Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Israeli First

Kevin Jon Heller reports that Israel will have its first Muslim minister in government, with the appointment of Raleb Majadele to the ministry of culture, science, and sports. Majadele is a member of the center-left Labor party. He is not the first Israeli Arab minister: Salah Tarif was given a cabinet level position by Ariel Sharon in 2002, however, Tarif is Druze, not Muslim.

An excellent and heartening step forward for Israeli democracy. When you think about it, it's rather amazing that the US got its first Muslim congressman at the same time as Israel's first Muslim cabinet member (Israel, of course, has had Muslim representation in the Knesset for decades).

In somewhat less heartening news from the region, Palestinian leaders have decided to name a youth soccer tournament after the dearly departed Saddam Hussein. Hussein was a strong supporter of Palestinian terrorism, giving thousands of dollars to the families of "martyrs" killed while killing Jews. The Fatah Party (President Abbas' party) also announced it was created a joint memorial stone dedicated to Hussein and Yasser Arafat, which is strangely appropriate.

Round and round we go....

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