Today's Blogs

Hudna Schmudna

Bloggers analyze the serious side of Hamas’ recently advertised amenability to a prolonged “truce” with Israel, but they’re less able to contain themselves about a New York Times piece that suggests that Democrats have “missed opportunities” to gain by Republican losses. They’re also somewhat nasty about Tom Ford’s vanity project at Vanity Fair.

Hudna schmudna: Exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal announced in an interview with the BBC that his organization would be willing to negotiate a “long-term truce” (or hudna) with Israel, if the Jewish state agrees to a litany of concessions, the most signal of which is a reversion to its 1967 borders. Few cyberpundits interpreted this as good news, while most were skeptical of the seemingly progressive Hamas démarche.  

At KTemoc Konsiders, KTemoc, who is short on sympathy for Israel, writes, “The long term truce offered by Hamas leadership without conceding, for now, the right of Israel to exist is the optimum and only political avenue. With time and respectability of de jure authority, and the gradual indoctrination of its followers, Hamas leaders would eventually be able to accommodate the inevitability of Israel as a neighbour.”

However, the proprietor of the Labor-aligned Huggy’s Mind is himself long on memory and quick to point out the diplomatic dissonance of Hamas’ rhetoric: “Khaled Meshaal in an address to a Damascas Mosque, shown on Al-Jazeera ‘Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day’… charming bloke.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota blogger “First Ringer” at The First Ring is less equable about even the “realist” prospects of armistice: “Hamas is offering to simply maintain the status quo of peace on a knife’s edge. If the Israelis agree not to ’provoke’ the PA, Hamas will guarantee the continuation of the ceasefire while keeping their weapons, rejecting the legitimacy of Israel and defining it as an ’occupier state’ even if the Israelis retreat to pre-Six Day War lines. The entire Hamas offer can be surmised by the comment from the cynical Touchstone in As You Like It: ‘Your If is the only peacemaker.’ “

Kipling, more than Shakespeare, seems to be more on the mind of “SnoopyTheGoon” at SimplyJews.Describing what he sees as Hamas’ baiting tactic to win more time for its own shambolic recessional of militancy, he observes in a post titled “Hudna—lest we forget”: “Hudna is akin to a following situation: you have a fight with a fellow (in a pub, say). Then the fellow offers you his hand and adds that he is going for an hour of R&R and then will come back with a stone to bash your head in—that is precisely an offer of Hudna.”

Read Ehud Yaari’s New Republic piece on Hamas’ pacific overtures. Read more on the Hamas truce-offering.

High-dudgeon Dems: The New YorkTimes today ran an article about the Democratic Party’s repeated failures to capitalize on the GOP’s “mandate”-shaking blunders during the past year. Mainly a compendium of laments and woebegone headshakes, the piece was unironically headlined, “Some Democrats Are Sensing Missed Opportunities.”

“Perhaps they are just trying to lower expectations, but this article sounds like they don’t have the will to win, which wouldn’t be a surprise given their performance on recent issues,” says reluctant Democrat Edward Copeland at the Copeland Institute for Lower Learning. “Talk about furthering a Republican theme!” cries “Publius” at liberal The Third Estate. “Hey Democrats, if you believe that the voters aren’t sure what the party stands for, the first thing you should NOT do is say to a New York Times reporter ‘Our party lacks focus.’ “

Politically scattershot “TheHeretic” of Politically Inclined Heretic muses, “You can’t win with nothing. Hmmm. Are they just beinning to realize that right now? The Democrats boasted that they killed Mr. Bush’s social security plan and they may have been right to do so. I don’t know, but in the State of the Union Address, when the retorted by suggesting that the problems have not gone away the Democrats obviously had no answer.”

And if Massachuttsets native Ted Compton at House of Horrors is terse, it’s because the Times does his work for him: “Next, they’ll have their headline writer doing guest spots on Letterman.”

Read more on the Times’ summary of Democratic discontents.

Ford’s theater: Retired fashion designer Tom Ford is the guest artistic director for this month’s “Hollywood” issue of Vanity Fair. And while the online visual chorus surely belongs to the magazine’s all-nude cover girls Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, the barbed prose gets directed at the director.

Manhattan gossip blog-hemoth Gawker chimes in, “Our feelings about the Vanity Fair cover just went from jealous to sympathetic. Poor Scarlett and Keira, forced to get all fleshy with Mr. PeeHands.” There’s even less love, actually, for Ford at A Socialite’s Life, where Miu von Furstenberg reports: “Apparently, just editing the issue wasn’t enough for him. I don’t quite understand why he’s biting Kiera Knightley’s ear, or why she and Scarlett Johansson are naked and he isn’t, but I guess that’s why he’s the artist, and I’m the blogger.”

Read more about the Vanity Fair cover.