Assessing Weekend Coverage

• Two Palestinians, Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, have confessed to brutally murdering the Fogel family. Haaretz reports that six other people from the Palestinian village of Awarta were arrested for helping hide the murder weapon and suppressing evidence.

Awarta’s in shock:

Many in the village refuse to believe the investigation conclusions including the village council chief Kais Awad. “I have major doubts over the Israeli findings and demand an international inquiry. They’re children, it isn’t possible that they committed this awful act,” he said.

I don’t buy the they’re-just-kids argument. Eighteen’s old enough to join the ranks of the IDF, US army, or (not to equate them) the PFLP. The only kids in this sad story are the dead Fogel children, Yoav (11), Elad (4), and the survivors left to pick up the pieces: Tamar (12), Roi (8), and Yishai (2).

The Lede rounds up on the murdered Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni’s extensive Palestinian activism on Twitter, Facebook and his blog. A WSJ staff-ed (click via Google  News) notes that none of Arrigoni’s content criticized Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel:

Arrigoni was not in Gaza to protest such outrages, an act that would have required something more than the rigid political correctness that passes for courage in radical circles.

But Arrigoni may have begun to be an irritant to Hamas as well. His friend, photographer Aldo Soligno told the Sunday Times (paywall):

“We went to see the bloggers who were criticising Hamas and when they were arrested he managed to be present at their questioning. The idea was that with a foreigner present, there would not have been any abuses,” he said.

Meanwhile, spin alert from The Guardian, where reporter Conal Urquhart writes:

While many view Hamas as a radical Islamist group, the responsibility of being in power has forced it to sacrifice ideology for a pragmatism that has alienated many of its supporters. Some have rejected Hamas’s brand of nationalist Islam and embraced fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which aims to create a single Islamic commonwealth in place of nation states.

Pragmatism? If Urquhart considers pragmatism to be firing laser-guided anti-tank missiles at Israeli school busses, storing and launching rockets in civilian areas, holding Gilad Shalit incommunicado, and blocking Palestinian unity efforts, what would Urquhart consider radical?

• Daniel Viflic, the 16-year-old boy injured in the Hamas rocket attack on his school bus, died today.

• Now that Libya was kicked off the UN Human Rights Council, care to guess which country is jockeying for the vacant seat?

That’s right, Syria. Now Lebanon quotes from the Syrian application:

The five-page document makes some breathtaking claims. It says that Syria has “worked consistently on advancing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” This is at best delusional, at worst a lie. It goes on to say that the “promotion and protection of human rights are of highest importance to Syria,” another flabbergasting assertion, and that “Syria’s candidature to the Human Rights Council signifies its commitment to respect and to support the inalienable and indivisible nature of all human rights, both on the national and international levels.”

I hope the UNHRC doesn’t take into account amateur video footage from Banias of Assad’s goons beating bound protesters lying on the ground (background info at the Daily Telegraph).

Libya was simply too embarrassing to have on a human rights body. Gaddafi’s men are now using rape as a weapon of war.


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