Commentary Magazine


Posts For: February 11, 2011

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Redesigns are invariably a work in progress, but I think you’ll find this one is a clear improvement over our predecessor in terms of stability, ease of use, and design. Let us know what you think by dropping us a note at letters-at-commentarymagazine.com.

You’ve come to the right place. This is commentarymagazine.com, the home of the Contentions blog. We’ve redesigned our site to simplify it and clarify it and make it easier to navigate and offer a more fresh and clear reading experience. Instead of a rather static homepage with Contentions buried inside it, we’ve integrated the two. Contentions now anchors the commentarymagazine.com home page, and articles from the magazine are to be found in the left-hand column. We’ve also worked hard to simplify the way you can subscribe, donate, or use the site if you’re a subscriber.

Redesigns are invariably a work in progress, but I think you’ll find this one is a clear improvement over our predecessor in terms of stability, ease of use, and design. Let us know what you think by dropping us a note at letters-at-commentarymagazine.com.

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Pawlenty to Obama: ‘Stop Apologizing for Our Country’

During a fiery speech at CPAC today, Tim Pawlenty called on President Obama to stop apologizing for America and start standing with U.S. allies like Israel and the UK.

“When the United States of America projects its national security interests here and around the world, we need to do it with strength,” said Pawlenty, charging that the Obama administration’s policies “undermine” Israel, the UK, and Poland.

“We need to get tough with our enemies not our friends. And one more thing, Mr. President: stop apologizing for our country,” Pawlenty continued to a standing ovation accompanied by chants of “USA! USA!”

“The bullies, terrorists, and tyrants of the world have a lot of apologize for. America does not.”

Critics of Pawlenty say that he doesn’t have the charisma and enthusiasm to excite conservative voters, but the CPAC audience was loving his speech. If he keeps the level of passion that he brought to his address today, then he should be in good shape for 2012.

During a fiery speech at CPAC today, Tim Pawlenty called on President Obama to stop apologizing for America and start standing with U.S. allies like Israel and the UK.

“When the United States of America projects its national security interests here and around the world, we need to do it with strength,” said Pawlenty, charging that the Obama administration’s policies “undermine” Israel, the UK, and Poland.

“We need to get tough with our enemies not our friends. And one more thing, Mr. President: stop apologizing for our country,” Pawlenty continued to a standing ovation accompanied by chants of “USA! USA!”

“The bullies, terrorists, and tyrants of the world have a lot of apologize for. America does not.”

Critics of Pawlenty say that he doesn’t have the charisma and enthusiasm to excite conservative voters, but the CPAC audience was loving his speech. If he keeps the level of passion that he brought to his address today, then he should be in good shape for 2012.

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How the U.S. Responded Throughout

As we await President Obama’s reaction to Hosni Mubarak’s stepping down, it’s worth checking out this Reuters timeline on the changing U.S. reactions to the situation in Egypt. It begins with the January 25 entry, “[Hillary] Clinton gives the first high-level U.S. response, saying, ‘Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people’” and ends with this from today: “Vice President Joe Biden gives the first official U.S. reaction to the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is stepping down. He calls the change of power a ‘pivotal’ moment in Egypt’s history and says the transition must be one of irreversible change.” In between there is much confusion, incoherence, and contradiction.

For now, all eyes are on the world-historic events in Egypt, as they should be. But the time will soon come for an honest analysis of the three-ring circus that was the Obama administration’s crisis management throughout this revolution.

As we await President Obama’s reaction to Hosni Mubarak’s stepping down, it’s worth checking out this Reuters timeline on the changing U.S. reactions to the situation in Egypt. It begins with the January 25 entry, “[Hillary] Clinton gives the first high-level U.S. response, saying, ‘Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people’” and ends with this from today: “Vice President Joe Biden gives the first official U.S. reaction to the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is stepping down. He calls the change of power a ‘pivotal’ moment in Egypt’s history and says the transition must be one of irreversible change.” In between there is much confusion, incoherence, and contradiction.

For now, all eyes are on the world-historic events in Egypt, as they should be. But the time will soon come for an honest analysis of the three-ring circus that was the Obama administration’s crisis management throughout this revolution.

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President Bush’s Prescience

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post writes about “Obama and Mubarak and democracy — an accounting.” Kessler’s bottom line? “No matter what was said in private, or how forcefully, the public message sent by the Obama administration over the past two years was that democracy and human rights in Egypt was not a top priority. When given the opportunity to use the biggest megaphone in the world — the voice of the president of the United States — the words were whispered, if said at all.”

Compare this with the record of Mr. Obama’s predecessor — including this often-overlooked speech delivered in 2008 at Sharm el Sheikh, where George W. Bush said: “In order for this economic progress to result in permanent prosperity and an Egypt that reaches its full potential, however, economic reform must be accompanied by political reform. And I continue to hope that Egypt can lead the region in political reform.”

President Bush then elaborated on what became known as the Freedom Agenda — which until now was derided in many quarters, including many liberal quarters. “Some say any state that holds an election is a democracy,” Bush said.

But true democracy requires vigorous political parties allowed to engage in free and lively debate. True democracy requires the establishment of civic institutions that ensure an election’s legitimacy and hold leaders accountable. And true democracy requires competitive elections in which opposition candidates are allowed to campaign without fear or intimidation.

Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down, and dissidents whose voices are stifled. The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with dignity and the respect they deserve. I call on all nations to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate, and trust their people to chart their future.

America’s 43rd president concluded his remarks by sketching out a vision based on “the timeless principles of dignity and tolerance and justice — and it unites all who yearn for freedom and peace in this ancient land.” Realizing this vision will not be easy, Bush said. It will take time, sacrifice, and resolve. “Yet there is no doubt in my mind,” he said, “that you are up to the challenge — and with your ingenuity and your enterprise and your courage, this historic vision for the Middle East will be realized. May God be with you on the journey, and the United States of America always will be at your side.”

Given events on this day in Egypt, Bush’s words and one of the central commitments of his presidency are worth recalling.

