Gleanings, 27.03.11

NB. Most of the postings (and the regularity of) the Gleanings comes from Fabian Pascal (oao), who blogs at The PostWest.

Ehud Yaari: The Muqawama Doctrine

The second Lebanon war has put wind in the sails of the rejectionists across our borders, increasing numbers of whom believe that finally, they have hit upon an effective plan of action against Israel. Predictably, declarations about the inevitable demise of the Jewish state are back in fashion. More than 30 years after the Arab states and their army commanders came to the conclusion that they had no viable means of removing Israel from the map and stopped talking openly of their desire to annihilate it, the discourse in the Arab world is changing. Following the cue of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the leaders of Hamas and Hizballah have broken out in spontaneous hoorahs about the Zionist clock ticking toward its final hour.

Omri Ceren: European Left Applying Libya Precedent to Israel, Calling for Military Action

The junior partner in the Norwegian government, the Socialist Left Party of Kristin Halvorsen, (Sosialistisk Venstreparti), plans to vote on a measure calling for military action against Israel if it decides to act against the Hamas in Gaza…

But with due deference to Norway’s status as a particularly toxic cesspool of anti-Israel incitement, the idea won’t stay in Oslo. Ambassador Rice and President Obama have succeeded in linking the use of national force with a particularly flexible interpretation of international humanitarianism. Contemporary international humanitarianism, in turn, is a pretext seething activists and government officials use to obsess over Israel. With every juridical tool imaginable already being turned against the Jewish state, it’s inevitable that this newer and more expansive precedent will soon become very popular.

FP: When I argued that it was dismissed as nonsense.

Michael J. Totten: Our Government Needs New Advisors

Good God. Hillary Clinton says there will be no intervention in Syria because members of both parties in Congress believe Bashar al-Assad is a “reformer.” He’s actually a totalitarian state sponsor of terrorism with American, Israeli, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Syrian blood on his hands. And some of that Syrian blood is still warm on the streets. Will someone send her a copy of my book, please?


We are on the way to the end, I fear, for the Muslim Brotherhood is the only well-organized and structured movement with clear objectives and an international power base. It also seems that it has almost unlimited access to financing. I am of the opinion that any comparison with Western revolution is meaningless, because we are dealing with a Shariah society that works within a political view of reality that rejects the foundation of our own. I have also noticed with great sadness  that the attacks and murders of Copts have increased … It is very dangerous, for it has adopted a Western language to undermine the West. It aims to Islamise modernity, not to modernize Islam. Its founders and leaders promote jihad as a method for the introduction of Sharia, which they believe will cover all aspects of life, personal as well as social and political.

CAMERA: LA Times Defends ‘Tit-for-Tat Mentality’

The Los Angeles Times goes on the defensive about its indefensible characterization of the the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “the self-destructive tit-for-tat mentality that often seems designed to keep the conflict alive rather than to end it.” … As for the “cycle” of violence question, it would be an interesting question for the deep thinkers at the Times to ponder: what would happen if Israeli forces simply laid down their arms and did not attempt to stop any rocket crews, or prevent tunneling into Israel to carry out attacks, or to hunt down terrorists? Would Palestinian attacks continue? And what would happen if the Palestinians completely halted all attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers, and stopped stockpiling ever more dangerous Iranian weaponry for the next round? Would Israeli attacks continue?

Barry Rubin: The Gullenization of Turkey

An investigative journalist named Ahmet Shik has been working on a book about Fatitullah Gulen. But Gulen, a controversial Islamist who has huge amounts of money, his own media empire, has bought off some American Middle East experts, runs lots of schools, practically owns the Turkish police, and engages in a variety of covert activities aimed to transform Turkey into an Islamist state. Apparently, Turkish journalists do not have the right to criticize or investigate the movement. So not only was Shek arrested–as an alleged terrorist!–and all the copies of his manuscript seized by the police, but the authorities then went on to raid his publisher’s office and two of his friends homes and offices. They deleted the versions on all of their computers. Then, realizing that an expert can restore deleted files, the police returned and took the hard disks with them.

FP: Claire Berlinski from Turkey: The Hunt for the Imam’s Army

PowerLine: There May Not Always Be An England

That’s bad enough. But the decline of British civilization is reflected even more brutally in the rampaging mob that smashed store fronts, “occupied” businesses, and battled police. And perhaps most of all in the weak response of the authorities.

RL additions:

Russell Jacoby, Bloodlust: Why we should fear our neighbors more than strangers

Edward Said’s 1978 Orientalism opened with a description of the continuing Lebanese Civil War—about which his sister, Jean Said Makdisi, later wrote an eloquent memoir, Beirut Fragments. For Said, however, that war served only to highlight how the West envisioned the East. His much-cited and much-celebrated book analyzed fault lines between West and East, not fault lines between East and East. “Orientalism was ultimately a political vision of reality whose structure promoted the difference between the familiar (Europe, the West, ‘us’) and the strange (the Orient, the East, ‘them’),” Said wrote.

A thousand, perhaps 10,000, scholars followed him and have written about how “we” construct the “other,” or the stranger. Of course they needed little nudging. Academics are thrilled with the “other” and the vagaries of how we represent the foreign. By profession, anthropologists are visitors from afar. We are outsiders, writes an anthropologist, “seeking to understand unfamiliar cultures.” Humanists and social theorists also have fallen in love with the “other.” A recent paper by the literary critic Toril Moi is titled “Literature, Philosophy, and the Question of the Other.” In a recent issue of Signs, a philosopher writes about “Occidental Dreams: Orientalism and History in ‘The Second Sex.'”

Jackson Diehl, In Obama’s push for Mideast peace, whose side is he on?

A reasonable person might conclude from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria et al., that the Middle East’s deepest problems have nothing to do with Israel and that the Obama administration’s almost obsessive focus on trying to broker an Israeli-Palestinian settlement in its first two years was misplaced. But Obama isn’t one of those persons. Instead, like several American presidents before him, he seems to have concluded that the ideal segue from the latest Arab crisis is a new attempt to pressure Israel into accepting a quick march to Palestinian statehood.

David Goldman, Food and Syria’s Failure

As I wrote in Food and failed Arab states (Asia Times Online February 2, 2011), the newly prosperous consumers of Asia have priced food grains out of the reach of the destitute Arab poor. This is a tsunami which no government in the region can resist. Of all the prospectively failed states in the region, Syria seemed the least vulnerable, with a determined and vicious regime prepared to inflict unspeakable brutality on its opponents, and its inability to contain unrest is a frightening gauge of the magnitude of the shock.

The Arab bazaar speculates in foodstuffs as aggressively as hedge funds, and the Syrian government’s attempt last month to keep food prices down prompted local merchants to hoard commodities with a long shelf life. Fruit and vegetable prices, by contrast, remain low, because the bazaar does not hoard perishables. The fact that prices rose after the government announced high-profile measures to prevent such a rise exposed the fecklessness of the Assad regime.

One Response to Gleanings, 27.03.11

  1. […] Gleanings, 27.03.11 Posted Mar 29 2011 04:28 CEST from Israel Blogs – | | | Lebanon ShareNB. Most of the postings (and the regularity of) the Gleanings comes from Fabian Pascal (oao), who blogs at The PostWest. Ehud Yaari: The Muqawama Doctrine The second Lebanon war has put wind in the sails of the rejectionists across … Continue reading → […]

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