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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Morning briefs

Syria's nuclear secrets at TNR:
Syria is getting a free ride. It has suffered no consequence for snubbing the IAEA. Already shaken by North Korea’s defection and Iran’s manipulation, the nonproliferation treaty now finds itself at a crossroads. If it cannot be enforced in Syria, a relatively weak country currently buffeted by its own Arab spring, the wounded agreement risks falling into irrelevance—and the region into a tense nuclear future. The treaty’s survival requires that the international community draw a line. It should start at the gates of Damascus.

GIYUS interviews Benny Begin:
Now we sum it up – look at the map, it's a new Muslim crescent. Five countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, comprise an Islamic radical block, with terrorism and instability emanating from two of them to the whole Middle East. That's even before Iran has acquired nuclear weapons ability.

The irony is that out of these 5 countries the majority are democracies. 3 out of 5 are democracies. Of course, the numbers are small so it's not a great sample, but to me these observations, that are factual, there is no assessment there, afford constraints on the possible positive outcome of the revolutions in the Middle East.

Fiamma Nirenstein on Arrigoni:
The crucial issue is this: When you go to Gaza or Afghanistan, it is important to realize that our concept of life is completely different from politically Islamic people's concept of life. To them, you can die because you are Jewish, because you are Italian, or Christian, because you are an apostate, or a corrupt Westerner... the extremist mentality, make no bones about it, cancels out friends and allies. No matter how much you have worked against the "Zionist power" or that you have called Zionists "rats," as Arrigoni did, nothing is of any worth if you break their rule -- a rule which will remain changing and unclear until the knife blade comes.

NGO Monitor on Sarah Leah Whitson:

An op-ed by Human Right Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson, “A Matter of Civil Rights” (Huffington Post, April 15, 2011), blatantly exploits the US Civil Rights Movement to vilify and demonize Israel.

Abusing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King: “In a week when the U.S. paused to recall the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Peres might have considered King's message -- an end to segregation -- and why such a system of racial inequality remains in place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

This op-ed contains 23 references that abuse civil rights rhetoric in this way, including accusations of “laws and policies [that] strictly segregate Jews from Palestinians,” “blatant racial inequality,” and “racial discrimination and segregation.” This is Whitson’s dominant theme.