March 3 Blogging

• Dashiell Shapiro wants Gaza returned to Egypt. But she (gulp) hinges her argument on this point:

Returning Gaza to Egyptian control could allow political and cultural influence to flow north instead of south. Specifically, a Muslim Brotherhood with relatively moderate positions necessary for competing in national elections could have a constructive influence on Hamas. Finally, a pluralistic Egypt may be more willing to accept the return of Gaza, and the people of Gaza may similarly be more inclined to accept some form of Egyptian control if they had allies in its government.


Till she tied in the Brotherhood, I was willing to entertain the notion.

• It’s clear to me and Tom Friedman that Israel’s the model for Mideast democracy. So what should we make of this Newsweek report that Islamists from Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco are getting camoflauge-your-extremism tips tips from Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

The lingering halo effect from the Turkish PM’s Gaddafi Human Rights Prize?

Alan Krinsky‘s a voice in the wilderness. This is the most intelligent thing I’ve read all week:

If, however, you are a progressive who believes in the values of freedom of speech and religion and the press, in women’s and gay and lesbian rights, then perhaps you might not wish Israel out of existence so quickly . . .

Progressives ought to come to terms with this juxtaposition. They ought to question, within progressive circles, the almost unconsciously reflexive singling out of Israel for condemnation, the efforts to delegitimize its existence in a way not applied to any other nation in the world. When progressives — and I count myself as a progressive — can get to such a point, when we can analyze Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an international context, then we might be able to engage in constructive criticism instead of demonization.

• Robert Bernstein’s launching a new human rights watchdog, Advancing Human Rights. He already has Col. Richard Kemp, Yelena Bonner and Irwin Cotler, among others, on board. Bernstein had a big fallout with Human Rights Watch awhile ago, but who thought he’d start a new organization? Good for him.

Meanwhile, HRW’s under fire for its misleading assessments of Libyan human rights.

James Taranto slams the UN Human Rights Council for this fawning review of Libyan human rights. The review’s to be presented to the HRC on March 18, and Taranto wants them to approve it.

Gadhafi’s regime, of course, did not just start slaughtering and oppressing Libya’s people last week. It has been at it for 42 years. Nonetheless, until just now the regime has been a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The council is a joke, and its actions should be judged by the same standard as any other joke. It ought to approve the report because that would be funnier than rejecting it.

The review doesn’t mention the chemical weapons stockpile that UK special forces may seize.

• Last year’s vaunted Lebanese reforms to improve employment rights for Palestinian refugees were just hot air. They’re still discriminated against.

• Jonathan Freedland’s rightly rattled by the latest anti-Semitic rantings from John Galliano, Julian Assange, Iran’s National Olympic Committee, Glenn Beck, and Charlie Sheen. LOL, Matt gets it.