Thursday, October 30, 2014

Does Human Rights Law Do Anything?

An interesting conference at The University of Chicago Law School. As a decided skeptic regarding the capacity (and beneficence) of international law, this sounds right up my alley.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There's the Word I Was Looking For

My general view, and problem, with Bibi Netanyahu is that I think he's a giant political coward whose only interest is in short-term political self-preservation. Jeffrey Goldberg's account of ongoing tensions between Bibi and the Obama administration is interesting in its own right, but particularly valuable in summing up my views of the Israeli Prime Minister in one evocative word: "chickenshit".

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Strangest President

Israeli President Reuben Rivlin (long-time member of the right-wing Likud Party) has visited the site of a 1956 Israeli massacre of Arab civilians, apologizing in stark terms:
“I have come here today as a member of the Jewish people and the president of the state of Israel to stand before you, the families of the slain and injured, to mourn and remember,” Rivlin said. “The brutal killing in Kafr Qasim is an anomalous and sorrowful chapter in the history of relations between Arabs and Jews living here,” said the president.

“The state of Israel has recognized the crime committed here. And rightly, and justly, has apologized for it,” said the president. “I too am here today to say a terrible crime was done here … the murder of innocents,” said Rivlin, who said future generations must be educated about the tragic events and the lessons that must be learned.
He isn't the first -- Shimon Peres delivered a similar apology in 2007 -- but Rivlin and Peres are two very different people.

Or maybe not. I've commented before on Rivlin's peculiar status as an unabashed right-wing defender of minority rights, particular Israel's Arab minority. I don't agree with him on every issue (one-statism being the obvious example), but I will say this: There is a very, very interesting biography to be written about him.