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post writes about “Obama and Mubarak and democracy — an accounting.” Kessler’s bottom line? “No matter what was said in private, or how forcefully, the public message sent by the Obama administration over the past two years was that democracy and human rights in Egypt was not a top priority. When given the opportunity to use the biggest megaphone in the world — the voice of the president of the United States — the words were whispered, if said at all.”

Compare this with the record of Mr. Obama’s predecessor — including this often-overlooked speech delivered in 2008 at Sharm el Sheikh, where George W. Bush said: “In order for this economic progress to result in permanent prosperity and an Egypt that reaches its full potential, however, economic reform must be accompanied by political reform. And I continue to hope that Egypt can lead the region in political reform.”

President Bush then elaborated on what became known as the Freedom Agenda — which until now was derided in many quarters, including many liberal quarters. “Some say any state that holds an election is a democracy,” Bush said.

But true democracy requires vigorous political parties allowed to engage in free and lively debate. True democracy requires the establishment of civic institutions that ensure an election’s legitimacy and hold leaders accountable. And true democracy requires competitive elections in which opposition candidates are allowed to campaign without fear or intimidation.

Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down, and dissidents whose voices are stifled. The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with dignity and the respect they deserve. I call on all nations to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate, and trust their people to chart their future.

America’s 43rd president concluded his remarks by sketching out a vision based on “the timeless principles of dignity and tolerance and justice — and it unites all who yearn for freedom and peace in this ancient land.” Realizing this vision will not be easy, Bush said. It will take time, sacrifice, and resolve. “Yet there is no doubt in my mind,” he said, “that you are up to the challenge — and with your ingenuity and your enterprise and your courage, this historic vision for the Middle East will be realized. May God be with you on the journey, and the United States of America always will be at your side.”

Given events on this day in Egypt, Bush’s words and one of the central commitments of his presidency are worth recalling.

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Scenes from the Cairo Street

In a report from Cairo, Fox’s Dominic Di-Natale is caught on camera admitting “it’s so loud I can’t hear” the Fox anchors talking to him.

Mr. Di-Natale was finally able to file his report, and the scene is amazing. But see for yourself.

In a report from Cairo, Fox’s Dominic Di-Natale is caught on camera admitting “it’s so loud I can’t hear” the Fox anchors talking to him.

Mr. Di-Natale was finally able to file his report, and the scene is amazing. But see for yourself.

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The Isolationist Left’s Egypt Double Standard

The isolationist left has long railed against any perceived Western intrusions into the Arab world. Some have even gone so far as to describe the U.S.’s calls for human-rights reform in Muslim countries as a form of imperialism. So what’s to explain the sudden insistence from left-wing groups that the Obama administration needs to intervene in support of the Egyptian protesters? In the Weekly Standard, Sohrab Ahmari and Peter Kohanloo take a look at this apparent contradiction and find that it’s based on the same thing that drives many of these groups’ decisions — virulent anti-Americanism:

The contradiction is a symptom of a deeper philosophical quagmire born of a sense of guilt felt by some Westerners for past sins, both real and imagined, committed against the non-Western “other.” Western guilt yields a state of perpetual self-loathing, which in turn leads its victims to celebrate any anti-Western cause as morally worthy. Thus, when Egyptians–rightly–rebel against a pro-American autocracy, their cause is automatically perceived as just. However, if Iranians rise up in pursuit of similar goals against a far worse, anti-American and totalitarian regime–one that murders its own citizens in the name of God–Americans are asked to stay silent. After all, they have “oppressed” Iran in the past.

Ahmari and Kohanloo note that this “moral schizophrenia” is a betrayal of “classical liberal principles [and] undermines America’s traditional, revolutionary role as a beacon of hope for those striving for freedom.”

It’s long past time to stop describing left-wing organizations like Code Pink as “liberal.” Their hypocrisy on Egypt and Iran clearly shows that they respect human rights only when the issue can be used as a tool to bludgeon the West. These groups hysterically chase down former President Bush for his alleged “war crimes” but are shamefully silent on the skyrocketing number of executions in Iran. They rail against Israel’s acts of self-defense but ignore the oppression Palestinians are forced to endure at the hands of their own governments. Their sympathies obviously don’t lie with the persecuted but with those who share their goal of destroying the West.

The isolationist left has long railed against any perceived Western intrusions into the Arab world. Some have even gone so far as to describe the U.S.’s calls for human-rights reform in Muslim countries as a form of imperialism. So what’s to explain the sudden insistence from left-wing groups that the Obama administration needs to intervene in support of the Egyptian protesters? In the Weekly Standard, Sohrab Ahmari and Peter Kohanloo take a look at this apparent contradiction and find that it’s based on the same thing that drives many of these groups’ decisions — virulent anti-Americanism:

The contradiction is a symptom of a deeper philosophical quagmire born of a sense of guilt felt by some Westerners for past sins, both real and imagined, committed against the non-Western “other.” Western guilt yields a state of perpetual self-loathing, which in turn leads its victims to celebrate any anti-Western cause as morally worthy. Thus, when Egyptians–rightly–rebel against a pro-American autocracy, their cause is automatically perceived as just. However, if Iranians rise up in pursuit of similar goals against a far worse, anti-American and totalitarian regime–one that murders its own citizens in the name of God–Americans are asked to stay silent. After all, they have “oppressed” Iran in the past.

Ahmari and Kohanloo note that this “moral schizophrenia” is a betrayal of “classical liberal principles [and] undermines America’s traditional, revolutionary role as a beacon of hope for those striving for freedom.”

It’s long past time to stop describing left-wing organizations like Code Pink as “liberal.” Their hypocrisy on Egypt and Iran clearly shows that they respect human rights only when the issue can be used as a tool to bludgeon the West. These groups hysterically chase down former President Bush for his alleged “war crimes” but are shamefully silent on the skyrocketing number of executions in Iran. They rail against Israel’s acts of self-defense but ignore the oppression Palestinians are forced to endure at the hands of their own governments. Their sympathies obviously don’t lie with the persecuted but with those who share their goal of destroying the West.

