Last week’s startling confession by White House operative Ben Rhodes—that the Obama administration lied to the American people about its dealings with Iran to secure a nuclear agreement—not only confirms the perception of a mendacious and arrogant presidency. It exposes a feverish and even delusional frame of mind: an uncompromising revulsion for war that has undermined American security and invited a cascade of extremism, violence, and human suffering.
Everything about Israel was, and is, draped in layers of irony and paradox. Israel is a Jewish state. It is also a secular democracy. Israel is the resurrected form of an ancient polity that disappeared two millennia ago; it is also a modern, economically-vibrant society that embraces progress in astonishing ways.
Yom Ha’atzmaut marks the return of the Jewish people to national sovereignty after 2,000 years in exile. It’s a way of expressing solidarity with, and a Jewish connection to, the land and the State of Israel.
In the chaotic and often violent aftermath of the Arab Spring, the Sultanate of Oman has moved to a different beat, distinguishing itself as a peacemaker and mediator in comparison to its neighboring Arab states.