Noga Tarnopolsky

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Argentina is trying to catapult itself out of the international wilderness to which it was consigned after adopting a capricious, Chavistic foreign policy and failing to pay its debts or adhere to democratic norms.

Argentina’s reemergence comes at a crucial moment when Brazil, mired in scandals that may topple its government, seems to have relinquished any possibility of becoming a regional partner for the United States.

The new Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, celebrated his first 100 days in office this weekend, at the end of a mind-bending week in which he made his first presidential appearance before a major foreign audience — the World Jewish Congress, at an extraordinary plenary session that included the presidents of Paraguay and Uruguay and 47 ambassadors — hosted the first visit by a U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli special forces members search inside the Central Jerusalem Bus Station after police said a woman was stabbed by a Palestinian outside the bus station October 14, 2015. REUTERS/ Noam Moskowitz

Since the beginning of the latest spate of violence here, Israelis and Palestinians have been at a loss about what to call this amorphous, scary thing.

The main question hovering above the public sphere is, “Is this finally the third intifada?”

The Jerusalem Press Club thinks so. It has invited members of the media to a Sunday talk on “The Third Intifada: Causes and Solutions.” The speaker is Dr. Shmuel Berkovits, author of The Battle for the Holy Places and How Terrible Is the Place: Holiness, Politics and Justice in Jerusalem and the Holy Places in Israel.

Hamas, the extreme Islamist faction that governs the Gaza Strip, has routinely been calling for “days of rage.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinian men pray on the third Friday of Ramadan at the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A recent survey of Palestinians’ political leanings has left many observers flummoxed: The Palestinian citizenry appears nuanced and sophisticated, weary of its old leadership and completely disinclined toward upheaval or extremism.

In other words, bracingly normal.

The poll, released two weeks ago by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre, shows something many longtime observers already know:  Palestinians are a normal people living under abnormal political strictures.

The survey was conducted in late August, in a series of one-on-one interviews with 1,199 Palestinian men and women over age 18 living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In a set of responses that the Israeli daily Ha’aretz deemed surprising, the least surprising result may be that Palestinians, while turned off by their leaders, do not romanticize militancy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli responses to the news that Russia would lift a voluntary ban on the sale of weapons to Iran and provide state-of-the-art air defense systems to the Islamic Republic have ranged from concern to seeming panic.

Some experts fear that the S-300 missiles could take away Israel’s (or even the United States’) ability to easily strike nuclear targets in Iran, while Israeli officials expressed their concern that the missiles could make their way to Hezbollah, the militant Shi’ite faction that controls Southern Lebanon, on Israel’s northern border.

Others pondered what Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to get from the announcement.

Speaking on Israel Army Radio, Zvi Magen, a former ambassador to both Ukraine and Russia, rhetorically asked “why is Russia in such a hurry?”…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not having a good election.

Recent polls show his right-wing Likud Party running neck-and-neck with the left-of-center Zionist Union, or in some cases, running behind.

His numbers took a hit after Netanyahu was served with a damning report in which Israel’s state comptroller slammed him for excessive expenditure of public funds at his official residence. The report, which was in the works before elections were announced, has been turned over to the attorney general for investigation of possible criminality.

Among the allegations: over $2,000 spent every month cleaning the Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea, where the family is rarely present, and a pattern of not refunding staff for costs incurred at the personal request of the Netanyahus.…  Seguir leyendo »