Imagine it's 2011 and you write a letter to your congressman expressing concern over House Resolution 268, a measure that reaffirms U.S. commitment "to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." If you're a constituent of Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts, who has served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Human Rights Commission, you may have to wait a whole year for a reply.
But it will be totally worth it, because the response will feature this gem…
With the global war against terrorism, it is now incumbent on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat to clamp down on Palestinian extremists that have perpetuated violence and to restart a peace process that has collapsed.
Contrary to popular belief, and also contrary to occasional strikes against Israeli civilians and associated reprisals against Palestinians, the two sides have been making great strides. It's just the progress has been difficult to discern because the lead negotiators have either been dead since 2004, in the case of Arafat, or in a coma since 2006, in the case of Sharon.
Pitts staffers blamed the error on an errant form letter rather than a new frontier in the GOP's pro-life agenda, where even the dead Palestinian leaders are granted living personhood…
"This is particularly embarrassing," said Gabe Neville, Pitts' chief of staff in Washington. He said the contents and postage of the letter amount to a "double mistake": an outdated form letter that was pulled it from the mail pile a year ago, but sometime since then, added back into outgoing mail.
It would be edifying to get the Middle East perspective on this, but the Times of Israel had some sad news: "Neither Arafat nor Sharon were available for comment."
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Israel, Joe Pitts, Middle East, Palestine, Pennsylvania
If the next few editions of the New York Times are thinner than usual, there's a simple explanation. When the universe conspires to let New York journalists write about the grocery shopping habits of Brooklyn yuppies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the very same article, there are bound to be casualties — few editors can survive the orgasm caused by that kind of confluence.
The story of the century, if you live in an alternative universe where health care reform isn't before the Supreme Court and security forces aren't cracking down on rebels in Syria, is last night's Park Slope Food Co-op vote on whether the grocery cooperative should have a separate vote to decide whether to boycott Israeli products by joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement…
The vote, conducted by paper ballot, came during the Brooklyn co-op's monthly general meeting, with 1,005 people voting against the motion to hold a referendum on a boycott, and 653 in favor…
Tensions at the co-op, on Union Street, had been climbing to a breaking point in recent weeks as the members, numbering about 16,300, weighed the matter. Reporters and television trucks had become a common site outside the co-op's doors. Advocates passed leaflets with increasing urgency. Politicians and pundits weighed in. And emotions, in at least one instance, spilled over into fisticuffs.
Prior to the vote, names of Co-op volunteers were drawn at random. Sadly, and despite the aforementioned brawl, the winners of the lottery would not be asked to engage in Hunger Games-style gladiatorial combat to secure organic, local, free-range produce for their families. Instead, they'd be allowed to speak and remind us why rising sea levels cannot come to Brooklyn soon enough…
Tags: Food, Israel, Jewish, New York, New York Times, Palestine
Part two of this "epic" investigative piece from John Oliver after the jump.
The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11/10c.
Tags: Afghanistan, Gabon, Israel, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Natural Disasters, Obama Administration, Palestine, Poverty, Robert Wexler, The Daily Show, UNESCO, United Nations, Video
Newt Gingrich discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…
"Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places."
An "invented Palestinian people." Well put. We, as an American people — with our long and storied two-hundred-(and-some-change)-year history — need a leader who's not afraid to take strong stands and point out historical truisms like that.
And besides, everybody knows that there's no more proof for the existence of Palestinians than there is for shoe elves, mermaids or people who are genuinely excited for a Gingrich presidency.
Tags: Israel, Newt Gingrich, Palestine, Primaries, Quote Unquote, Republicans