The Department of Interior Inspector General issued a report Wednesday exonerating Trump from "fake news" claims that he ordered "peaceful protesters" cleared from Lafayette Square last June so he could walk across the park for a "photo-op" (where, Joe Biden claimed, he held a Bible upside-down).
In a crowded field of contenders, this narrative was one of the worst examples of media malpractice in recent American history. It joins the Russia collusion hoax, the very fine people hoax, the "drinking bleach" hoax, and so many more debunked fake news stories foisted upon us by the left and the media. It was also used to emphasize Trump's supposed culpability in the Capitol riot.
The media ought to hold themselves accountable. They won't. But we won't forget.
I was wondering what, exactly, had happened this week such that a) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman backed away from a Palestinian state; b) President Joe Biden backed away from a Palestinian state; c) Biden dropped criticism of Israel's judicial reforms, at least in public.
The answer dropped late on Wednesday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. (with Israeli assent) will assist Saudi Arabia in enriching uranium on Saudi soil. This is another anonymously sourced report, but I believe it because the Biden administration's promises to adhere to "non-proliferation" while doing the opposite sound authentically lame to me, and there is little else that could explain the sudden change in Saudi tone.
So the peace deal would mean that the Saudis get nukes (quietly), Israel gets peace with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Sunni world, and the Palestinians get concessions that fall short of statehood.
As to the problem of a nuclear Saudi regime: we'll worry later?
It might, after ...
Two big clues appeared Wednesday that the Saudi-Israeli peace process may not just be a political gesture -- or, if it is, it is one of those rare imaginative gestures that has established its own reality.
One the one hand, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared to contradict his foreign minister, telling Bret Baier of Fox News that he wanted to see a "good life" for the Palestinians as part of a potential deal, but stopped short of calling for a Palestinian state.
On the other hand, the White House readout of the long-awaited Biden-Netanyahu meeting mentioned the need to maintain the "viability" of the two-state solution, but did not call explicitly for a Palestinian state as a result of a deal.
This is an acknowledgment of reality. Netanyahu cannot reach a deal, and survive in power, if he accepts a Palestinian state. And the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas is too corrupt and violent to be a successful state, never mind a peace partner.
But it is the ...
The Times of Israel reports that President Joe Biden is going to push Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for concessions to the Palestinians as a condition for an Israeli-Saudi peace deal.
This is absurd, for three reasons:
1. It flips the logic of the Abraham Accords on its head, which is that the Palestinians do not get a veto over peace between Israel and other Arab states.
2. It is a demand with which Netanyahu cannot possibly comply, given the fact that his governing coalition is made up of right-wing parties who would bolt if Netanyahu offered deep concessions to the Palestinians. Biden might welcome that result, since he would prefer a different Israeli government, but it would not bring a peace deal closer.
3. The Palestinian fate does not depend on Israeli concessions. It depends on a complete change in Palestinian leadership. The Abraham Accords are showing, every day, that there is nothing to preclude Jews and Arabs, or Jews and Muslims, from getting along in the Middle East, ...
Hi! I'm launching a Locals page as a platform for sharing some unconventional ideas, a kind of notebook-meets-seminar-meets neighborhood pub. We'll talk news, U.S. politics, the latest from Israel, reflections on South Africa, pop culture, non-woke sports, classical philosophy, the Talmud, whatever comes to mind. I'll also be posting links to the best of my work at Breitbart and my books at Amazon, and discussing both in greater depth. I look forward to conversations where we let down our guard a little and talk to each other about the issues in ways that aren't always determined by what side we're on in the partisan or ideological battles out there.