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CPAC Attendees Largely Accepting of GOProud

Most of the buzz leading up to CPAC was over the battle between gay conservative group GOProud and social conservative organizations. But once the conference got underway, the atmosphere was largely supportive of the gay political group.

While plenty of speakers on the main stage reaffirmed the conservative movement’s support for traditional values, GOProud dominated the conversation among conference-goers: it brought Donald Trump, hosted a packed party with Andrew Breitbart that also drew former RNC Michael Steele, and its table in the co-sponsors’ room was swamped with well-wishers for much of the first day.

Reason TV was on site at CPAC yesterday to cover the “gay wars,” and it looks like it had a hard time finding people who opposed the group’s attendance. The John Birch Society, no stranger to controversy itself, was one of the only organizations that openly criticized the group:

But despite its newfound popularity, it looks like GOProud may have turned off some of the conference organizers. The new chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas, told Frum Forum that it will be “difficult to continue the relationship” with the group because of some of its comments to the media.

“I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things,” said Cardenas.

Most of the buzz leading up to CPAC was over the battle between gay conservative group GOProud and social conservative organizations. But once the conference got underway, the atmosphere was largely supportive of the gay political group.

While plenty of speakers on the main stage reaffirmed the conservative movement’s support for traditional values, GOProud dominated the conversation among conference-goers: it brought Donald Trump, hosted a packed party with Andrew Breitbart that also drew former RNC Michael Steele, and its table in the co-sponsors’ room was swamped with well-wishers for much of the first day.

Reason TV was on site at CPAC yesterday to cover the “gay wars,” and it looks like it had a hard time finding people who opposed the group’s attendance. The John Birch Society, no stranger to controversy itself, was one of the only organizations that openly criticized the group:

But despite its newfound popularity, it looks like GOProud may have turned off some of the conference organizers. The new chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas, told Frum Forum that it will be “difficult to continue the relationship” with the group because of some of its comments to the media.

“I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable. And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things,” said Cardenas.

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The Next Step for Obama Must Still Be Support for Freedom

Give credit to the Egyptian army for obviously refusing to back up Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to hold on to power yesterday. The question now is whether what follows will be something that Egyptian protesters will accept.

There’s little doubt that the army’s main goal is to retain its own hold on power while instituting just enough reform to get the protesters off the streets and also keeping American aid flowing. A return to stability is welcome. But no one should be under the impression that a return to the status quo ante is possible. Authoritarianism must be replaced by something that empowers a greater number of Egyptians. That’s why it is important that the United States and the West should continue to speak out in favor of measures that will create space for genuine democrats rather than a rushed process that might conceivably empower radical Islamists, such as those in the Muslim Brotherhood. The good news is that the Brotherhood appears to have been largely on the sidelines during the protests, and it will be difficult if not impossible for them to claim credit for Mubarak’s ouster.

During his first year in office, President Obama was fond of speaking of the use of “smart power” rather than brute force to achieve American foreign-policy goals. In dealing with Iran and Russia and other problems, smarts have been exactly the quality that the administration has lacked. Now is the time to see if he can muster up some. The trick here will be for him to maintain advocacy of a freedom agenda in which a process that fosters actual freedom will be the focus of American policy. It is true that the temptation to see America’s role as central in all this is something of a distraction. No amount of American money or influence can make Egypt into a democracy overnight. But we can make it clear that stability that merely keeps the military and the ruling elites in power, albeit with a new man at the top, isn’t going to help anyone in the long run.

Those in both the United States and Israel who have been counseling support for Mubarak because of a genuine fear that the only alternative is the Muslim Brotherhood need to understand that the choice here is not that simple. It is true that the people in the streets of Cairo aren’t necessarily sympathetic to the United States. Nor, after generations of state-sponsored hatred directed at Jews (in spite of, or perhaps because of, the “cold peace” with Israel), can we be confident that they would not support a more hostile policy toward the Jewish state. But we must, as Natan Sharansky says again in today’s Jerusalem Post, show them that the West supports their quest for liberty. That’s because our long-term goal here is not merely stability or keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of power. It is the creation of an Egyptian state that is not dependent on stirring up anti-Semitism or fear of the West. Such an Egypt, like the fledgling democracy in Iraq, won’t be a Jeffersonian democracy, but it may also not be another Lebanon or Iran. If in the aftermath of Mubarak’s ouster, President Obama returns to his natural indifference to human rights and democracy advocacy, it will be an enormous missed opportunity.

Give credit to the Egyptian army for obviously refusing to back up Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to hold on to power yesterday. The question now is whether what follows will be something that Egyptian protesters will accept.

There’s little doubt that the army’s main goal is to retain its own hold on power while instituting just enough reform to get the protesters off the streets and also keeping American aid flowing. A return to stability is welcome. But no one should be under the impression that a return to the status quo ante is possible. Authoritarianism must be replaced by something that empowers a greater number of Egyptians. That’s why it is important that the United States and the West should continue to speak out in favor of measures that will create space for genuine democrats rather than a rushed process that might conceivably empower radical Islamists, such as those in the Muslim Brotherhood. The good news is that the Brotherhood appears to have been largely on the sidelines during the protests, and it will be difficult if not impossible for them to claim credit for Mubarak’s ouster.

During his first year in office, President Obama was fond of speaking of the use of “smart power” rather than brute force to achieve American foreign-policy goals. In dealing with Iran and Russia and other problems, smarts have been exactly the quality that the administration has lacked. Now is the time to see if he can muster up some. The trick here will be for him to maintain advocacy of a freedom agenda in which a process that fosters actual freedom will be the focus of American policy. It is true that the temptation to see America’s role as central in all this is something of a distraction. No amount of American money or influence can make Egypt into a democracy overnight. But we can make it clear that stability that merely keeps the military and the ruling elites in power, albeit with a new man at the top, isn’t going to help anyone in the long run.

