August 13 th, 2010 Israel, America and Iran

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

August 13th, 2010 Israel, America and Iran

Being on vacation sometimes gives one a needed perspective. While it has certainly decreased the input of news one receives daily, but in this time of connectivity, where even in the far reaches of Yosemite National Park one can connect to the internet, I have alas, not been disconnected completely.

I would therefore like to direct your attention to three stories that came out in the last few days. The first, is a very long piece in the Atlantic by Jeffery Goldberg called The Point of No Return. In the piece Goldberg, (who is probably, with the exception of Thomas Friedman, the best connected reporter in both Israel and the US) lays out the reasons Israel is likely to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities, if it becomes clear the US will not. He believes the later possibility is not likely.

I am still slightly optimistic the US might eventually take action, only because if it becomes apparent that Israel will, the US will suffer the same negative consequences from such an act, without ensuring that attack will be successful. On the other hand, one of the things I am doing on this vacation is reading The Bridge by David Remnick, a fascinating account of the life of President Obama. The one thing the book has confirmed for me is what I believed before Obama's election. On day one, President Obama was woefully unprepared to be President. His one major accomplishment before running for President was to come to grips with his own complicated identity, embracing the Afro-American elements of that and transcending that identity to be a different type of African-American politician. Obama also had a very different view of America's place in the world from than those of almost all of his predecessors. That being said, Barak Obama is clearly brilliant and learns from his mistakes. Now that he has been on the job for a year and half, I am still optimistic he might make the right decisions.

Of course, if one is concerned about Israel making the right decision, Israel had the unique opportunity to see its leaders questioned in the open cover, live this week, as the Turkel Commission on the Turkish Flotilla incident held open hearings. A good summary of what we learned appeared in today's Haaretz by Aluf Benn, entitled: What the Gaza flotilla probe reveals about Netanyahu, Barak, and Ashkenazi.

Finally, Shlomo Avineri has an excellent article that examines one of the issues that lies at the core of the Arab Israeli conflict, the unwillingness of the Arab to accept the Jewish nationalism, called: A Palestinian people, yes, a Jewish people, no?

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