Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Sundown: Has Obama Lost Mideast Cred?

Plus the real problem with Palin, and more

Print Email
President Obama today.(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Feel like an extra-long round-up for the weekend? Me too.

• The Palestine Papers keep on giving: In 2009, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told U.S. envoy George Mitchell that President Obama lost “credibility … throughout the region,” adding, “people in the Middle East are not taking Barack Obama seriously. They feared Bush, despite everything.” [JPost]

• The Qatari emir told Sen. Kerry about a year ago that now is the time for the United States to engage Syria, and that Hamas will accept a deal along the 1967 borders, though won’t say so publicly. This one’s WikiLeaks. [WikiLeaks]

• Her intentions aside, Anthony Grafton condemns Sarah Palin’s invocation of the term “blood libel” for the damage it does to history and to the memories of countless Jews who suffered because of it. [TNR]

• A new entry in the “who sucked more, Hitler or Stalin?” debate from Bloodlands author Timothy Snyder. Turns out that Stalin was more motivated by ethnicity than was thought … but that Hitler really did kill significantly more innocents. [NYRB]

• Tablet Magazine contributor Nicholas Noe argues that U.S. policy toward Lebanon since the 2005 Cedar Revolution was a colossal failure, only helping Hezbollah, and that the one way to head off a really bad confrontation with Israel would be to push Israel to make peace with Syria. [NYT]

• Gal Beckerman remembers the late Samuel T. Cohen, the little-known inventor of the neutron bomb whose memoir was called F*** You: Mr. President. [Forward]

• David Nesenoff, the journalist who asked the question that prompted Helen Thomas’s infamous response, has been appointed editor and publisher of Long Island’s The Jewish Star. [The Jewish Star]

• Hélène Grimaud is a courageous, amazing, and beautiful French pianist. So naturally she has to be Jewish, right? Wikipedia, take it away: “She is descended from Sephardi Jews from Corsica on her mother’s side and from Berber Jews on her father’s side.” God, French Jews are great. [NYT]

• Weekend reading: Two articles by the late Daniel Bell. [Dissent]

• The legendary Eric Hobsbawn tackles the strange tale of the Jews of San Nicandro, ably handled in Tablet Magazine by books critic Adam Kirsch. [LRB]

• Futurist-novelist William Gibson finds Stuxnet’s roots in the world of digital vandalism. [NYT]

30 Rock makes a joke about Tablet Magazine’s official Canadian Football League head coach, the tastefully named Marc Trestman (h/t Kaplan’s Korner):

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

This vid was very funny.

How’s this for a game-changer. Sources in Egypt and West: US secretly backed protest is the headline in Debka, an Israel on-line intelligence journal. The article reports that Persistent claims were heard Saturday, Jan. 29 in various Egyptian and informed western circles that the popular uprising against president Hosni Mubarak, still going strong on its fifth day, was secretly prepared three years ago in Washington during the Bush administration.
The London Daily Telegraph headlined a story Saturday, apparently confirming confidential US documents released by WikiLeaks, which claimed that since 2008, the American government had secretly backed leading figures behind the uprising for “regime change.”

If so, does this not qualify as yet another confirmation that the US diplomatic corps is rather “strategy-challenged”? The report describes the Bush Administration having brought to the US a “pro-democracy student leader” for training, then returned him to Egypt where, apparently, he acted as catalyst for revolt. Except Bush apparently retained no control over the loose canon, and so the revolt broke out at the best time for the “revolutionaries,” but the worst time for the region and America’s position in the region. Egypt followed Tunisia and is inspiring a chain reaction throughout America’s Defense Umbrella, Jordan, Yemen and reports as well that the Saudis are also seeing disturbances.

So, keeping count, Bush overthrew Iraq: score one for Iran; Lebanon fell to Hezbollah: another for Iran; Hamas to Iran; Turkey seeing the writing on the wall re US losing it, independent and leaning towards Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.

If Egypt falls the most likely inheritor, as with the Iranian revolution, will be the Islamists, in this case the Moslem Brotherhood. And if Egypt falls, is Saudia next? So the oil and the Canal and the Straits go to the Islamists.

Was Obama in the loop? Has he the understanding (not yet demonstrated) to make a difference? And Whither Israel?

Obama reneged on many promises during the campaign before becoming president

Hey there have you by chance pondered to create concerning Nintendo or PSP

I’ve said that least 1002151 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Sundown: Has Obama Lost Mideast Cred?

Plus the real problem with Palin, and more

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview