of the soldier as a man and as a Jew,” “the honor of the army in whose ranks the fighter serves” and “the honor of the state and the nation the soldiers represent.”

This is why terrorists can and will fire thousands of rockets at Israel, and this is what will lead us to the next intifada.

via The IDF’s legacy of flight – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper.


Analysis: Chastised Israel seeks way forward with U.S. over Iran

October 9, 2012

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, told reporters in Britain last week that the United States did not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack on Iran.He also warned that go-it-alone military action risked unraveling an international coalition that has applied progressively stiff sanctions on Iran, which insists that its ambitious nuclear project is purely peaceful.Dempseys stark comments made clear to the world that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was isolated and that if he opted for war, he would jeopardize all-important ties with the Jewish states closest ally.”Israeli leaders cannot do anything in the face of a very explicit no from the U.S. president. So they are exploring what space they have left to operate,” said Giora Eiland, who served as national security adviser from 2003 to 2006.”Dempseys announcement changed something. Before, Netanyahu said the United States might not like an attack, but they will accept it the day after. However, such a public, bold statement meant the situation had to be reassessed.”

via Analysis: Chastised Israel seeks way forward with U.S. over Iran.


Palestinians plan to approach UN Security Council about statehood in July – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

June 6, 2011

The Palestinian Authority plans to approach the United Nations Security Council in July to begin the process of getting Palestine recognized as a full member of the United Nations and to assure a vote on the matter by the General Assembly in September, Haaretz has learned.

via Palestinians plan to approach UN Security Council about statehood in July – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.


Poll: Palestinian support for Gaza rocket attacks on Israel dropped by half – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

April 17, 2011

Ratio of Palestinians who believe rockets fired by Gaza militants are useful in achieving Palestinian national goals has dropped by half, a Palestinian poll showed on Sunday, noting a general drop in Palestinian support for military attacks on Israel of any kind.

via Poll: Palestinian support for Gaza rocket attacks on Israel dropped by half – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.


Obama’s Remarks on Libya – Text – NYTimes.com

March 29, 2011

As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform. I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests. That is why we are going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country.

There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and common security – responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.

In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.

My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas – when the news is filled with conflict and change – it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star – the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.

But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer and brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity.

via Obama’s Remarks on Libya – Text – NYTimes.com.


Israeli settlements: Israeli-Palestinian tit-for-tat mentality must end – latimes.com

March 28, 2011

One of the most depressing characteristics of the dysfunctional Palestinian-Israeli relationship is the self-destructive tit-for-tat mentality that often seems designed to keep the conflict alive rather than to end it. Anyone who follows the news is familiar with how this cycle works.

via Israeli settlements: Israeli-Palestinian tit-for-tat mentality must end – latimes.com.


Women In Spotlight As U.S. Debates Libya Policy : NPR

March 23, 2011

Slaughter, now back at Princeton University, says the end result of the Washington policy debate fell right into line with the Obama doctrine, which she sums up as “with power comes responsibility.”

“We want an international order that everybody enforces, and the president himself has led that vision of the world,” Slaughter says, adding, “In a world with multiple powers and more problems than any nation can deal with, we need lots of nations taking responsibility to enforce the international order.”

via Women In Spotlight As U.S. Debates Libya Policy : NPR.


Arab Uprisings Cast Harsh Light on C.I.A. Relationships – NYTimes.com

March 17, 2011

Michael Scheuer, who spent two decades at the C.I.A. in counterterrorism operations, said it was absurd to believe that such work could be done without the help of unpalatable allies.“Foreign policy and intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with values,” Mr. Scheuer said. “It has to do with material interests and security. We would be blind in most of the world if we only dealt with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”

via Arab Uprisings Cast Harsh Light on C.I.A. Relationships – NYTimes.com.


The New Humanism – NYTimes.com

March 8, 2011

We have a prevailing view in our society — not only in the policy world, but in many spheres — that we are divided creatures. Reason, which is trustworthy, is separate from the emotions, which are suspect. Society progresses to the extent that reason can suppress the passions.

We emphasize things that are rational and conscious and are inarticulate about the processes down below. We are really good at talking about material things but bad at talking about emotion.

When we raise our kids, we focus on the traits measured by grades and SAT scores. But when it comes to the most important things like character and how to build relationships, we often have nothing to say. Many of our public policies are proposed by experts who are comfortable only with correlations that can be measured, appropriated and quantified, and ignore everything else.

Yet while we are trapped within this amputated view of human nature, a richer and deeper view is coming back into view.

via The New Humanism – NYTimes.com.


The EPA’s ‘cancer premium’ shows how fear can trump real risks

February 13, 2011

So how, in a democracy, is government supposed to deal with the risk of risk perception? How do we square the subjective way we perceive risk as individuals with the social and governmental goal of rationally using our communal resources in ways that will do the most good?

Here’s a suggestion: We need to recognize that, just as there are physical risks that we study and try to manage, there are very real risks from the perception gap that also need to be recognized, studied and accounted for in policymaking. Getting risk wrong is risky.

We use tools such as toxicology and epidemiology and economics to identify and analyze how to deal with those physical threats. We should also use neuroscience and psychology and sociology and economics to recognize the dangers posed by our misperceptions and to analyze those threats the same way we analyze and manage any others.

That can help us handle the gap between the facts and our feelings about the facts.

David Ropeik is an instructor in the Harvard Extension Program, a consultant on risk perception and risk management, and author of “How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Go with The Facts.”

via The EPA’s ‘cancer premium’ shows how fear can trump real risks.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.