Those in both the United States and Israel who have been counseling support for Mubarak because of a genuine fear that the only alternative is the Muslim Brotherhood need to understand that the choice here is not that simple. It is true that the people in the streets of Cairo aren’t necessarily sympathetic to the United States. Nor, after generations of state-sponsored hatred directed at Jews (in spite of, or perhaps because of, the “cold peace” with Israel), can we be confident that they would not support a more hostile policy toward the Jewish state. But we must, as Natan Sharansky says again in today’s Jerusalem Post, show them that the West supports their quest for liberty. That’s because our long-term goal here is not merely stability or keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of power. It is the creation of an Egyptian state that is not dependent on stirring up anti-Semitism or fear of the West. Such an Egypt, like the fledgling democracy in Iraq, won’t be a Jeffersonian democracy, but it may also not be another Lebanon or Iran. If in the aftermath of Mubarak’s ouster, President Obama returns to his natural indifference to human rights and democracy advocacy, it will be an enormous missed opportunity.

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The Tweet Is Mightier than the Sword

Yesterday he was staying, today he is leaving. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a pharaoh? Clearly, Hosni Mubarak was trying to hang on, and just as clearly, the Egyptian military told him no can do. No doubt they realize that their ability to hang onto their privileged position was being imperiled by Mubarak’s desire to cling to his even more privileged position, so they gave him a gentle shove out the door.

There are many points one can make at such an important moment. Obviously, one can cheer on the people of Egypt and wish them the best in creating a democracy — a goal that is only slightly closer to realization with Mubarak out of office. All too many obstacles remain, including the desire of Omar Suleiman and his military backers to maintain the corrupt structures that have dominated Egypt for decades. But for the time being, let me offer a thought as someone who is writing a history of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

Egypt shows that there is a better way than setting off bombs if you want to change regimes. “People power” protests of the kind we have seen in recent weeks in Cairo and Alexandria have toppled far more rulers in recent decades than all the world’s terrorists and guerrillas combined. East Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Lebanon, Georgia, Tunisia, and on and on — the list of countries where popular demonstrations have toppled unpopular regimes is a long one. Now add Egypt to that list.

The success of protesters in Tunisia and Egypt is especially striking because both regimes — along with all the other governments in the Middle East — have been in the cross-hairs of al-Qaeda and their Islamist fellow travelers. Osama bin Laden and his ilk have been using suicide bombers and assassins for many years to try to topple dictatorships across the region. Time after time, they have failed — in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. All those regimes have proved able to repress violent extremists (admittedly, in the case of Iraq, with considerable American help). In Egypt, Mubarak survived the massacres of tourists in the 1990s carried out by Islamist groups. He did not survive peaceful rallies in the heart of his own capital.

There is a lesson here for those not too fanatical or deluded to learn it. Put down the bomb, the sniper rifle, whatever weapon you have, and grab a placard, go on Twitter, organize a rally. True, many peaceful protests have been repressed too, as we have seen most recently in Iran; but they offer a much surer road to regime change than does blowing up innocent people.

Yesterday he was staying, today he is leaving. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a pharaoh? Clearly, Hosni Mubarak was trying to hang on, and just as clearly, the Egyptian military told him no can do. No doubt they realize that their ability to hang onto their privileged position was being imperiled by Mubarak’s desire to cling to his even more privileged position, so they gave him a gentle shove out the door.

There are many points one can make at such an important moment. Obviously, one can cheer on the people of Egypt and wish them the best in creating a democracy — a goal that is only slightly closer to realization with Mubarak out of office. All too many obstacles remain, including the desire of Omar Suleiman and his military backers to maintain the corrupt structures that have dominated Egypt for decades. But for the time being, let me offer a thought as someone who is writing a history of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

Egypt shows that there is a better way than setting off bombs if you want to change regimes. “People power” protests of the kind we have seen in recent weeks in Cairo and Alexandria have toppled far more rulers in recent decades than all the world’s terrorists and guerrillas combined. East Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Lebanon, Georgia, Tunisia, and on and on — the list of countries where popular demonstrations have toppled unpopular regimes is a long one. Now add Egypt to that list.

The success of protesters in Tunisia and Egypt is especially striking because both regimes — along with all the other governments in the Middle East — have been in the cross-hairs of al-Qaeda and their Islamist fellow travelers. Osama bin Laden and his ilk have been using suicide bombers and assassins for many years to try to topple dictatorships across the region. Time after time, they have failed — in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. All those regimes have proved able to repress violent extremists (admittedly, in the case of Iraq, with considerable American help). In Egypt, Mubarak survived the massacres of tourists in the 1990s carried out by Islamist groups. He did not survive peaceful rallies in the heart of his own capital.

There is a lesson here for those not too fanatical or deluded to learn it. Put down the bomb, the sniper rifle, whatever weapon you have, and grab a placard, go on Twitter, organize a rally. True, many peaceful protests have been repressed too, as we have seen most recently in Iran; but they offer a much surer road to regime change than does blowing up innocent people.

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Mitt Romney as Presidential Candidate

The one-term Massachusetts governor is speaking at CPAC right now. He’s offering lots of good applause lines. Sounding very right-wing. Mitt Romney cannot be the Republican nominee for president and he cannot be president. He is the author, in his Massachusetts health-care program, of the individual mandate that is the heart and soul of ObamaCare.

If he runs, and he will, his origination of this policy will give his opponents in the primaries a stick so large to beat him with that no amount of clever one-liners purchased from high-paid freelance political speechwriters and joke writers will be able to mitigate the damage. And that’s to say nothing of Obama talking throughout 2012 about how he doesn’t understand what the Republicans are complaining about — one of their lead candidates agrees with him!

I know Romney thinks he can get away with saying there’s a difference between an individual mandate at the state level and one at the federal level, and that might technically be true, but it’s not true when it comes to the conceptual origins of the policy. Plus, it’s sophistry.

To be completely honest, I can’t understand why on earth he is even bothering to run. This isn’t an albatross. It’s a two-ton weight chained to his torso, and he’s not Houdini.

The one-term Massachusetts governor is speaking at CPAC right now. He’s offering lots of good applause lines. Sounding very right-wing. Mitt Romney cannot be the Republican nominee for president and he cannot be president. He is the author, in his Massachusetts health-care program, of the individual mandate that is the heart and soul of ObamaCare.

