Wiretap: French vote to recognize Palestinian state, hope to nudge Israel

The French National Assembly voted to recognize a Palestinian state on Tuesday. The move comes after similar votes in Britain and Spain, according to the i24 international news site, and is intended to push the Israeli government to commit to peace negotiations. The vote is “not binding on French government policy,” according to the report, “but is likely to spark fury in Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned it would be a ‘grave mistake.’” Israel, which has been led by conservative Netanyahu for the last five tumultuous war-torn years, has steadily lost support in a Europe now home to increasing numbers of Muslim residents and citizens sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. In debate on the floor of the Assembly, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stressed the symbolic nature of the vote. He said Paris “would recognize Palestine if diplomatic efforts failed again and urged a resolution to the Middle East conflict within two years.”

Not to be missed: Chris Rock interviewed by Frank Rich for New York’s Vulture. It’s chock full of great stuff, because (all due respect Mr. Rich) you can not go wrong interviewing Chris Rock! They hit on comedy and comedians and pop culture. The politics and race bits are fantastic. At one point Rich asks what Rock makes of the “Sarah Palin line” — the one abut how the real Americans want to “take back their country.”

Rock: “There’s always going to be people that don’t know that the war’s over. I’m more optimistic than you, but maybe it’s because I live the way I do. I just have a great life, so it’s easier for me to say things are great. But not even me. My brothers drive trucks and stock shelves. They live in a much better world than my father did. My mother tells stories of growing up in Andrews, South Carolina, and the black people had to go to the vet to get their teeth pulled out. And you still had to go to the back door, because if the white people knew the vet had used his instruments on black people, they wouldn’t take their pets to the vet. This is not some person I read about. This is my mother.”

The Republican-Tea Party immigration-policy struggle will become epic. It is well on its way. Greg Sargent at the Plum Line begins today with a round up on the war over strategery, which is bubbling over on Capitol Hill into 2016 presidential primary politics — same as everything else. “Jeb Bush has now come out against the tactics conservatives want — which are favored by Ted Cruz.” There will be blood.

The mysterious, dark, compelling “Tjipetir” planks. They have appeared up and down the Atlantic coast of Europe. Tracey Williams in 2012 ambled along a beach in southern England. There was driftwood and rocks and there was an odd rectangular object with a word or a name or a code chiseled into it. “Tjipetir, Tjipetir, Tjipetir,” it called out to her. Then came news from “a French surfer, a Dutchman in a winter hat, a bearded Spaniard on a craggy shore.” Where were the hundreds of mysterious dark things coming from? What message were they trying to convey? Was Stanley Kubrick whispering something to the world from the grave? Via the Washington Post.

And: Madonna, 56, still got it, poses topless in an Interview Magazine photo shoot that has that interesting creepy Madonna noir feel. Take that reality TV whatever Kim Kardashee person.


  1. Mr. Tomasic is right about the Frank Rich interview with Chris Rock. There’s some great stuff there. For example:

    Frank Rich: What do you make of the attempt to bar Bill Maher from speaking at Berkeley for his riff on Muslims?

    Chris Rock: Well, I love Bill, but I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative.

    Frank Rich: In their political views?
    Chris Rock: Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.

    And there’s this little gem from Chris Rock: I’d love to do some liberal places, because you can be in the most liberal places and there’s no black people.

    Chris Rock also had a very colorful–but unprintable–description of former President Clinton.

    Mr. Rich’s next interview should be Charles Barkley, Sir Charles is another guy you can’t go wrong with.

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