In case you didn't know UPDATE
UPDATE: Here is the Financial Times (British) on the Obama conundrum with Israel/Palestine: "The odds are that, once the dust settles in Gaza, Washington will let the situation drift. It is arguably the fourth of Mr Obama’s Middle East crises after Iraq, Iran and Syria. Why waste more capital on it? The answer lies as much within the US as in the Middle East. Unless Mr Obama is prepared to play the role of a genuinely neutral broker, talks are always likely to fail. If, as a growing number of American Jews and a brave minority of Israelis argue, Israel is digging its grave by undercutting moderate Palestinians, it is time for more thoughtful friends in the US to speak out. Why should Aipac be the one with the megaphone?" Whole article here
Original post: 7/31: "While Congress figures out how to pass $225 million in new Iron Dome funding before the August recess, DoD supplies Israel with new ammo. Stars and Stripes' story: "As conflict continues between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, the Department of Defense has released arms to Israel from a weapons stockpile maintained within the borders of the close U.S. ally, defense officials confirmed Wednesday. The ammunition sale from the weapons stockpile, established in the 1990s for use by both countries in case of emergency, took place within the past week, following three weeks of battle between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in Gaza." Foreign Policy Situation Report, Gordon Lubold
"But according to a defense official it was not in response to an emergency request from Israel. "Instead, the United States elected to supply 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenades from the stockpile because the arms were approaching the date they would require replacement, he said. Israel regularly buys such ammunition when the United States rotates its stocks, he said, and the United States would meanwhile send new ammunition to refresh the stockpile." Stars & Stripes
This from Kevin Clarke at America: Here's an AP lead you don't see every day:
"Members of Congress are falling over one another to show their support for Israel." Read the rest here...
"While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations.
Clarke: "And you won't see this lead today, unless you were on twitter and fast on your feet this morning. It was quickly scrubbed from an AP report on, well, Congress members falling all over each other to publicize their support for the IDF campaign in Gaza. A hasty rewrite followed yet another twitter micro-squall provoked by the unusually blunt AP tweet, built on the lead, linking to the story." Kevin Clarke, America
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.