FROM Josef Olmert
John Kerry's Gamble on 'Middle East Peace' John Kerry has acknowledged that there is skepticism — even cynicism — about renewing the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that broke off five years ago. But, during his first months as Secretary of State, that's what he's focused on, with repeated visits and at least ten long phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He says improving the West Bank's economy would be a good start, but neither side has shown any change on issues necessary to a two-state solution. Israeli settlements, Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem and national boundaries are as divisive as ever. Palestinians are politically and geographically divided. Polls show that neither side really believes that peace has a chance. Does the US have the power — and the commitment -- to make a difference?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."