Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick News Roundup February 12, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia) reports that the subcontractors to the US Embassy are abusing their employees.  They cite a report by the US Office of Inspector General, and provide a link to it.  Abuse of South Asian employees is fairly common in the Gulf.  I don't mean that as an excuse, just as a piece of information.

A senior rabbi in Israel is under arrest for supporting a book (Torat Hamelech) that says when it is okay to kill Gentiles.  He refused to be questioned by police, because it is a religious issue.  This whole thing originally came to a head in January of last year (see this article).  I'm not sure what to think of it.  It sounds as though some people want it to be thought of as a scholarly work, while others see it as inciting violence.  The article I linked to makes some good points about the authors of the study (also rabbis) and that they may be inciting violence.  I will say one thing though:  if a Catholic priest wrote a book saying that the Bible says sometimes it's okay to kill Jews, there would be a huge uproar and calls of anti-Semitism.  But almost no one would say it's a religious issue and the police should stay out of it.

There's more about that senior rabbi in this article, which compares the Muslim Brotherhood to the ultra-Orthodox religious right in Israel.  They believe that Judaism trumps democracy, and want to take Israel even further down that road.

This was written before Mubarak left, but it's a quick look at how events in Egypt are affecting the Gulf.  And this more recent article covers the current situation.  Even Palestine is affected and should have elections in September.

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