Opinion

Lessons From an Israeli Crack-Up
Opinion

Lessons From an Israeli Crack-Up

The best political speech in many years was not delivered. Instead, incoming Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid set it aside and reprimanded members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s departing coalition for their nonstop heckling of incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, which was outrageous even by the standards of the Knesset. Several members were hauled out of the parliament’s chambers. The brief handshake between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Bennett as the new prime minister strode to the rostrum was a small green shoot of mutual recognition in the stony soil of recrimination. Although Mr. Lapid’s speech was not heard, it should be read—and remembered. Citing the Book of Judges, Mr. Lapid began by declaring that it is time for “peace in this land.” But forging a shared future is no easy matter, beca...
White House Calls Off the Dogs in the Great Hunt for Leaks
Opinion

White House Calls Off the Dogs in the Great Hunt for Leaks

The Biden administration took what seemed like an important step forward for the freedom of the press. “Going forward,” spokesman Anthony Coley said on June 5, “this Department of Justice—in a change to its longstanding practice—will not seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from members of the news media doing their jobs.” The key words are “going forward”—a tacit admission that the Justice Department under President Biden may have been using electronic data to hunt for leakers. This policy shift follows revelations that the department had continued a Trump administration effort to secure the email logs of four New York Times reporters. On Friday, Justice’s inspector general announced an investigation into leak hunting in the previous administra...
The Tin Can Sailors of World War II
Opinion

The Tin Can Sailors of World War II

James D. Hornfischer, a historian of the U.S. Navy, died June 2 at 55. The costs borne by Navy sailors in World War II seldom receive prime billing in history courses, but amid so much fresh attention on the Pacific, more Americans should thumb through Hornfischer’s work about the Navy’s “finest hour,” off the coast of Samar on an October morning in 1944. Historian James D. Hornfischer (1965-2021). Photo: Mark Matson Hornfischer’s “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” (2004) is dedicated to about two hours of action in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, mostly on “tin cans,” the Navy term of endearment for destroyers. The scene on Oct. 25 was grim. Adm. Bill Halsey and his carriers were lured away by a decoy, and the 13 ships of “Taffy 3” were exposed to the largest force of surfa...
Leaving Afghan Allies Behind
Opinion

Leaving Afghan Allies Behind

By The Editorial Board Close The Editorial Board June 14, 2021 6:38 pm ET Afghan former interpreters for the U.S. and NATO forces gather during a demonstration in downtown Kabul on April 30. Photo: wakil kohsar/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended visa operations on Sunday, citing rising Covid-19 cases in Afghanistan. Now it’s up to the White House to do more for the Afghans in mortal danger as they wait for visas. Most U.S. and coalition troops will be out of the country in weeks, but thousands of Afghans who helped allied forces, notably as translators, are being left behind. The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program lets Afghans who worked with the U.S. for two years move to the U.S. with their spouse and children. About 18,000 appli...
The Making of an Electric-Vehicle Fiasco
Opinion

The Making of an Electric-Vehicle Fiasco

By The Editorial Board Close The Editorial Board June 14, 2021 6:36 pm ET Lordstown Motors Corp. headquarters in Lordstown, Ohio. Photo: Dustin Franz/Bloomberg News Yield-hungry investors have been driving headlong into SPACs (special-purpose acquisition companies), and some are now getting burned. Witness the trouble at electric-truck manufacturer Lordstown Motors, which may be a canary in the supposed SPAC gold mine. The startup’s CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez resigned Monday after a board committee report found the company had made inaccurate statements about sales preorders. Last week the company warned it didn’t have enough cash to begin commercial production and there was “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern. There’s p...
The SEC Takes on Retail Traders
Opinion

The SEC Takes on Retail Traders

Gary Gensler in 2012. Photo: jonathan ernst/Reuters If you’re one of millions of Americans trading stocks with zero commission, you have Gary Gensler’s sympathy. The new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission wants to restrict the business model that has made trading cheaper and more accessible than ever. Mr. Gensler last week told a conference of Wall Street executives that he’ll set new rules on payment for order flow. This revenue model allows brokers like Robinhood and Charles Schwab to fill trade orders without charging fees to users. Robinhood has increased its user base by more than five million in the past year, and Mr. Gensler wants to pump the brakes. “What makes the current zero-commission brokerage environment different,” he says, “is that investors do...
Mississippi’s People Should Choose Its Abortion Laws
Opinion

Mississippi’s People Should Choose Its Abortion Laws

By Lynn Fitch June 14, 2021 6:27 pm ET A clinic escort at a women’s health clinic in Jackson, Miss., May 20. Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press Jackson, Miss. When the Supreme Court hears from the parties in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in its next term, the arguments will concern the constitutionality of a Mississippi abortion law protecting life after 15 weeks of pregnancy. At stake will be the right of the people to speak through their elected leaders on the protection of vulnerable life and women’s health. The Supreme Court recognized a right to terminate pregnancy in 1973, and the court has been clear that the right is not absolute. But that isn’t the end of the story. The people act on legitimate interests through their elected legislators w...
Stop Blaming Kamala Harris
Opinion

Stop Blaming Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has been home almost a week now from her first foreign trip as vice president. Even so, the political class is still feasting off the disaster that her two-day visit to Guatemala and Mexico became.Republicans are mocking the vice president not only for continuing to avoid a visit to the border but for her inability to articulate exactly what Joe Biden plans to do about the record number of people trying our southern border with Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol reports that in May it stopped 180,034 people trying to cross through there, the highest number since Mr. Biden took office and nearly eight times the 23,000 stopped in May 2020. No doubt this explains why on her first stop, in Guatemala, Ms. Harris tried to deliver some of the clarity that her Latin American hosts compl...
While Democracies Lecture, Their Adversaries Run Free
Opinion

While Democracies Lecture, Their Adversaries Run Free

World leaders pose at the G-7 Summit In Carbis Bay, England, June 11. Photo: Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images As President Biden travels across Europe from one summit to the next, the memory of Donald Trump’s disruption is starting to fade, and the soothing pageantry of diplomacy is resuming its stately course. The familiar rituals are back. In Cornwall, England, meetings were held, communiqués were composed, and all was harmony and light, with the exception of intra-European squabbles over the rules governing sausage shipments from the mainland of Great Britain to Northern Ireland. More of the same is expected in Brussels. America is back, the West is back, multilateralism is back, and all is well. There were rough spots, to be sure. Climate campaigners welcomed the grand p...
The Rising Stakes for the Fed
Opinion

The Rising Stakes for the Fed

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2020. Photo: pool new/Reuters The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) convenes this week for a regular meeting that carries more than the usual stakes. Chairman Jerome Powell and colleagues need to decide soon whether to defend the Federal Reserve’s credibility and independence. Otherwise they may find they’ve missed their opportunity. *** The obvious although not the only credibility challenge is inflation. Consumer-price increases hit 5% year-on-year in May, and 3.8% excluding food and fuel. This followed inflation of 4.2% in April and significant increases to producer prices throughout the spring. Some of this is due to so-called base effects, the comparison to the pandemic-deflated prices of a year ago. So...