Thursday Reading…….

A Tale Of Four Op-Eds. “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims,” proclaimed the Communist Manifesto a century and a half ago. “They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” But this was before the age of public relations. Here is how it’s done today.Recently, the three main city-based newspapers in America ran op-eds by Hamas leaders. First, the exact same article by Ahmed Yousef, an advisor to the man who had headed the Palestinian Authority, appeared the same day, June 27, in the Washington Post and New York Times.” Barry Rubin. More here.

Long live the peace process. “The Bush administration, along with most of those who have been involved in promoting Palestinian statehood, have been assuming a peace process since Israel won the Intifada, Yasser Arafat died, and Mahmoud Abbas became the PA president. But the fundamental characteristic of the post-Intifada era is the peace process’s otherworldliness, its detachment from facts on the ground, its salience among internationalists, journalists, and diplomats, but not among the people of Gaza or the West Bank. This era has been for the Palestinians one of settling into a new reality — one that has meant, for example, that the profound cultural and religious differences between the Arabs of Gaza and of the West Bank have at last imposed themselves as political realities. And this settling in has meant that the Palestinian territories are joining many other areas of the Middle East in being weak states, tribal regions where government authority is weak, corrupt, and disorganized, and the political leaders that westerners would like to work with have disturbingly little control over the factions within their territory. Palestinian nationalism and the Fatah mafia have never been weaker.” Noah Pollack More here.

Murdering Freedom. “Last week, the Italian interior minister, Giuliano Amato, hosted a conference in Rome on “Islam and Integration.” Italy, one of Europe’s southern border states, has 1 million Muslims out of a population of 58 million people. Illegal immigrants arrive in Italy in huge numbers. According to a recent survey, the country could count almost 7 million Muslims by the end of the next decade. The Italians, however, have a way of dealing with illegal immigrants. They regularly transform them into legal residents by granting them official papers. Since 1988 Italy has organized six amnesties for illegal aliens — the last one in 2006, when 500,000 people were given permission to stay. Most of them leave Italy shortly afterward. Since Italy belongs to the European Union and since the EU adheres to the principle of the free movement of persons, an amnesty gives immigrants the right to freely enter all EU member states. Italy allows the immigrants in so that they move out, to EU nations with more generous welfare systems.” Paul Belien More here

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