I wrote here that I wasn't going to discuss anything serious on this thing, and especially not the Middle East conflict, but unfortunately for your faith in me, I lied. Two things to talk about today, both serious with a funny side. Here they are:
1) As many of you probably know, Palestine doesn't conform to the criteria for statehood under international law. This is for numerous reasons, but here are a few:
a) It doesn't actually govern the territory it claims as its own (it demands an end to occupation)
b) The Palestinian Authority's constituting documents restrict its powers to something like local municipal government
c) It doesn't even govern half the territory that Israel has withdrawn from since Hamas kicked the P.A. out of Gaza
Palestinian spokesmen have for years been complaining about these very things, and they continue to demand that these barriers to statehood be removed, but so far, that's the story. In spite of this, lately a number of Latin American states have announced that they are going to recognize Palestine as a state anyway.
Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon's response? Recognizing Palestine as a state is like clicking "like" on Facebook. (Haaretz, December 26, 2010.)
2) I was in the bookstore today, and I happened to pick up a book called London: The Story of a Great City by Jerry White. In it is a picture of a rally in Trafalgar Square that took place on April 30, 1978, and there is one placard amongst the ralliers that pretty much says it all:
"Queer Jew-Boy Socialist Seeks a Better World."