Author: Mitchell Plitnick
Mitchell Plitnick is the former Director of the US Office of B'Tselem and was previously the Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. He is a widely published and respected policy analyst. Born in New York City, raised an Orthodox Jew and educated in Yeshiva, Mitchell grew up in an extremist environment that passionately supported the radical Israeli settler movement. Plitnick graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in Middle Eastern Studies and wrote his thesis on Israeli and Jewish historiography.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a quick deal between the P5+1 powers and Iran failed to materialize. Hopes were understandably raised by the fact that the United States wanted a deal, and that Iran declared its openness to unprecedentedly intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities. But what is at stake in these talks goes beyond the atomic issue. It deals with the entire Western approach to the Middle East. (More…)

Sometimes a question provides its own answer. Robert Reich, who is as left-leaning as a mainstream economist could be, and who once served as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, raised just such a question. On November 4, he set everyone straight on his Facebook page. (More…)

Nuclear weapons negotiations between the United States and Iran are looking increasingly likely to portend a seismic shift in the Middle East. That shift, though, is not the one that was hoped for in some quarters. Especially in Riyadh and Jerusalem, who fear being sidelined by an ending of hostilities between Washington and Tehran. (More…)

One of the more absurd international crises could be coming to an end. The word out of Geneva this week is that the P5+1 (which consists of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France plus Germany) was impressed with the presentation made by the Iranian delegation. It’s only the beginning of what is sure to be a difficult process. (More…)

In the American Prospect today, Gershom Gorenberg raises the key argument against a one-state solution: that nationalism is too strong on both the Jewish and Palestinian side for them to reasonably exist in a single state. (More…)

“The two-state solution is the only viable option to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” So goes the familiar refrain. Lately, I’ve noted a couple of instances where the cliché has been accompanied with mockery of those who advocate for one secular, democratic state in all of the land Israel now controls. There’s a lot of arrogance and condescension in that attitude. (More…)

With repetition, truth accretes. For example, repeat that Iran must be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons, and everyone believes that Iran is trying to acquire nuclear weapons. The problem is, the facts don’t support so certain a conclusion, any more than they prove Iran’s innocence. (More…)

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!” Those were the words of Michael Corleone, an old man who had spent his life reluctantly running a Mafia family, in the third installment of The Godfather trilogy. This was a movie, of course, but the line probably has some resonance right now for US President Barack Obama. (More…)

Hassan Rouhani is on a charm offensive. Bibi Netanyahu and the Emergency Committee for Israel have initiated an anti-Rouhani crusade. What does it all add up to? I explore at LobeLog. (More…)

Advocating a sex-positive culture is a chore. It’s been over four decades since the Sexual Revolution and its embrace of sensuality and freedom. Yet, despite this opening, sexuality has not been fully emancipated. On the contrary, it has all too often been a tool of the market, and of misogyny. (More…)

September 13th, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the now-infamous Oslo Accords. Friday the 13th seems all too appropriate a date for that landmark. What better a marker for an agreement that started with good intentions, but was doomed by its inherent flaws and malicious politics. (More…)

The Syria debate in the United States brought a lot of surprises, not the least of which was the behavior of various sectors of the “pro-Israel” Lobby. Despite the Russians coming along and at least temporarily bailing Obama out of the hole he dug for himself, AIPAC in particular took hit. The damage that caused should not be overstated, but it was real. I explore this at LobeLog. (More…)