EXCERPT OF THE WEEK: Enough has been said about Al Gore's speech this week, so I don't feel like I have anything to add to the discussion. But Charles Krauthammer's column in today's Washington Post has one of the more golden lines I've seen in a while.
The New York Times reports that Gore wrote the speech "after consulting a fairly far-flung group of advisers that included Rob Reiner." Current U.S. foreign policy is the combined product of Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz and the president. Meanwhile, the pretender is huddling with Meathead.
Not that Leon Feurth is that much better, but I digress.
INTERNATIONAL LAW: For those who are bothered whenever pro-Palestinian supporters invoke international law to boost their moral claims of Israeli occupation, check out Lior Klirs' letter to the Cavalier Daily, UVa's paper of record. It's a good, concise knock-down of these weak arguments that base their Israel-bashing solely on the basis of various United Nations resolutions.
DERSHOWITZ ON ISRAEL: Alan Dershowitz writes a succinct but powerful article about Israel's commitment to democracy and liberty -- in contrast to her neighboring Arab regimes. Here's a blurb:
As an advocate and practitioner of human rights throughout the world, I can confidently assert that Israel’s record on human rights is among the best, especially among nations that have confronted comparable threats. Though far from perfect, Israel has shown extraordinary concern for avoiding civilian casualties in its half-century effort to protect its civilians from terrorism. Jordan killed more Palestinians in a single month than Israel has between 1948 and the present.
Israel has the only independent judiciary in the entire Middle East. Its Supreme Court, one of the most highly regarded in the world, is the only court in the Middle East from which an Arab or a Muslim can expect justice, as many have found in winning dozens of victories against the Israeli government, the Israeli military and individual Israeli citizens. There is no more important component in the protection of human rights and civil liberties than an independent judiciary willing to stand up to its own government. I challenge the proponents of divestment to name a court in any Arab or Muslim country that is comparable to the Israeli Supreme Court.
There are, of course, difficult issues to be resolved in the Middle East. These include the future of the settlements, the establishment of Palestinian self-governance and the prevention of terrorism. These issues will require compromise on all sides. Members of the Harvard community must be free to criticize Israel when they disagree with its policies or actions, as they criticize any other country in the world whose record is not perfect. But to single out the Jewish state of Israel, as if it were the worst human rights offender, is bigotry pure and simple. It would be comparable to singling out a black nation for de-legitimation without mentioning worse abuses by white nations. Those who sign the divestment petition should be ashamed of themselves. If they are not, it is up to others to shame them.
PATIOPUNDIT AT YOUR SERVICE: The estimable PatioPundit answers all the questions and doubts revolving around a war against Iraq. If you aren't already convinced, reading this will help.