John Peeler: Obama simply cannot allow himself and his country to be held hostage by a reckless ally in Israel. He needs to do all in his power to dissuade the Israelis from proceeding with this misbegotten adventure.
David A. Love: The terrorist-as-enemy-of-America is like the bogeyman of Red Scare fame, ubiquitous yet elusive, and you can’t quite put your finger on them because they’re tricky. The definition of terrorism itself can serve as a political weapon—a form of terrorism itself, dare I say. Call someone a terrorist, or a communist or socialist or supporter thereof, and you delegitimize everything that person has to say. You marginalize everything that person represents.
Ira Chernus: On this Martin Luther King Day, then, American Jews face a choice. They can dwell on one casual, misinformed, easily misinterpreted remark that King made and use it to justify continued Israeli intransigence and violence. Or they can remember the words in which he summed up a lifetime of nonviolence, on the last night of his life — “I’m not fearing any man!” — and call on their own government to demand at least a start toward ending the conflict: a genuine halt to all settlement expansion.
The renewed Israel-Hamas war in Gaza presents the incoming Obama Administration with its most difficult immediate foreign policy challenge. Yet it also offers Obama a well-timed opportunity to act on his promise to return to the aggressive Mideast diplomacy that characterized the final years of the Clinton Administration.