Daily Flog: Settling for violence in Israel, settling for Palin over here


Good thing the U.S. and Britain passed those anti-terror laws a few years ago, because now they’re coming in handy.

Predictably, those laws, many of them not only foolish but dangerous to rights, are now being applied to situations far removed from the so-called war on terror. In “Divided we stand: The ugly side of international banking,” the Economist notes:

The collapse of the banking system in Iceland — a country that was recently listed as a spoof auction item on eBay — led the British government to make novel use of anti-terror laws to freeze Icelandic assets. It and the Dutch government have ended up lending money to Iceland so that their citizens can retrieve money from Landsbanki, one of the country’s nationalised banks.

Now if the U.S. would just use its own anti-terror laws to sweep all the bankers off Wall Street — they’re our “persons of interest” these days.

Speaking of getting rid of Muslims, the hardening of the Jewish colonists’ stance in Israel adds yet another threat to some sort of peace in the Middle East, despite the dovish words of various Israeli pols.

Of course, that hardline stance by extremist Jews was greatly aided during the Bush regime by the presence in the Pentagon of now-departed Doug Feith and other fanatical dual-disloyalists.

Another Economist story brings us up to date on the Arab-Jew death dance in a way that you won’t read in the U.S. press. See “Settlers against a settlement,” which describes the worsening situation and begins:

The policy proclaimed by young Jewish settler-militants on the West Bank is called “Price Tag.” Whenever the Israeli army tries to dismantle settler outposts — even individual caravans or huts — that have not been authorised by the Israeli authorities, the militants retaliate violently. Not necessarily in the same place; they may hit Palestinians or soldiers somewhere else. They stone cars, smash windows, burn olive trees and fields. They attack villagers and shepherds, and tangle with the army and police.

Their aim is to persuade Israelis that no further forcible dismantlement of Jewish settlements is possible. When Ariel Sharon was prime minister, he did it once, in 2005, in the Gaza Strip and northern bits of the West Bank, evacuating 21 settlements, against little hard resistance. When Ehud Olmert, who succeeded him, demolished nine buildings at Amona, in 2006, thousands resisted. Now passive resistance is bolstered by physical retaliation.

You wouldn’t know it to read the U.S. press, but there’s a sizable peace movement among Jews in Israel and even over here. Check in with Americans for Peace Now, and you’ll see.

Something else you maybe haven’t read is Jane Mayer‘s inside look in the New Yorker at exactly how John McCain‘s campaign picked Sarah Palin. Here’s a clue: Though Palin trumpets her being a Beltway outsider, it was her courting of insiders that did it. Hmmm . . . maybe she’s a savvy politician after all. No. Anyway, see the reliable Mayer’s story.

Meanwhile . . .


N.Y. Times: ‘More Alzheimer’s Risk for Hispanics, Studies Suggest’

New Yorker: ‘Undecided’ (David Sedaris)

BBC: ‘Rich and poor gap “narrows” in UK’

BBC: ‘ “More inequality” in rich nations’

New Yorker: ‘The Insiders: How John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin’ (Jane Mayer)


Economist (U.K.): ‘The hind legs off a donkey: Who is the most long-winded presidential candidate?’

Washington Post: ‘Black Turnout Could Decide House Races: Obama Poised to Help 10 White Democrats’

Economist (U.K.): ‘More than Obama: Democrats could dominate Congress after the elections’

N.Y. Daily News: ‘ “Innocent little girl” is shot in back’


China Digital Times: ‘Farewell to My “Reporter” Career’

Washington Post: ‘3 Agencies Vie for Oversight of Swaps Market’


BBC: ‘Western diet “raises heart risk” ‘

China Digital Times: ‘After Toy Factory Closure, Blame Game Begins’

Jurist: ‘US seeking extended sentence for Guantanamo detainee Hamdan’

Jurist: ‘Trial begins for Fort Dix plot suspects’

N.Y. Times: ‘Signs of Easing Credit and Stimulus Talk Lift Wall Street’

N.Y. Times: ‘In Bush Stronghold [North Carolina], Obama Pulls Even With McCain’

N.Y. Times: ‘U.S. Is Said to Be Urging New Mergers in Banking’