Sunday Blog Wrap

The EconomistThe limits of freedom and faith

From the UN Human Rights Council, another battle in the war of ideas, the weapon is words, demonstrating why we need to be clear about the nature of liberalism and liberty, including the distinction between religious liberty and religious imposition:

For secularists (in the broad sense of people, including believers, who oppose the idea of faith having privileged access to power), all this is alarming. Non-binding resolutions against defamation are bad enough; a UN treaty on race-plus-religion would have legal force, at least for its signatories, and give heart to theocrats.

Mediaite Rachel Maddow Compares ‘Bogus’ ACORN Scandal To ‘Made-Up’ Climategate

Another expose of conservative exposes. The California attorney general finds

the evidence illustrates, that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor….

Said Rachel Maddow on Friday: The whole premise of the attack on the ACORN offices was false. This guy dressed up as a pimp, went into the offices and they gave him straight up advice as if that was normal. Actually, no, he was dressed up like a law student and they called the cops on him.”

Maddow goes on the compare the “bogus” ACORN scandal to Climategate, “that made-up controversy promoted by climate change deniers and promoted on Fox News Chanel” which was also disproved this week. Which did you hear more about, Maddow wants to know, the scandals or the conclusion they were fake?

More from Maddow, via Mediaite, on the scandal of the ACORN scandal here. Of “Climategate,” I wrote here.

The Christian Science MonitorThe solution for Israelis and Palestinians: a parallel state structure

Mathias Mossberg and Mark LeVine demonstrating why Swedish diplomats and scholar-musician authors of Heavy Metal Islam are probably best confined to their, ahem, proper spheres; or, so detached from reality, they’re reaching for oxygen; or, (my favorite) so theoretical, it’s incredible.

As the two-state solution seems increasingly implausible, voices for a one-state or binational solution become stronger. But a one-state solution is equally unrealistic – the whole raison d’être for the state of Israel is to provide a Jewish state for the Jews. And there are no signs or prospects of change in this basic Israeli position as long as it holds most of the cards….

The most important innovation of a parallel state structure is that state sovereignty would be linked primarily with the individual citizen, and only in a secondary way with territory. Separating the territorial and citizenship/identity dimensions of sovereignty would allow Israelis and Palestinians to retain their national symbols, have political and legislative bodies that are responsible to their own electorate, and retain a high degree of political independence.

Precisely by no longer defining sovereignty through exclusive control over territory, this structure would enable the creation of an independent Palestinian state while preserving the state of Israel, both Jewish and democratic. The contours of political authority and security would be shared by the two states in a manner that guarantees the long-term secure existence of each community. It would be guaranteed by international treaty and, if necessary, a strong international monitoring presence. [Emphasis added]

Yeah, imagine U.N. troops (well, just imagine U.N. troops) keeping people apart neighborhood by neighborhood, even block by block. Imagine, even – I hate to be negative – the nature of warfare, internal and external. Still, this innovative proposal does point the way toward the resolution of personal identity “issues”: two minds, one body.

The Middle East: the undiscovered Utopia.

And continuing to draw from the You Were Always on My Mind (Games) Annals

Mind Game 1

Ynet News publishes what turns out to be an uncorroborated report that

Former IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who is considering contending in Egypt‘s presidential elections next year, expressed his support for the “Palestinian resistance” while slamming Israel.

In a report published Tuesday, the experienced diplomat said that Palestinian violence was the only path open to the Palestinian people, because “the Israeli occupation only understands the language of violence.”

Elder of Ziyon, however, discovers ElBaradei interview appears to have been faked

As Elder states

If the story was true, it would be a bombshell – a Nobel Peace Prize winner saying that he supports terrorism, and someone who wants to be the Prime Minister of Egypt suggesting that Egypt’s sovereignty be compromised by opening the border with Gaza?

Ali ElBaradei, brother of Mohammed, denies that the reported interview ever, in fact, took place. So where did the report originate? As far as Elder can discover

the first place that this story was published was in the Al Qassam Brigades (Hamas) website, although it might have been first published by Iran’s PressTV, whose story is identical to Al Qassam’s.

Mind Game II

Elder, again on the case looks into the wildfire spread of reports of more supposed Israeli crimes and reveals the truth: Israel is NOT deporting tens of thousands of PalArabs

Paraphrased from an Israeli Defense Forces official:

7. Since the beginning of 2010, there have only been 5 Gazans who have been repatriated to Gaza.

8. The current system allows Israeli authorities to arrest, detain and deport illegal residents (specifically those who came in on a tourist visa and decided to stay) – these are the same powers that every sovereign nation in the world possess. The establishment of the Judicial Committee to oversee the process is the only change.

However, as is always so with Pallywood style propaganda, the lie travels farther than the truth. Writes Elder

One cannot understate how much this story has already permeated the Arab world. For example, a group in Tunisia just demanded that no one with Israeli citizenship be allowed to come to Djerba on Lag B’Omer to visit the site of a 1900-year old synagogue and a 1500-year old Torah. The reason is to “protest at Israel’s decision to deport thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank,” which the article helpfully tells us began yesterday.


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