Quote of the week
Iranians are rioting today against a vicious government that stones women for alleged adultery, murders homosexuals for the crime of existing, amputates limbs by judicial decree, brutalizes anyone wanting free speech, and is currently holding two Americans hostage for hiking. Is there a Security Council resolution in the works on the dying and the dead in Iran? Bahrain? Libya? Tunisia? Egypt? Algeria? Not the slightest possibility.
The only thing on the table at the UN is a statement that it is illegal for any Jew to live on any land that is claimed by Palestinian Arabs. Not only is this a racist recipe for an apartheid Palestine, it is also a direct violation of the American and UN-sponsored “Middle East Roadmap.”
Incidentally, there are at least 20 dead in Libya. Unconfirmed reports (via Twitter) say that the regime has used aircraft to shoot demonstrators.
Yesterday, the Obama administration offered to support a slightly watered-down resolution that asserted that ‘continued settlement activity’ was ‘illegitimate’. But the Palestinians refused:
The [Palestinian] draft would have the 15-nation council ‘reaffirm that the Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.’
The draft would call on Israel, ‘the occupying power, to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respects all of its legal obligations in this regard.’
There has been a huge amount of speculation regarding whether the US will veto the resolution or not. I’m not optimistic. We’ll know soon.
I wasn’t going to write anything about the CBS correspondent who was raped in Cairo. There’s more than enough written already. Just this: many commentators are saying that the crowd was shouting ‘Jew’ as she was attacked, and that in fact she was not Jewish, as if to say ‘those dumb Arabs don’t even know who they’re raping’.
First, ‘Jew’ is a vulgar epithet in Egypt. I recall reading an account by a Jewish woman who spent some time in Egypt studying Arabic and kept her Jewishness a secret. One day a good friend cursed someone — a thief, an aggressive beggar, I don’t recall — by calling him a Jew. Clearly the object of the curse wasn’t Jewish. ‘Jew’ is what you call someone when you want to degrade them.
Second, maybe the gang was making a statement, something like “this is what we do to Jews.” I urge the Jewish Israelis that support the “one-state solution” to keep this in mind when they think about how they will integrate the 4.5 million Arab ‘refugees’ that they believe have a right to ‘return’ to the homes in Israel where 99% of them never lived. My guess is that they like Jews even less than Egyptians do.
Who likes chaos in Egypt?
Egyptian industrialist Shafik Gabr was in Davos, Switzerland, when the revolution began. It was January 26, the second day of protests in Tahrir Square, and from 1,600 miles away at the World Economic Forum — teeming with financiers, celebrities, and heads of state in the crisp, Alpine air — it didn’t look much like a revolution.
But by the time Gabr arrived in Cairo on Friday the 28th — having cut short his schmoozing to rush home on his Gulfstream 200 — the planet’s most populous Arab country had changed forever…
“There was a serious plan to scare the populace, no question about it,” he said. “There was a huge number of police stations that were torched all at the same time, all in the same manner. I cannot attribute it to any party. I can say very honestly that there were factors playing a major role beyond the youths in Tahrir Square, to torch, attack, break cells in the prisons for prisoners to be released, to steal police uniforms, to steal armaments, in the very same exact manner across Egypt, not just Cairo. And that requires planning. It’s almost like one of those movies where you have sleeper cells.” (h/t: CSK)
Hamas, Hizballah, the ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood]? Nobody’s telling.
Update [1420 PST]: The US vetoed the UNSC resolution! But it was ugly. Everyone else piled on Israel and the US made a statement that settlements are ‘illegitimate’ anyway. More analysis tomorrow evening. Now really Shabbat shalom.