Jonathan S. Tobin is the award-winning Editor in Chief of the Jewish News Syndicate — JNS.org — and a Senior Contributor for The Federalist as well as a columnist for the New York Post, Newsweek Haaretz and Israel Hayom as well as a regular contributor for the Washington Examiner and Commentary magazines. In his writing he covers on a daily basis the American political scene, foreign policy, the U.S.-Israel relationship, Middle East diplomacy and the Jewish world as well as the arts. He has won more than 50 awards for his writing and appears regularly on television commenting on politics and foreign policy.

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At this stage, it’s likely that not even those American diplomats most immersed in the ongoing nuclear talks between the United States and Iran know what the outcome of their efforts will be. For the last 20 months, since President Joe Biden was sworn into office, the expectation has been that Tehran will sooner or later agree to re-enter the weak nuclear accord it concluded with the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2015. But, as they did during the two-year lead-up to that agreement, the Iranians are clearly having too much fun making their American counterparts sweat to agree to the advantageous terms that everyone knows that Biden’s foreign-policy team has been offering to them.

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Mikhail Gorbachev is being hailed as the man who ended the Cold War, broke up the Soviet empire and freed Soviet Jewry. The former leader of the Soviet Union, who died last week at age 91, deserves a great deal of credit for those outcomes and as such is likely to be remembered kindly by history – or at least those histories written outside of Russia – for the foreseeable future. Yet as much as we should be grateful that it was he who succeeded a series of geriatric tyrants at the head of the nation that former President Ronald Reagan aptly called “the evil empire” in 1985, as opposed to a more ruthless or clever member of the Soviet hierarchy, his status as a hero to the West and to Jews rests on something that often gets lost in the tributes to him: He failed.

There’s something almost pathetic about the outrage generated after the latest comments by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. In Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was standing with him, the Palestinian was asked about his role in funding the 1972 Olympic massacre of 11 Israeli athletes, including former Shaker Heights resident David Berger, and coaches in Munich, and whether he ought to apologize on the 50th anniversary of that infamous crime. In response – and speaking in English so that there could be no doubt about his meaning – he said: “If we want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts.”

Which of these two things is more important when it comes to gauging Arab acceptance of Israel? Is it a Saudi social-media influencer making a viral video playing the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” on the oud? Or is it the speech made earlier last week by the Egyptian ambassador to the United Nations denouncing the Jewish state and speaking of Palestinian “martyrs” even after his own government had helped broker a ceasefire between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group?

There may be only one thing worse for AIPAC than the abuse it is currently taking from progressives for working to defeat candidates who are not friends of Israel. That would have been to avoid direct involvement in the 2022 election cycle in which it has played a role in defeating a number of foes of the Jewish state.

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If you’re old enough to remember the darkest days of the movement to free Soviet Jewry, the news in July that the Russian Justice Ministry has asked a court to close down the operations of The Jewish Agency in Israel in that country seems ominously familiar. In the Soviet era, the Communist regime wasn’t just preventing Jews from leaving. It was, as had been the case since the Bolshevik coup in 1917, openly antisemitic. Indeed, the Communists were even more oppressive than their tsarist predecessors in terms of suppressing Jewish life and the practice of Judaism.

The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling has – as we all knew it would once a draft of the majority decision was leaked – set off a political firestorm. As polarizing as this issue has always been in the more than 49 years since the original Roe decision, the prospect of the question of abortion being returned to each state legislature as opposed to remaining as a court-imposed national standard, has raised the already elevated temperature on the issue even more than before.

The decision of an American president to visit the Middle East has always been seen primarily through the lens of its impact on efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is not the case with President Joe Biden’s planned trip this week to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia. With inflation and the price of gasoline skyrocketing in recent months, Biden’s priority should be to increase Middle East oil production, not resurrecting the failed policies of the past and pressuring Israel to appease the Palestinians.