10:35 AM, Nov 11, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Center for American Progress (CAP), one of the largest and most influential liberal think tanks in Washington, recently extended an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He spoke there yesterday, and the New York Times write-up notes that Netanyahu "project[ed] a benevolent tone even as he countered criticism of his approach to resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians."
And yet, in the run-up to Netanyahu's speech, a number of CAP employees objected to his appearence because, well, they think he's a bad man and it seems they don't like being exposed to ideas that differ from their own. At a meeting on Friday, some staffers read aloud a statement objecting to Netanyahu's appearence. According to a report in Foreign Policy, "opponents of the upcoming event received an enthusiastic round of applause in the 100-plus person conference room despite the presence of senior CAP leadership." What's notable about the statement, however, is how the rhetoric sounds awfully similar to the embarassing hyperbolic social justice boilerplate we've been hearing at Yale, Mizzou, and other colleges:
Coming to work at CAP gives many of us the opportunity to make this country safe and accepting of all. While we watch the hate crimes, discrimination and biases faced by some of our communities, we come to work every day proud that this institution is a space where our voices will be respected and where our leadership assures we feel safe, respected and heard. In that sense this place isn’t so much a job or a profession or a nine-to-six. It’s a survival tactic. But it’s not just about our individual struggles because, in the words of MLK, we’re not free until we’re all free.
And at CAP we are a family. We spend more hours with one another at this institution than we do with our own families and friends outside the office. It is imperative that we feel confident in this building to improve the lives of all Americans, and essentially to work on getting us all free. It becomes difficult to step outside of our building and say to our allies why this visit is happening, for some of us here we ourselves feel that we were not considered in that decision.
The statement goes on to address Netanyahu's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that is predictably pro-Palestinian. But the expectation that merely being in the same building as a democratically elected head of an important state is a threat to employees' personal well-being, exacerbates their "individual struggles," and is otherwise oppressing people the world over is just cringeworthy. (Also, the employees at CAP spend more time with each other then their friends and families? Get out more, guys.) The statement concludes this way:
So what comes next? What happens when we come back to work on Thursday Nov. 12? What is the Center for Americans Progress to the people whose lived experiences Netanyahu’s policies directly impact? How do we face our communities with answers?
These are all questions that we, as passionate and committed employees of the Center for American Progress have been asking ourselves this past week and hope for answers to. As you look around the room, people of faith and all backgrounds are asking these questions. Some are standing; many, many more don’t feel empowered to do so. This is a humanity and human rights issue universally felt. Some of us think this event shouldn’t be happening at all and others think a broader discussion of this with CAP family should have happened before this major decision.
Again, we are appreciative of this institution, and the opportunity to speak out because this is a family and right now as members of the CAP family we are in a place of confusion and hurt.
When he agreed to appear at CAP, Netanyahu certainly knew that he would be facing an audience that would be hostile to some degree and he would be forced to confront some pointed questions. And it sounds like he did this in a way that was respectful, even conciliatory. But instead of viewing this as an opportunity to influence Netanyahu, or even expose how his leadership and policies are inferior, CAP employees were worried about how engaging in mere dialogue with someone they find disagreeable has put them "in a place of confusion and hurt."
11:33 AM, Oct 30, 2015 • By DANIEL DORON
The recent spike in suicidal terror attacks in Israel by mostly teenage Palestinian Arabs was allegedly sparked by the fire bombing of an Arab house near Jerusalem, and the death of an Arab infant and his parents. Because that horrific arson followed several non-lethal attacks by Jewish fanatics seeking “revenge” for regular fatal attacks by Palestinians, it was assumed that Jews perpetrated the atrocity (though no proof is available).
11:18 AM, Oct 23, 2015 • By DAVID G. DALIN and JOHN F. ROTHMANN
The remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem about the role of the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the Holocaust have engendered a massive, and mostly critical response. It is important to define in more precise terms the role of the Mufti in those tragic days.
A better way forward in the Middle East.Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By MAX BOOT and MICHAEL DORAN
The ouster of ISIS fighters from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, has been widely celebrated. Although this victory was brought about in no small part by American airpower, it was a triumph for Iran more than for the United States. The vast majority of fighters on the front lines belonged to Shiite militias, many of them trained, equipped, and advised by the Iranians. Their de facto commander is Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, which is charged with exporting the Iranian revolution.
1:29 PM, Apr 1, 2015 • By DANIEL DORON
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently noted that with the Middle East in chaos, it may not be a good time to establish another rogue state, Palestine, which would likely be taken over by Iran’s proxy, Hamas, which would then launch a bloody war against Israel. The Prime Minister’s declaration was greeted with alarm among the commentariat, because the belief that establishing a Palestinian state will lead to peace has become an article of faith immune to fact or reason.
The radical historians lose again.Jan 19, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 18 • By RONALD RADOSH
At the annual conference of the American Historical Association in New York City this month, anti-Israeli activist historians suffered a rare double defeat. Calling themselves Historians Against War (HAW), the group pushed first for an academic boycott of Israel, then for condemnation of alleged Israeli violations of academic freedom.
Are evangelicals turning against Israel?Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By MARK TOOLEY
Senator Ted Cruz’s vigorous defense of Israel at a recent conference for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians in Washington, D.C., provoked jeers from a loud minority in the audience, made up largely of Catholics and Orthodox, many of them from the region or of Middle Eastern background. In June, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three firms doing business with Israel to protest Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
Who won the Gaza war? Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
For the moment, the Gaza war of 2014 is over. Anyone trying now to figure out who won and who lost should recall the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Then, Israelis had a great sense of letdown because they had not “won.” They had not destroyed Hezbollah, and the organization loudly claimed a triumph: “Lebanon has been victorious, Palestine has been victorious, Arab nations have been victorious,” said Sheikh Nasrallah. An estimated 800,000 Hezbollah supporters gathered in Beirut for a rally celebrating the “divine victory.”
Hosted by Michael Graham.5:35 PM, Aug 5, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on the ceasefire agreed to in Gaza by Hamas and Israel.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:35 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on the situation in Israel and Operation Protective Edge.
Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By LEE SMITH
Last week, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets and missiles at targets throughout Israel, including the nuclear reactor at Dimona. Two of the three M-75 missiles targeting Dimona missed the mark entirely, but one had to be brought down by Iron Dome, Israel’s antimissile shield. The U.N. considers an attack on a nuclear reactor an act of nuclear terrorism, which in this case might have taken a catastrophic toll on Israel’s population—as well as the Palestinians.
The perils of the Palestinian Authority’s new Fatah-Hamas government Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The creation of a new Palestinian “national unity” government has raised a slew of questions in the United States. What should our policy be toward a government that has the support not only of the Fatah party but of the terrorist group Hamas as well? Should all aid to the Palestinians be suspended?
Israel’s security establishment steps up.May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The world’s attention was largely turned to Ukraine last week. To the extent that the Middle East was on the front pages, the focus was the new agreement between the PLO and Hamas, its implications for the “peace process,” and John Kerry’s comment about Israel as an “apartheid state.”
But in Israel a different subject was getting a lot of attention: Iran’s nuclear program. April 28 was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and that was the context in which Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about Iran at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Apr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony last week, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He argued that an Israeli announcement of 700 new housing units for a neighborhood in Jerusalem were what did in the talks. “Poof, that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said. “We find ourselves where we are.”