- New Israel Fund executive director Larry Garber answers the question, "Why should the U.S. provide $300 million to rebuild Gaza when it will probably be destroyed again?" His answer: "My own experiences suggest that, despite the frustration of seeing so many investments going to waste, we must emphasize not only the alleviation of immediate misery, but the formation of the fundamental frameworks, institutions and values that are essential for ensuring a better future for Palestinians. … US government assistance, coordinated with the contributions of others, is integral, if utilized strategically and implemented wisely, to ensuring the success of a peacemaking process.
- Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post writes that the Israeli press got a much different view of Hillary Clinton’s trip to Israel from Israeli officials than American reporters did from the secretary of state’s office: "At news conferences, she deferred questions, often saying she had to wait until there was a new government formed before speaking about specific policies. And her aides generally refused to comment about what she said in the meetings, despite constant queries from reporters traveling with her. In contrast, the Israeli press has carried a candid assessments of Clinton’s meetings here. … The [U.S.] effort seemed designed to show that Clinton was a solid friend of Israel–the kind of thing useful for a senator from New York but somewhat inappropriate for a secretary of State."
- The National Jewish Democratic Council is asking its supporters to send a thank-you letter to the president for pulling out of Durban II.
- Here’s Ron Kampeas’ report on John Kerry’s speech on the Middle East today in Washington Kerry’s suggestions gave him the appearance of being a "three-legged stalking horse" for the president: "Rapid progress toward a two-state solution, penalties for settlement expansion and engagement with Syria even as it remains in Iran’s sphere."
- And in case you missed them yesterday, here’s Ron’s story on Israel’s view of U.S. policy on Iran and the Palestinians, my wrapup of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ annual plenum and Jacob Berkman’s look at opposition in the Jewish community to Obama’s proposed decrease in the charitable deduction for wealthy taxpayers.
- Arieh Eldad of the National Union party writes a letter to Clinton in YNet: "Most Israeli citizens do not wish to establish an Arab terror state in our homeland. If your democracy is real, you should of course respect the democracy of others as well."
Tidbits: Different views of Hillary’s trip (UPDATED)