Magazine November 23, 2009, Issue

Dazed and Confused

Netanyahu and Mitchell in Jerusalem (AP)
The Israelis can’t figure out U.S. policy. For that matter, who can?

When I visited Israel in late October, not long before the latest visits of U.S. envoy George Mitchell and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israelis of all political hues confessed that they were amazed, perplexed, and confused by the policy those two diplomats and President Obama are following.

First came an instant attitude of hostility on the part of the Obama administration toward Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, even before he had taken office on March 31 and despite his efforts to create a centrist coalition. Second came its obsession with a “settlement freeze,” which in fact was a demand …

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former deputy national-security adviser.

In This Issue

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Books

China Alone?

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, by Martin Jacques (Penguin, 576 pp., $29.95)
Film & TV

Dark and Wild

This is a film about childhood that can be appreciated by pretentious, nitpicky grown-ups, it will find its fiercest fans among the Maxes of the world

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Magazine

Neatherworld

‘Would it not be easier,” wrote Bertolt Brecht after the East German uprising in 1953, “for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”

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