If he runs, and he will, his origination of this policy will give his opponents in the primaries a stick so large to beat him with that no amount of clever one-liners purchased from high-paid freelance political speechwriters and joke writers will be able to mitigate the damage. And that’s to say nothing of Obama talking throughout 2012 about how he doesn’t understand what the Republicans are complaining about — one of their lead candidates agrees with him!

I know Romney thinks he can get away with saying there’s a difference between an individual mandate at the state level and one at the federal level, and that might technically be true, but it’s not true when it comes to the conceptual origins of the policy. Plus, it’s sophistry.

To be completely honest, I can’t understand why on earth he is even bothering to run. This isn’t an albatross. It’s a two-ton weight chained to his torso, and he’s not Houdini.

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Dems Losing Grip on Public Loyalty

Jeffrey Anderson of the Weekly Standard calls our attention to a recent Gallup Poll that shows that 28 percent of the public considers itself Democratic, tied for the lowest figure for the period Gallup covers (starting in early 2004). Republicans are the party of choice for 28 percent of the public — not great, but somewhat better than it has been in recent years. And when Gallup takes into account “leaners,” Republicans enjoy a four-point edge (47 to 43 percent) over Democrats.

This data should be seen side-by-side with a Gallup finding that showed that in 2010 the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the past 22 years.

Right now it’s fair to say, I think, that the Democratic Party’s hold on the public is noticeably weaker and the GOP’s hold on the public is slightly stronger than they have been in the last few years. The two parties are at or near parity. But de-alignment seems to be the predominant mood with the public, with the percentage of Americans calling themselves independent (42 percent) near the high-water mark (43 percent in October 2007) for the period this survey covers.

One important caveat, however: while neither party has won over the confidence, let alone the loyalty, of most of the voting public, in 2010 voters cast their ballot for Republicans in numbers that made that midterm election a historically good one for the GOP and a historically bad one for the Democratic Party. So, in terms of practical outcomes, the Republican Party is, at this moment, in better shape than the Democratic Party and appears to be poised to make significant gains in 2012 as well (when almost two dozen Democratic senators face re-election).

Jeffrey Anderson of the Weekly Standard calls our attention to a recent Gallup Poll that shows that 28 percent of the public considers itself Democratic, tied for the lowest figure for the period Gallup covers (starting in early 2004). Republicans are the party of choice for 28 percent of the public — not great, but somewhat better than it has been in recent years. And when Gallup takes into account “leaners,” Republicans enjoy a four-point edge (47 to 43 percent) over Democrats.

This data should be seen side-by-side with a Gallup finding that showed that in 2010 the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the past 22 years.

Right now it’s fair to say, I think, that the Democratic Party’s hold on the public is noticeably weaker and the GOP’s hold on the public is slightly stronger than they have been in the last few years. The two parties are at or near parity. But de-alignment seems to be the predominant mood with the public, with the percentage of Americans calling themselves independent (42 percent) near the high-water mark (43 percent in October 2007) for the period this survey covers.

One important caveat, however: while neither party has won over the confidence, let alone the loyalty, of most of the voting public, in 2010 voters cast their ballot for Republicans in numbers that made that midterm election a historically good one for the GOP and a historically bad one for the Democratic Party. So, in terms of practical outcomes, the Republican Party is, at this moment, in better shape than the Democratic Party and appears to be poised to make significant gains in 2012 as well (when almost two dozen Democratic senators face re-election).

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UN Group Distances Itself from Female Terrorist Ad Campaign

The United Nations Population Fund has distanced itself from the Arab organization that featured a female terrorist in its pro-women’s-rights ad campaign.

The Arab Producers Union for TV used the UNPF’s logo on its website for the campaign supporting women’s issues in the Arab world, suggesting that the United Nations was involved in producing the clip. One of the female role models reportedly highlighted in the video was a terrorist renowned for murdering 37 civilians during an attack on Israel in 1978.

Now the UNPF is declaring that it played no part in funding the ad or choosing the women who were singled out as role models. It has asked for its logo to be removed from the site:

In a statement released to the press Thursday evening, UNFPA said it ” no involvement in the selection of women profiled in the “White Hands Campaign” of the Arab Producers’ Union for TV (APUTV), and has asked for its logo to be removed from the site.”

The press release states that in 2008, UNFPA “agreed to provide the campaign with information and data on reproductive health and youth issues. It provided no funding.” More importantly, it continues, “UNFPA was neither consulted nor involved in the selection of Arab women to be featured by the initiative, and it condemns any acts of violence that take the lives of innocent people. The Fund therefore disassociates itself from campaign activities not related to its mandate.”

The AJC, which criticized the UNPF in a press release yesterday, said it welcomed the group’s disavowal of the campaign.

“We are pleased the UN Population Fund has clarified its role by publicly disassociating from the TV ad campaign, and condemning violence,” AJC executive director David Harris said in a press release this morning. “Clearly, this campaign contravenes the fund’s noble mission of empowering women.”

It’s a good sign that the UNPF has renounced the video, but it should also refrain from future involvement with the organization that produced it.

The United Nations Population Fund has distanced itself from the Arab organization that featured a female terrorist in its pro-women’s-rights ad campaign.

The Arab Producers Union for TV used the UNPF’s logo on its website for the campaign supporting women’s issues in the Arab world, suggesting that the United Nations was involved in producing the clip. One of the female role models reportedly highlighted in the video was a terrorist renowned for murdering 37 civilians during an attack on Israel in 1978.

Now the UNPF is declaring that it played no part in funding the ad or choosing the women who were singled out as role models. It has asked for its logo to be removed from the site:

In a statement released to the press Thursday evening, UNFPA said it ” no involvement in the selection of women profiled in the “White Hands Campaign” of the Arab Producers’ Union for TV (APUTV), and has asked for its logo to be removed from the site.”

