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FROM THIS EPISODE

Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection last week after a campaign that disparaged Israeli Arabs and renounced a Palestinian State. How much has that widened the gap between Israel and the US — its most important historical ally? What's next at the United Nations?

Also, the race has begun! Ted Cruz announces his candidacy. On today's Talking Point, does the 1st Amendment apply to license plates?

Photo: US Department of Defense

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb
Mike Kessler
Christine Detz

The Race Has Begun! Ted Cruz Announces His Candidacy 5 MIN, 59 SEC

Ted Cruz is in his first term as a Senator from Texas. Today, he became the first major candidate for next year's Republican presidential nomination. This morning, at Liberty University in Virginia, he told supporters, "It is a time to reclaim the constitution of the United States. I am honored to stand with each and every one of you … courageous conservatives."

Robert Costa is national political reporter for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Robert Costa, Washington Post (@costareports)

Netanyahu, the US and the Isolation of Israel 35 MIN, 11 SEC

The US and much of the world has long agreed that a two-state solution is needed to resolve differences between Israel and the Palestinians. After last week's reelection, President Obama told Benjamin Netanyahu the US will have to "reassess" its policy of supporting Israel unconditionally. In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, President Obama described what he told the Prime Minister in a phone call. "I did indicate to him that we continue to believe that a two-state solution is only way for the long term security of Israel if it wants to stay a Jewish state and democratic. I did indicate to him that, given his statements before the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible."

Netanyahu's warning about Arab voters sounded racist, and post-election claims that he doesn't really oppose a Palestinian state have been widely questioned. American Jews are divided, and Israel is becoming a partisan issue in Washington. After decades of American vetoes at the UN, will that mean allowing the Security Council to put Israel on the spot regarding settlements and a two-state solution?

Guests:
Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy Magazine (@columlynch)
Daniel Levy, European Council on Foreign Relations (@ecfr)
Ilan Goldenberg, Center for a New American Security (@ilangoldenberg)
Yousef Munayyer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (@YousefMunayyer)
Rob Eshman, Jewish Journal (@Foodaism)

More:
Lynch on Obama weighing a turn to the UN to force a return to peace negotiations
European Council on Foreign Relations on bringing Israel's Palestinian Arabs back into the political equation
Goldenberg on whether Israel can survive without the Palestinian Authority
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation encouraging US to "reassess" Israeli relations with sanctions
Eshman on American Jews and the Israeli election

The Supreme Court Takes Up the Issue of Free Speech…Again 8 MIN, 10 SEC

States can charge motorists high fees for specialty license plates that carry messages for other drivers. Today, the US Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the First Amendment applies. The State of Texas argued that license plate messages are "government speech" controlled by the state. The Sons of Confederate Veterans insisted they're "private speech," conveying the views of the driver. Adam Liptak of the New York Times was in the courtroom this morning.

Guests:
Adam Liptak, New York Times (@adamliptak)

More:
Wooley v. Maynard (regarding NH state motto "Live Free or Die"
Elonis v. United States (regarding Facebook, intent to threaten)

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