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Friday, August 22, 2014

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The UN's Palestine Vote: Why the Panic?

"...at the UN....The world spoke, but the U.S. proved itself incapable not only of acting in concert with the world, but of admitting the reasons why it could not. All of this, sadly, makes clear the fact that when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian peace, the U.S. remains the critical player, but because of the constraints our deformed politics has imposed on this and past Administrations, Washington appears incapable of fulfilling that role."

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Gaza: No Lessons Learned

"With the Israelis threatening yet another "final" showdown; some Palestinian groups threatening "big surprises" yet to come; and the U.S. Congress giving its unconditional support to Israel, under-cutting the Administration's more cautious support of the right of self-defense while urging restraint on all sides - it appears we may be "off to the races" - with no lessons learned and new realities ignored. God save us from our folly."

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Arab Americans and Law Enforcement: Rights at Risk

"I have long argued that Arabs and Muslims were the weak link in America's civil liberty chain. When the rights of vulnerable minority groups are threatened, we must demand a halt to abuse. It is worrisome that in the post-9/11 era the challenge to constitutional rights has often been met with silence -- because it was Arabs and Muslims who were the targets. What we have failed to recognize is that if the rights to assemble, to speak freely, to be secure from unwarranted search, and to be guaranteed due process are put at risk for any group, then these rights may ultimately be threatened for all Americans."

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We are a Nation in Crisis

"With polls showing not only that the national race will be close, but that as many as five states may be so close as to require recounts, I worry that there will be an even deeper crisis at the end of the election—whatever the outcome. Instead of coming together, we will be pulled further apart. I worry, as well, that the next four years will witness even more rancor than the last four."

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Mutual admiration society lets tyrants indulge the illusion of political stability

It’s one thing for a tyrant to boast of political support from foreign governments if he enhances his country and at least gives the illusion that the mass public benefits in some way; it’s quite another to do so for purely selfish reasons at the expense of his own citizens and his country’s reputation.

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Romney's Foreign Policy: "About Face" or "Two-Faced"?

"Listening to this "kinder and gentler" Romney, two questions came to mind. Was all this a tactical ploy to sway undecided voters? Or was this the candidate's declaration of independence from his neo-conservative advisers (three-quarters of whom are George W. Bush alumni)? Since Romney has also selectively veered away from many of his other "severely Conservative" views during the last few weeks of the campaign, I tend to believe that it is more of a crass tactical move than an assertion of independence."

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Efforts to Silence an Appeal for Human Rights

"The net results of these tactics are: a silencing of any discussion or examination of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians; aid to Israel continues to be delivered without questions, oversight, or any conditions; the very meaning of anti-Semitism or, in this recent case, "anti-Judaism" is cheapened and equated not just with criticism of Israeli policy, but even with the mere call to examine that policy; Palestinians continue to suffer; Israelis who support peace and human rights for Palestinians find they have no allies in the U.S. government; and U.S. credibility in the Middle East continues to suffer."

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Don't Buy into the Hysteria: This Election Isn't about a Debate

"Putting aside the exaggerated reactions of media commentators "Romney triumphed" or "Obama blew it"—the debate, itself, was quite boring. Like the impact of former President Bill Clinton's convention address that boosted Democrat's morale, Romney's performance might provide a "shot in the arm" to depressed Republicans, many of whom have been troubled by their candidate and his lackluster campaign. Mood changer, yes; but not a "game changer."

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