Sundown: Has Obama Lost Mideast Cred?
Plus the real problem with Palin, and more
Feel like an extra-long round-up for the weekend? Me too.
• The Palestine Papers keep on giving: In 2009, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told U.S. envoy George Mitchell that President Obama lost “credibility … throughout the region,” adding, “people in the Middle East are not taking Barack Obama seriously. They feared Bush, despite everything.” [JPost]
• The Qatari emir told Sen. Kerry about a year ago that now is the time for the United States to engage Syria, and that Hamas will accept a deal along the 1967 borders, though won’t say so publicly. This one’s WikiLeaks. [WikiLeaks]
• Her intentions aside, Anthony Grafton condemns Sarah Palin’s invocation of the term “blood libel” for the damage it does to history and to the memories of countless Jews who suffered because of it. [TNR]
• A new entry in the “who sucked more, Hitler or Stalin?” debate from Bloodlands author Timothy Snyder. Turns out that Stalin was more motivated by ethnicity than was thought … but that Hitler really did kill significantly more innocents. [NYRB]
• Tablet Magazine contributor Nicholas Noe argues that U.S. policy toward Lebanon since the 2005 Cedar Revolution was a colossal failure, only helping Hezbollah, and that the one way to head off a really bad confrontation with Israel would be to push Israel to make peace with Syria. [NYT]
• Gal Beckerman remembers the late Samuel T. Cohen, the little-known inventor of the neutron bomb whose memoir was called F*** You: Mr. President. [Forward]
• Hélène Grimaud is a courageous, amazing, and beautiful French pianist. So naturally she has to be Jewish, right? Wikipedia, take it away: “She is descended from Sephardi Jews from Corsica on her mother’s side and from Berber Jews on her father’s side.” God, French Jews are great. [NYT]
• Weekend reading: Two articles by the late Daniel Bell. [Dissent]
• Futurist-novelist William Gibson finds Stuxnet’s roots in the world of digital vandalism. [NYT]