NB. Most of the postings (and the regularity of) the Gleanings comes from Fabian Pascal (oao), who blogs at The PostWest.
Barry Rubin: Why Does the Media Report the Opposite of What’s True in the Middle East? (MUSt READ)
In the modern history of North American and European democracies there has never been a disinformation and misinformation campaign like this one.
4. What is important is not what someone in the region says or does but what you want them to say or do in order to fit your theme.
5. The themes include: The Palestinians want peace; Israel doesn’t; Islamists are no threat; they aren’t haters of Jews and the West and they don’t want to establish tyrannical repressive regimes.
Melanie Phillips: A strategic and moral error of the first magnitude (MUST READ)
For it is not only that the government’s hostility to Israel is based on a fundamental and long-term geopolitical and strategic error of the first magnitude about where the interests of the United Kingdom actually lie. To reverse this would mean that Cameron also had to confront the profound moral sickness at the heart of British intellectual society, which fawns over the racist Holocaust-deniers and anti-Jewish ethnic cleansers of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas while libelling Israel as a nation of war-mongering, bloodthirsty child-killers whose right to their own country must be considered forfeit.
Middle-East Forum: Muslims in the West: Loyal to Whom? (A briefing by Mark Durie)
Mr. Durie proposes that Islam adopt a theology of the brotherhood of humanity, wherein all can benefit through mutual assistance—rather than Muslims solely benefiting through ideological domination. He concluded by stating that, if we do not wish to surrender Muslim Americans to foreign law on our own soil, concessions to Islamic law must not be made. During question-and-answer, Mr. Durie implored the West to have the “guts” to understand Islam as a religious-political system—and to take the steps necessary to change our own understandings, not just those of Muslims living in the West.
The Wire: Guardian admits Israel ‘straightforward target’
Assistant editor Michael White admits that Guardian journalists actively avoid reporting some subjects, such as immigration, in favour of easier ‘targets’ like Israel.
[Of course, this “lazy-man’s way out” ends up producing the inversion of reality that Barry Rubin chronicles: Israel is the bad guy, Islam the innocent victim. It’s one thing to pick on the little guy in the Middle East because till now he’s able to defend himself, but it’s quite another to whitewash a domestic foe of major proportions. Ironically, the people who need to defend themselves are the lazy attackers. – rl]
Richard Pollock (PJM): Two U.S. Lobbyists Paid $5.4M By Libya To Boost Regime’s Image
The story of the selling of Libya to the United States is a fascinating tale of how liberal academics and former members of Congress united to attempt a repackaging of Libya’s Gaddafi family as human rights reformers. PJM has pieced together the story of how the dictatorial regime was shamelessly presented as reformers to Congress and to Washington policymakers.
Sassy Wire: Assad eyes Gaddafi’s place on UN Human Rights Council
Following Libya’s suspension from the United Nations Human Rights Council last week due to its “gross and systematic” violations and brutal suppression of human rights, a new contender — with an equally poor record of upholding citizens’ rights — is eying the vacant seat.
Ed. Note (oao): Syria seems to be in Vogue these days.
Reuters ME Watch: Reuters: Palestinian soccer team plays first match in Ramallah; ready for statehood
Sometimes Reuters efforts to advance Palestinian interests assume a theater of the absurd quality.
PowerLine: Mob Scene in Madison (Domestic Cracks in a Declining Superpower)
Last night, a mob seized control of Wisconsin’s state Capitol. The Capitol was supposed to be secured, but the mob was let in through the ground-floor window of a Democratic legislator … The attack on democracy that the Democratic Party has launched in Wisconsin is disgraceful. It amounts to an attempt to reverse the 2010 election. No one, regardless of political orientation, should countenance the Democrats’s deployment of mob rule.
Soeren Kern, Islam “Does Not Belong” to Germany
When Germany’s new Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, says Islam is not a part of the German way of life and “does not belong” in Germany, his comments sparked a new round of debate over the increasingly contentious question of Muslim immigration, integration and assimilation, and the role of Islam in modern German society.
Considering that more than one million immigrants living permanently in Germany cannot speak German, the government is now pushing for the children of non-German-speaking parents to develop better German language skills. But that idea hit resistance from none other than Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who on February 27 travelled to Germany to urge Turkish parents living in Germany to teach their children to learn to read and write Turkish before German.
Thomas Carothers, Think Again: Arab Democracy
What’s more, though citizens in some Arab countries have given their governments a hard push, the underlying regimes themselves — the interlocking systems of political patronage, security forces, and raw physical coercion that political scientists call the “deep state” — are not giving up the ghost but are hunkering down and trying to hold on. Shedding presidents, as in Tunisia and Egypt, is a startling and significant development, but only partial regime collapse. The entrenched security establishments in those countries are bargaining with the forces of popular discontent, trying to hold on to at least some parts of their privileged role. If the protesters are able to stay mobilized and focus their demands, they may be able to force a step-by-step dismantling of the old order. Elsewhere in the region however, the changes so far are less fundamental.