The Shmooze

Meir Dagan Makes ‘Top Global Thinkers’ List

By Nathan Jeffay

High-tech geniuses, remarkable thinkers, and Nobel Prize winning scientists — Israel has them all. But seemingly none of them need as much brainpower as one who can put the brakes on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So says Foreign Policy magazine.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan ranks number 63 in the list of its “top global thinkers.” Why? “For being the last man in Israel to stand up to Benjamin Netanyahu.” He recently roundly criticized rumored plans for Israel to strike Iran. The magazine wrote that “when Dagan refers to an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s nuclear installations as ‘the stupidest thing I have ever heard,’ we should pay attention.’” The “stupidest thing” quote was brought to light here.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Policy, Mahmoud Abbas, Meir Dagan, Salam Fayyad

Palestinians Can Propose Temporary Government Ministers on Facebook

By Nathan Jeffay

It’s been well documented that social networking sites have been key in spreading pro-democracy messages and bringing people to the streets in the Arab world. Now, people are even being told they can choose their government on Facebook.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has asked his Facebook friends to help decide who should serve in his government.

His entire cabinet resigned last Monday, in an apparent attempt to make way for more inclusive government and avoid the pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Arab world from spreading to the West Bank.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: government, facebook, Salam Fayyad, Palestine




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  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
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