I Give Up, Here’s a Links Round-up

Friday, June 18, 2010 \PM\.\Fri\.

“The Vatican” endorses the Blues Brothers.

North Korea embraces neoliberalism (baby steps).

Matt Yglesias is my kind of liberal.

The Onion channels Bertolt Brecht.

Israel further loosens border restrictions with Gaza.

A lot of people seems to think this is good news for Afghanistan. Have they never heard of the resource curse?

The menace of friendship. Paging Eve Tushnet.

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Israel to Loosen Gaza Blockaid

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

Palestinian official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel, said soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy were now permitted. He said Israel rebuffed Palestinian requests for construction goods, raw materials for factories to operate and medical devices.

Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing internal policymaking, said their goal in allowing more goods into Gaza was to defuse pressure for an international investigation of the sea raid.

More.  Since the blockaid is essential to Israel’s security and right to defend itself, one can only assume that the country will now cease to exist.


Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas

Sunday, June 6, 2010 \PM\.\Sun\.

Breaking News: The USA Today is reporting that Helen Thomas has retired following her anti-Semitic comments from last week (Biretta tip to TAC reader Phillip)

The Hearst Corporation, which owns Hearst Newspapers, continues to stand behind their ‘news reporter’ the anti-Semite Helen Thomas despite video evidence of her anti-Semitic remarks.

In her anti-Semitic remarks she called on Jews in the Middle-East to ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ and go back home to ‘Germany’ and ‘Poland’.  Apparently forgetting that they have been inhabiting the Holy Land for several thousands of years.

The Hearst Corporation, Helen Thomas’ employer, continues to stand behind her, but are saying her comments do not represent the values of the Hearst Corporation.

Read the rest of this entry »


Juden Raus!

Saturday, June 5, 2010 \PM\.\Sat\.

Helen Thomas, the Deaness of the Washington Press Corps, delivered the above charming sentiments at a Jewish Heritage Celebration at the White House on May 27.  Thomas has been a left wing loon forever, and has always been hostile to Israel, but here she let the mask slip to reveal the bigot within.  She later made a perfunctory apology for saying what she obviously believes with all her heart.


Israel Confronts the Freedom Flotilla

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.
NOTE: This roundup will be continuously updated with further information

This past Memorial Day weekend, “Israel boarded a Gaza-bound ‘Freedom Flotilla’ and killed an indeterminate number of innocent bystanders as they attempted to take control international waters.”

Well, at least that’s the take of Henry Karlson of Vox Nova — who appears to be taking his talking points from Egyptian passenger Hazem Farouq:

“It was hell on the sea. I saw Israeli soldiers killing activists in cold blood and then walking on their bodies … The Israeli soldiers sprayed bullets as if they were a mafia in an American film.”

Unfortunately, as with such accounts of Israel’s actions, the facts tend to get in the way. Let’s examine the various claims of this Catholic blog regarding what happened this weekend … Read the rest of this entry »


Israel vs. the “Freedom Flotilla”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

I’m generally sympathetic to Israel. Despite its faults, it’s one of the most stable and liberal regimes in the region, and many of its critics fail to account for the corrosive effect on the national consciousness of being surrounded by peoples who want them exterminated and routinely take steps (however ineffective) to visit random violence upon them.

However, while it’s easy to understand their seige mentality, this doesn’t mean that this mentality does not at times cause them to go to far and put themselves in the wrong. In this regard, I think Megan McArdle has a pretty good and balanced response to the attack on the “Freedom Flotilla”: Read the rest of this entry »


Inherent Tensions on Nationalism

Monday, April 26, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

Nationalism, a hydra of a term which in this case I am using in the sense whereby it refers to the idea that “a people” of unified ethnic, cultural and/or religious heritage have a “right” to their own nation state which expresses their identity as a people, is a force which has been at the root of a great deal of suffering since it burst upon the world scene — arguably via the French Revolution followed by Napoleon’s empire. As such, it has a fairly well deserved negative reputation these days. And yet, like many intellectual vices, it is often denounced even by those who hold it dear.

Case in point: Can one seriously claim to be against nationalism if one believes that the Palestinians have a natural and human right to their own nation state in which they are the dominant ethnic and cultural force?

For a couple decades, the “Palestinian” territories were parts of Jordan and Egypt respectively. For the last 50 years, they have been controlled by Israel. If one is truly against nationalism, is either of these situations a problem? Or the the problem only when whatever governing authority controls the West Bank and Gaza Strip fails to provide equal political rights and privileges to the residents of those areas who are Muslim or Christian Arab in background?