‘Galacticos’ in Hell
March 22, 2010
It has become a sign of spring: as swallows crowd the sky over Madrid, Real is eliminated at the knock-out stage of the European Champions League. Yet again, the richest club in the world has spent obscene amounts of money with the sole intention of winning the most important club competition in the world, but on March 10, they were knocked out from the last 16 for the sixth year in a row (in 2003, they were eliminated from the last eight). This time, they were brought low by Olympic Lyon, who beat them at home and tied them in Madrid.
Ban Ki-moon is the secretary general of the United Nations. The world is in pretty good shape. This is why he can spend so much of his time relieving the pain of the Arabs of Palestine, who are (if you don’t know already) the only people who suffer from their neighbors. The other Arabs probably suffer from their local overlords. But most of this is kept hush-hush, maybe because Barack Obama wants to have nice relations with them. Mr. Ban certainly wants to have good ties with them.
Sour Dour Baroness Ashton And The Deeds Of Bibi Netnayahu
March 21, 2010
The Baroness Ashton is a very unhappy woman. You can see it on her face, poor lady. And even the fact that she is now a “peer”--or should one still say “peeress”?--has not visibly altered her look. She is one of those ugly ducklings who has given her life to social causes, a type we all know. Alas, the outcome of such an existence is very rarely happiness. Take her work as treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), seen as a front by the Soviets, who secretly supplied as much as 38% of its budget.
Domestic Muslim Terrorists And The New York Times
March 19, 2010
No, it is not—as, frankly, I expected--downplaying the phenomenon. But, rather, it has put four commentaries on the Times website on what’s “Behind the New U.S. Terror Cases.” No denial of the reality. No attack on American policy at home and abroad for provoking it. No accusation of excess in pursuing the problem. Just cool suggestions for what to do now that we know Muslim terrorism is here. Except for one catty little swipe at the Bushies regarding how wise the Obami were in ceasing to call any of this a “war on terror.” Does the president know that Muslim terrorism is here?
I Know I Am Harping On The President’s Israel Policy. But That’s Exactly What I Should Be Doing And What I Aim To Do.
March 19, 2010
Frankly, it’s a little bit embarrassing to be citing the Commentary crowd so often. But the fact is that the other powerful venues which seem to understand that the Palestinians do not really want peace--or act as if they don’t--are few and far between. Yes, there is the Washington Post, where Jackson Diehl, Charles Krauthammer, and Chuck Lane analyze what everyone can (but most refuse to) see or describe. Then, of course, there are the editorials, the collective voice of the Post, which strike an independent voice free of Arabisant cant and America bashing.
Obama's Rage and the Palestinians' 'Days of Rage'
March 18, 2010
They are not unconnected. They are not unconnected at all. Now, presumably the president didn't want to provoke the rage of the Palestinians. (Although, then again, he might just have anticipated it.) But Palestinian rage is very easy to provoke. Snap your fingers and, there, you have it. You don't even have to rent a mob. It comes free will, so to speak. The fact is that Obama did more than snap his fingers. He sent out very top members of his administration to beat up on Israel and they did.
Maureen Dowd And The Saudi Royals
March 17, 2010
Maureen Dowd spent a week in Saudi Arabia, presumably without having to wear the hijab or be smacked on her tush by themutaween to get her to pray. But now that she’s been to Riyadh, she is also an expert, an expert not so much on the huge peninsula but on Israel. Great place to learn! You see, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, has actually instructed her on Israeli politics.
March 16, 2010
JERUSALEM—Suddenly, my city feels again like a war zone. Since the suicide bombings ended in 2005, life in Jerusalem has been for the most part relatively calm. The worst disruptions have been the traffic jams resulting from construction of a light rail, just like in a normal city.
Israelis Are Undivided On Jerusalem
March 16, 2010
Yes, many—likely most—Israelis want this or that part of the city to go ultimately to the Palestinian Authority, a larger portion more forthcoming than less… But none want any of it to go to Hamas. Who will be the legatee, however, is not something that Israel has the ability to decide. Some Israelis want the whole of Jerusalem to remain under their sovereignty. That is neither feasible nor desirable. The opportunities are very small, indeed. The Arabs are enraged, although they are easily enraged and have been enraged for decades. Since the mid-1800s, Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority.
Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling. At Least In Northern Ireland They're Not. George Mitchell’s Frosty Legacy.
March 14, 2010
On the front page of the Sunday Boston Globe “Ideas” section, there’s a photograph of East Belfast—or, rather, of a concrete demarcation “that separates the Protestant community from the Catholic residents on the other side of the wall.” It is called the “Peace Line,” and maybe it’s what George Mitchell, who negotiated the settlement that ended “the Troubles,” thinks of as peace. Mitchell was Bill Clinton’s “special envoy” to those troubles, and that is why Barack Obama made him his personal emissary to Israel and the Palestinians.