I am accused of hypocritically “lecturing” Arabs about human rights. My speeches and writings are in fact directed elsewhere: at the democratic West and particularly at Western leaders who believe that freedom and human rights are the exclusive property of their own societies and cannot take root elsewhere.
For my own part, I have always tried to help the Arab world’s true believers in human rights, the beleaguered democrats who struggle, against often unimaginable odds, to be heard. In this way, I try to repay my debt to those Western defenders of freedom, like the late Senator Henry Jackson, who went out of their way to help us, the dissidents and democratic activists of the Soviet Union, and thus to pass on to others the gifts of hope and courage that he and others gave us. If this is hypocrisy, I’m proud to plead guilty as charged.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The Washington Post sifts through unusual Iranian tea leaves:
A sober analysis assessing the possible threat of a military confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program and highlighting the benefits of negotiations to avert a deeper crisis has been published by a surprising source: Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.
The report first appeared on the ministry’s Web site Tuesday and has been republished by various Iranian media outlets, adding to growing speculation that new negotiations with the international bloc known as the P5+1, or even direct talks with the United States, may be on the horizon.
• Imagine the outrage if Israel did this: Bahrain revoked the citizenship of 31 Shiite activists involved in anti-government protests. AFP coverage.
• Interviewing Bashar Assad is toxic, as Vogue and Barbara Walters learned. So with Western journalists avoiding the Syrian president like the plague, Assad’s turning to Russia Today to get his message out. If the pattern holds, RT will apologize too . . .
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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