Nikki Haley Resets America’s Moral Compass at the UN

March 17 2017

From the very beginning of her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has forcefully criticized that body’s obsession with condemning Israel and its lack of concern over the horrors in Syria, nuclear proliferation in North Korea, and other weighty issues. She has now decried the most recent attempt to slander the Jewish state, as Noah Rothman writes:

Perhaps the most promising display of righteousness occurred this week when Ambassador Haley condemned the repulsive report issued by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The report, issued by a group based in Beirut comprising eighteen Arab nations—including the non-existent “state of Palestine”—accused Israel of imposing “apartheid” on the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Among the report’s authors was the former special UN rapporteur Richard Falk, whose anti-Israel prejudice is matched by few. Falk has praised terrorist organizations like Hamas, likening them to the French resistance [during World War II], excused the targeting of Israeli Jews in attacks, and [trafficked in 9/11 conspiracy theories]. The report is so obviously detached from reality that even the United Nations secretary-general’s office refused to endorse its findings. . . .

Haley’s ascension to the post of UN ambassador represents a repudiation of the Obama administration’s approach of creating “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel—and not a solitary one. Barack Obama’s efforts to remake the Middle East and rehabilitate Iran had the unintended effect of drawing Israel closer to its Sunni Arab-dominated neighbors. The Trump administration’s renewed commitment to Israel ensures that the Jewish state is less isolated than ever.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Israel & Zionism, Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

Famous Novelists “Confront the Occupation” in the West Bank—and Celebrate Themselves

June 27 2017

To produce the collection Kingdom of Olives and Ash, the writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman gathered a group of novelists, arranged for them to be shown around Israel for a few days by anti-Israel activists, and had each of them write an essay about the experience. Matti Friedman surveys the results:

Chabon and Waldman tell us on the very first page of a visit to Israel in 1992, which they remember vividly as a time of optimism, when the “Oslo Accords were fresh and untested.” But their memory must be playing tricks, because the Oslo Accords happened in the fall of 1993. Chabon and Waldman, who live in Berkeley, CA, are accomplished writers, but the reader needs a few words about what they’re up to here. Do they have special expertise to offer? Israel is probably the biggest international news story over the past 50 years, so is there a reason they decided the world needs to know more about it and not, say, Kandahar, Guantanamo, Congo, or Baltimore?

The essays vary in tone and quality, but experienced journalists covering the Israel/Palestine story will recognize the usual impressions of reporters fresh from the airport. Cute Palestinian kids touched my hair! Beautiful tea glasses! I saw a gun! I lost my luggage, and that seems symbolic! Arabs do hip-hop! The soldiers are so young and rude!

The writers interview the same people who are always interviewed in the West Bank, thinking it’s all new, and believe what they’re told. . . . Everything is described with a gravitas suggesting that the writers haven’t spent much time outside the world’s safer corners. [Dave] Eggers devotes two whole pages to an incident on the Gaza border, where one Israeli guard said he couldn’t pass and then a different one came and let him through. Dave, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re okay. . . .

What [this book is] really about is the writers. Most of the essays aren’t journalism but a kind of selfie in which the author poses in front of the symbolic moral issue of the time: here I am at an Israeli checkpoint! Here I am with a shepherd! That’s why the very first page of the book finds Chabon and Waldman talking not about the occupation, but about Chabon and Waldman. After a while I felt trapped in a wordy kind of Kardashian Instagram feed, without the self-awareness.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Anti-Zionism, Idiocy, Israel & Zionism, Journalism, West Bank