The press release states that in 2008, UNFPA “agreed to provide the campaign with information and data on reproductive health and youth issues. It provided no funding.” More importantly, it continues, “UNFPA was neither consulted nor involved in the selection of Arab women to be featured by the initiative, and it condemns any acts of violence that take the lives of innocent people. The Fund therefore disassociates itself from campaign activities not related to its mandate.”

The AJC, which criticized the UNPF in a press release yesterday, said it welcomed the group’s disavowal of the campaign.

“We are pleased the UN Population Fund has clarified its role by publicly disassociating from the TV ad campaign, and condemning violence,” AJC executive director David Harris said in a press release this morning. “Clearly, this campaign contravenes the fund’s noble mission of empowering women.”

It’s a good sign that the UNPF has renounced the video, but it should also refrain from future involvement with the organization that produced it.

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Mubarak Did Us a Favor

Albeit a potential one, buried in a great deal of chaos. Yesterday, when the Egyptian president lashed out against “foreign interventions or dictations,” he clarified for the Egyptian people that the United States was not on his side, but theirs — something the Obama administration proved incapable of doing.

Whether Mubarak goes today or in September, he is going. One of the few opportunities for America to affect positively what happens afterward rests in Washington’s ability to establish itself as an ally of Egyptian democrats. Those who warn that siding against Mubarak will only empower the Muslim Brotherhood miss an important tactical consideration. If the majority of protesting Egyptians see that the U.S. is on their side, they will be less likely to throw in with the Brotherhood. It is the suspicion of America as the dictator’s ally that will pave the way to widespread radicalization.

It is now forgotten that George W. Bush was a favorite of the Iranian people. In a 2005 column, Tom Friedman wrote:

Funnily enough, the one country on this side of the ocean that would have elected Mr. Bush is not in Europe, but the Middle East: it’s Iran, where many young people apparently hunger for Mr. Bush to remove their despotic leaders, the way he did in Iraq.

An Oxford student who had just returned from research in Iran told me that young Iranians were “loving anything their government hates,” such as Mr. Bush, “and hating anything their government loves.”

Barack Obama made a hash of that goodwill by redirecting American sympathies to the hated autocratic government. Amid yesterday’s chaos, Mubarak gave the Obama administration a second chance to get on the right side of the Middle East democracy debate. The administration cannot afford to blow it twice. This means exploiting the rift that Mubarak made known and explicitly praising the Egyptian democrats we hope to see in place.

Albeit a potential one, buried in a great deal of chaos. Yesterday, when the Egyptian president lashed out against “foreign interventions or dictations,” he clarified for the Egyptian people that the United States was not on his side, but theirs — something the Obama administration proved incapable of doing.

Whether Mubarak goes today or in September, he is going. One of the few opportunities for America to affect positively what happens afterward rests in Washington’s ability to establish itself as an ally of Egyptian democrats. Those who warn that siding against Mubarak will only empower the Muslim Brotherhood miss an important tactical consideration. If the majority of protesting Egyptians see that the U.S. is on their side, they will be less likely to throw in with the Brotherhood. It is the suspicion of America as the dictator’s ally that will pave the way to widespread radicalization.

It is now forgotten that George W. Bush was a favorite of the Iranian people. In a 2005 column, Tom Friedman wrote:

Funnily enough, the one country on this side of the ocean that would have elected Mr. Bush is not in Europe, but the Middle East: it’s Iran, where many young people apparently hunger for Mr. Bush to remove their despotic leaders, the way he did in Iraq.

An Oxford student who had just returned from research in Iran told me that young Iranians were “loving anything their government hates,” such as Mr. Bush, “and hating anything their government loves.”

Barack Obama made a hash of that goodwill by redirecting American sympathies to the hated autocratic government. Amid yesterday’s chaos, Mubarak gave the Obama administration a second chance to get on the right side of the Middle East democracy debate. The administration cannot afford to blow it twice. This means exploiting the rift that Mubarak made known and explicitly praising the Egyptian democrats we hope to see in place.

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RE: Santorum: Obama Doesn’t Believe in Evil

Alana Goodman, citing Rick Santorum’s CPAC speech, gets at one of the chief things missing from Obama’s lukewarm, hedged, yet curiously urgent semi-endorsement of whatever it is he has endorsed in Egypt. What’s missing is an acknowledgment of which forces are inimical to freedom and liberal reform because their motives are evil.

Eschewing the “E” word was a default practice of the Cold War; John alludes to it in calling out James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, on his inane babble about the Muslim Brotherhood during a congressional hearing this week. But in this regard, a passing point of Alana’s is crucial. Santorum didn’t specify which evil or evils he thinks Obama can identify better — and he wasn’t merely being coy, I think. He was declining to open a Pandora’s Box of intellectual discord. Despite the objective evils of radical Islamism, America and the West are less unified today on what it means to identify it and organize against it than Western peoples were in the face of predatory Marxism.

Radical Islamism isn’t monolithic, nor is it inherently oriented toward the seizure of central-government power, as Marxism is. Identifying evil in the goals and methods of the Muslim Brotherhood is, in practical terms, a proposition different from identifying the evils of Marxism or Communist movements. The latter once seemed sneaky and hard to organize against, but in comparison with the NGO-like social approach of the Muslim Brotherhood — often virtually indistinguishable from ordinary Muslim life and discourse — the Marxist profile looks as primitive and obvious now as infantry battle in the 18th century.

The moral urgency Reagan expressed in his “Evil Empire” speech was vital to achieving a transformative outcome. I imagine Rick Santorum has that in mind when he criticizes Obama’s inability to match it. But while I agree that we need such clarity from our president, I don’t yet see societal momentum for a unifying, galvanizing definition of the “evil” represented by radical Islamism — or of what it should mean for our policies.

Apart from outliers like Glenn Beck, whose problematic characteristics Peter Wehner has laid out, most Westerners have formed no actionable concept of radical Islamism as an evil that we have to actually overcome — as something we can’t coexist with, something that requires defeating. Defending ourselves against terrorism isn’t proposing to defeat Islamism. We can agree to defend ourselves without agreeing that Islamism is a predatory evil requiring defeat; in fact, that’s what we’ve done. We have postponed a debate on the nature of the “evil” to a later date. Perhaps doing that and electing Obama arose from the same impulse. However that may be, if Obama doesn’t believe in evil — evil as it mattered in the free world vs. Communism model — he is a natural fit for a people that isn’t perceiving such evil.

