Posted on: August 30, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 1

Biden and Bennett tone down US-Israel relations

Lost in the shuffle of the murderous attack at the Kabul airport, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had his first meeting with US President Joe Biden and the tone couldn’t have been more different than it was from Benjamin Netanyahu’s meetings with either Donald Trump or Barack Obama. Bennett and Biden struck a positive but professional tone, just one of the things both leaders were aiming for. While it was…

Posted on: August 16, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

CIA chief Burns brings a more polite tone in Israel visit

In the coming weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to make his first trip as PM to Washington and meet with Joe Biden. In preparation for this meeting, CIA chief Bill Burns went to Israel and the West Bank last week. In my latest for Responsible Statecraft, I look at the way a new chapter in the US-Israel relationship is shaping up, in the post-Netanyahu (at least for…

Posted on: August 11, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

Who is Deborah Lipstadt, Biden’s pick for antisemitism envoy? Voices

Deborah Lipstadt, whom Joe Biden tapped a couple of weeks ago as his new Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, was the very definition of a safe pick, She won; approval from pro-Israel hardliners as well as much of the pro-peace Jewish community. Even the skepticism that was expressed was very restrained, such as that form IfNotNow, the anti-occupation Jewish group, which took what could best be described as…

Posted on: August 4, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

There Are No Lines: Antisemitism and Criticism of Israel and Zionism are Two Different Things

For many Jews on the left, particularly the moderate or liberal left, there is a preoccupation—some might even say an obsession—with finding the so-called “line” between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, between legitimate, even if harsh, criticism of Israel and an attack on the Jewish people as a whole. Given Jewish history and the rise in antisemitism during and since the Trump years, one can understand the vigilance. Several antisemitic incidents during…

Posted on: August 3, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

Are Russia and Israel on a collision course in Syria?

In July, a Russian military leader made some stunning comments about Russian air defenses in Syria thwarting Israeli air attacks. While Israel, as it customarily does, offered neither confirmation nor denial, the claims were dubious. But what was their purpose if they were exaggerations or falsehoods? I look at that question and its potential implications for Israel’s behavior in Syria, Israeli-Russian relations–which very much also involve Iran and Lebanon–and US…