There are several items of interest regarding America, Europe, and the Middle East this morning. I’ll just point them out without drawing the connections. Khaled Abu Toameh is the Palestininan affairs editor of the Jerusalem Post and a very brave reporter. His Wall Street Journal column this morning exposes the games terrorists play in Arafatistan to entice their patrons in Europe and the United States to turn the financial spigot back on.
Are such games necessary to entice the French politician with the best hair to turn the spigot back on? In the New York Sun, Seth Gitell reports on M. de Villepin’s appearance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government last Friday. Gitell notes that Professor Stanley Hoffman introduced de Villepin as “cosmopolitan,” apparently to distinguish him from politicians of the homegrown variety. I think that’s quite unfair to Senator Kerry, who can compete with M. de Villepin both on the tonsorial and cosmpolitanism fronts.
One American politician who has the will to cosmopolitanism while lacking the itinerary and the experience is Barack Obama. Last week we noted Ben Smith’s post on Barack Obama’s diagnosis of the ills that plague the Middle East: cynicism. Today Smith returns with a long article on the reaction of American Jews to Obama’s apparent naievete. At his blog, Smith has posted a video of Hillary Clinton talking about Iran, Venezueala and oil in a manner that sounds nothing but cynical. I think that Clinton-Obama is the obvious Democratic ticket.
American politicians — whether of the cosmopolitan, naive or cynical variety — who disseminate the usual palaver on the competing claims involved between Israel and its enemies really need to confront a few basic realities. One of the realities is depicted in the Haaretz story on new Palestinian high school textbooks:
New textbooks for 12th-grade Palestinian students reject the existence of Israel and make no attempt to educate students about peace or coexistence, according to Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that monitors Palestinian Arabic-language media and schoolbooks….
“The teachings repeatedly reject Israel’s right to exist, present the conflict as a religious battle for Islam, teach Israel’s founding as imperialism, and actively portray a picture of the Middle East, both verbally and visually, in which Israel does not exist at all,” the group wrote in a February report entitled “From nationalist battle to religious conflict: New 12th Grade Palestinian schoolbooks present a world without Israel.”
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