Alana Goodman, citing Rick Santorum’s CPAC speech, gets at one of the chief things missing from Obama’s lukewarm, hedged, yet curiously urgent semi-endorsement of whatever it is he has endorsed in Egypt. What’s missing is an acknowledgment of which forces are inimical to freedom and liberal reform because their motives are evil.

Eschewing the “E” word was a default practice of the Cold War; John alludes to it in calling out James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, on his inane babble about the Muslim Brotherhood during a congressional hearing this week. But in this regard, a passing point of Alana’s is crucial. Santorum didn’t specify which evil or evils he thinks Obama can identify better — and he wasn’t merely being coy, I think. He was declining to open a Pandora’s Box of intellectual discord. Despite the objective evils of radical Islamism, America and the West are less unified today on what it means to identify it and organize against it than Western peoples were in the face of predatory Marxism.

Radical Islamism isn’t monolithic, nor is it inherently oriented toward the seizure of central-government power, as Marxism is. Identifying evil in the goals and methods of the Muslim Brotherhood is, in practical terms, a proposition different from identifying the evils of Marxism or Communist movements. The latter once seemed sneaky and hard to organize against, but in comparison with the NGO-like social approach of the Muslim Brotherhood — often virtually indistinguishable from ordinary Muslim life and discourse — the Marxist profile looks as primitive and obvious now as infantry battle in the 18th century.

The moral urgency Reagan expressed in his “Evil Empire” speech was vital to achieving a transformative outcome. I imagine Rick Santorum has that in mind when he criticizes Obama’s inability to match it. But while I agree that we need such clarity from our president, I don’t yet see societal momentum for a unifying, galvanizing definition of the “evil” represented by radical Islamism — or of what it should mean for our policies.

Apart from outliers like Glenn Beck, whose problematic characteristics Peter Wehner has laid out, most Westerners have formed no actionable concept of radical Islamism as an evil that we have to actually overcome — as something we can’t coexist with, something that requires defeating. Defending ourselves against terrorism isn’t proposing to defeat Islamism. We can agree to defend ourselves without agreeing that Islamism is a predatory evil requiring defeat; in fact, that’s what we’ve done. We have postponed a debate on the nature of the “evil” to a later date. Perhaps doing that and electing Obama arose from the same impulse. However that may be, if Obama doesn’t believe in evil — evil as it mattered in the free world vs. Communism model — he is a natural fit for a people that isn’t perceiving such evil.

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The Egyptian Cause Is Our Own

In retrospect, perhaps Hosni Mubarak’s decision not to resign as president of Egypt shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Why wouldn’t we expect the end of his reign to mirror how he governed: selfishly, disgracefully, and in ways that deeply scared his country?

The antagonist in this extraordinary historical and human drama, then, is the Egyptian dictator — a ruthless man apparently intent on provoking a violent confrontation with people he calls “my sons and daughters.” But there are also the protagonists: the men and women of Tahrir Square and throughout Egypt, who are seeking to redeem their nation after 30 years of repression.

Over the past 17 days, they have shown the world an unforgettable lesson in bravery and human endurance. Demonstrators are telling reporters “give me liberty or give me death,” “I am willing to die for freedom,” and “I am not tired in spirit.” Again and again, they speak about their desire for democracy and to escape their chains.

Of course, the revolution can go awry. The Muslim Brotherhood is a danger. A military crackdown, followed by a military dictatorship, may occur. And it is difficult for liberty to take root in the rocky soil of the Arab Middle East. So, yes, it’s far too early to know how this revolution in the Land on the Nile will wind up. But if it is unclear how things will end, it’s perfectly clear how they began — with millions of Egyptians rising up on behalf of what Jefferson called “unalienable rights.” Can anyone watch the Egyptian demonstrators, who are more likely to cite the American Declaration of Independence than they are to burn the American flag, and not be moved or express solidarity with their cause? We are witnesses to a stirring moment.

The House of Mubarak is coming apart; one day soon it will lie in ruin. Unfortunately for Egypt, Mubarak himself is determined to disassemble it door-jam by door-jam; he does not want to go gently into the good night. But into the night he will go, sooner or later, gently or not.

In The American Crisis, written to boost the morale of the Americans during the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine wrote: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

As it was then, so it is today. And just as Paine, an Englishman, adopted the American cause as his own, we Americans should adopt the Egyptian cause as our own.

In retrospect, perhaps Hosni Mubarak’s decision not to resign as president of Egypt shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Why wouldn’t we expect the end of his reign to mirror how he governed: selfishly, disgracefully, and in ways that deeply scared his country?

The antagonist in this extraordinary historical and human drama, then, is the Egyptian dictator — a ruthless man apparently intent on provoking a violent confrontation with people he calls “my sons and daughters.” But there are also the protagonists: the men and women of Tahrir Square and throughout Egypt, who are seeking to redeem their nation after 30 years of repression.

Over the past 17 days, they have shown the world an unforgettable lesson in bravery and human endurance. Demonstrators are telling reporters “give me liberty or give me death,” “I am willing to die for freedom,” and “I am not tired in spirit.” Again and again, they speak about their desire for democracy and to escape their chains.

Of course, the revolution can go awry. The Muslim Brotherhood is a danger. A military crackdown, followed by a military dictatorship, may occur. And it is difficult for liberty to take root in the rocky soil of the Arab Middle East. So, yes, it’s far too early to know how this revolution in the Land on the Nile will wind up. But if it is unclear how things will end, it’s perfectly clear how they began — with millions of Egyptians rising up on behalf of what Jefferson called “unalienable rights.” Can anyone watch the Egyptian demonstrators, who are more likely to cite the American Declaration of Independence than they are to burn the American flag, and not be moved or express solidarity with their cause? We are witnesses to a stirring moment.

