Unemployed On Labor Day

The abysmal conditions of labor in the United States are exacerbated by the Great Recession, which we’re still very much in, despite what Obama says. But they reflect long-term trends and are having a devastating effect on many lives. What recovery there has been has been almost exclusively for those who were already doing just fine. Labor in the US hasn’t been this bad off since before World War II. In honor of Labor Day, I explore these issues this week in my column at Souciant.

Israeli-Palestinian Talks Are Quietly Foundering

This piece was originally published at LobeLog

If John Kerry wants to find a silver lining in the heavy criticism US foreign policy has faced due to the events in both Egypt and Syria, he Israel-Palestine-Kerry-Indyk-620x350might find it in, of all places, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The secretary of state embarked on the talks by saying there would be no discussion of them in the media; that any reliable information about them would only come from him; and that he would not talk about them. Given the history of leaks in such talks and the widespread coverage generated by any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, this seemed like a very ambitious promise. But amid an imminent attack on Syria after the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and the controversial, tacit US support for a coup in Egypt that turned out to be a lot more bloody than Washington probably expected, attention has been completely drawn away from the Israel-Palestine conflict. Continue reading

Israeli Lobby Looks to 2008 Law to Justify Request for More U.S. Aid

Israel, AIPAC and their fellow travelers are already hard at work on the next 10-year aid package, which would start in 2017. Aid to Israel is sacrosanct in Washington, but the request for an upgrade faces some new challenges this time. But AIPAC has a powerful tool in a 2008 law passed by Congress. I explore at Inter Press Service.

Syria Spotlights Problematic International Law

My latest piece at LobeLog, where I frequently write on US foreign policy, examines the inadequacy of the current system of international law. It has gotten so ineffective that it is now more hindrance than help. Syria shines a spotlight on the problems.

Faces of Transphobia

My weekly column at Souciant this time is not Mideast related at all. In the wake of Chelsea Manning’s revelation about herself, I take a look at the progress that has been made on transgender issues and the long way we still have to go, particularly in communities that should already be much farther along, in my view. More than usual, I welcome your feedback, either online or you can message me directly through the contact link on this page.

A Holocaust Double Standard

This piece originally appeared at Souciant’s new blog. Check it out for a great deal of brilliant and different progressive thought.

I wrote recently about the apoplectic reaction of some members of Russia’s Jewish community to Stephen Fry’s very accurate

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

comparison of the atmosphere in Germany at the beginning of Adolph Hitler’s Fascist regime and Vladmir Putin’s incitement to hate and violence against LGBT people in Russia.

Today, Israel’s very own hatemonger, Avigdor Lieberman, from the obscurity of his forced suspension from his post as Foreign Minister on corruption charges, raises the Holocaust specter, though this time on much more specious (though, I certainly grant, not entirely non-existent) grounds. Continue reading

Souciant’s New Blog

Many of you who follow me here know that I have been working for several years as writer, Associate Editor and, most recently, Publisher of souciant_icon_normalSouciant, an innovative and groundbreaking online magazine. Today, we launched a new feature, a blog which will feature shorter articles on a  variety of topics, much like the diverse content of Souciant.

My first blog post is up there, Israel’s New Frenemies. In it, I take a look at some of the implications of the shifts taking place in the region and what they mean for Israel. Check it out, and keep following us. Oh, and make sure you tell your friends about Souciant.