Arab TV vs. Polite People Like You

An accidentally revealing moment fromRachel Maddow’s interview with Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution last night (MSNBC, 1/31/11): MADDOW: Well, let me ask you about one tactical question in this diplomatic dance, I guess. Are American officials making appearances on Arabic language TV channels at this point? Should they be prioritizing doing that right now? INDYK: Probably. I don’t think they are doing a lot of that at the moment, partly because the Arab interviewers are likely to be a lot more pressing than polite people like you. MADDOW: I think that is a great insult, thank you. INDYK: No, […]


Disappearing Palestinian Deaths in the NYT

It really is offensive for commentators to use the word “violence” to mean “violence against one side in a conflict.” As in Martin Indyk’s op-ed in the New York Times yesterday (8/27/10), which argues that there is “For Once, Hope in the Middle East,” because, “First, violence is down considerably in the region.” Here’s his complete explication of this point: Throughout the 1990s, Israel was plagued by terrorist attacks, which undermined its leadersâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ ability to justify tangible concessions. Israelis came to believe that the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat was playing a double game, professing peace in the negotiations while allowing […]