The House of Mubarak is coming apart; one day soon it will lie in ruin. Unfortunately for Egypt, Mubarak himself is determined to disassemble it door-jam by door-jam; he does not want to go gently into the good night. But into the night he will go, sooner or later, gently or not.

In The American Crisis, written to boost the morale of the Americans during the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine wrote: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

As it was then, so it is today. And just as Paine, an Englishman, adopted the American cause as his own, we Americans should adopt the Egyptian cause as our own.

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Signs of Change in Europe Regarding Israel?

Western Europe has long been hostile territory for Israel. Polls showing that Europeans deem Israel the greatest threat to world peace, judges issuing arrest warrants against Israeli officials for “war crimes,” unions launching anti-Israel boycotts, and Israel-obsessed officials like EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton are just some of the symptoms. But lately, there have been some encouraging hints of change.

Perhaps most notable was the Dutch parliament’s passage of a resolution this month urging its government to “encourage the European Union to resist the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.” That is a rousing vote of support for Israel’s position over that of the Palestinian Authority, which recently launched a worldwide campaign to gain backing for such a declaration.

From the U.S. Congress, this would be unsurprising. But for a European parliament to side with Israel against the PA is virtually unheard of. What European bodies usually pass are anti-Israel resolutions — like the European Parliament’s endorsement of the Goldstone report.

Then, over in Germany, the conservative daily Die Welt — normally a backer of Angela Merkel’s conservative government — published a scathing front-page commentary this week criticizing her policies toward Israel. Written by the paper’s political editor, Torsten Krauel, the piece blasted Merkel for acting as if Israeli settlements were “the only remaining obstacle on the track to a quick Middle East peace,” when, in reality, Israel withdrew from both Lebanon and Gaza and got nothing in return but rocket fire from radical Islamists who promptly took over both areas. Merkel’s fixation on settlements, Krauel wrote, merely encourages Arab extremists to shun necessary compromises.

As the Jerusalem Post noted, Krauel’s piece remains an “anomaly within the mainstream German media.” But that’s precisely why it’s significant. European publics are hostile to Israel in part because European media rarely even let them hear Israel’s side of the story. Now, if Krauel continues this line, readers of one of Germany’s leading papers may finally get that chance.

Finally, there was British Defense Secretary Liam Fox’s speech at Israel’s Herzliya Conference this week. After reciting the de rigueur pap about how an Israeli-Palestinian peace could bolster efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program, Fox said something remarkable: that the British-Israeli defense relationship “is a relationship that enables our operations, and in some cases, keeps British troops alive in Afghanistan.”

It’s true that Israeli technologies and counterterrorism techniques are being used in Afghanistan. But it’s rare for Western officials to acknowledge that; the bon ton these days is accusing Israel of costing soldiers’ lives on the spurious grounds that the Taliban or al-Qaeda in Iraq are motivated by rage over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The acknowledgment is especially remarkable coming from Britain, which has repeatedly slapped arms embargoes on Israel in recent years, and from a government hitherto far more anti-Israel than its predecessors. That implies that the pro-Israel sentiment is filtering up from troops in the field.

It’s far too soon to tell whether these are mere isolated incidents or signs of a larger trend. But it does imply that Israel’s supporters on the Continent shouldn’t give up the fight quite yet.

Western Europe has long been hostile territory for Israel. Polls showing that Europeans deem Israel the greatest threat to world peace, judges issuing arrest warrants against Israeli officials for “war crimes,” unions launching anti-Israel boycotts, and Israel-obsessed officials like EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton are just some of the symptoms. But lately, there have been some encouraging hints of change.

Perhaps most notable was the Dutch parliament’s passage of a resolution this month urging its government to “encourage the European Union to resist the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.” That is a rousing vote of support for Israel’s position over that of the Palestinian Authority, which recently launched a worldwide campaign to gain backing for such a declaration.

From the U.S. Congress, this would be unsurprising. But for a European parliament to side with Israel against the PA is virtually unheard of. What European bodies usually pass are anti-Israel resolutions — like the European Parliament’s endorsement of the Goldstone report.

Then, over in Germany, the conservative daily Die Welt — normally a backer of Angela Merkel’s conservative government — published a scathing front-page commentary this week criticizing her policies toward Israel. Written by the paper’s political editor, Torsten Krauel, the piece blasted Merkel for acting as if Israeli settlements were “the only remaining obstacle on the track to a quick Middle East peace,” when, in reality, Israel withdrew from both Lebanon and Gaza and got nothing in return but rocket fire from radical Islamists who promptly took over both areas. Merkel’s fixation on settlements, Krauel wrote, merely encourages Arab extremists to shun necessary compromises.

As the Jerusalem Post noted, Krauel’s piece remains an “anomaly within the mainstream German media.” But that’s precisely why it’s significant. European publics are hostile to Israel in part because European media rarely even let them hear Israel’s side of the story. Now, if Krauel continues this line, readers of one of Germany’s leading papers may finally get that chance.

Finally, there was British Defense Secretary Liam Fox’s speech at Israel’s Herzliya Conference this week. After reciting the de rigueur pap about how an Israeli-Palestinian peace could bolster efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program, Fox said something remarkable: that the British-Israeli defense relationship “is a relationship that enables our operations, and in some cases, keeps British troops alive in Afghanistan.”

It’s true that Israeli technologies and counterterrorism techniques are being used in Afghanistan. But it’s rare for Western officials to acknowledge that; the bon ton these days is accusing Israel of costing soldiers’ lives on the spurious grounds that the Taliban or al-Qaeda in Iraq are motivated by rage over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The acknowledgment is especially remarkable coming from Britain, which has repeatedly slapped arms embargoes on Israel in recent years, and from a government hitherto far more anti-Israel than its predecessors. That implies that the pro-Israel sentiment is filtering up from troops in the field.

It’s far too soon to tell whether these are mere isolated incidents or signs of a larger trend. But it does imply that Israel’s supporters on the Continent shouldn’t give up the fight quite yet.

Read Less




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