by Dish Staff

George Packer unpacks what the world lost in the murder of James Foley, and continues to lose as journalism in the Syria-Iraq war zone becomes ever more dangerous:

Among the many reasons to mourn Foley’s death is the loss of his reporting, and of reporting in general, from Syria. News of the civil war from Western media organizations has been dwindling as security has deteriorated, and it is now likely to dry up. Local Syrian reporters face an even greater threat. The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least eighty journalists have been kidnapped since the start of the war and at least seventy have been killed, almost all of them Syrians, and almost all in 2012 and 2013. So far this year, the confirmed number of journalists killed is down to six, Foley being the most recent. (Solid information is increasingly difficult to get.) This cannot be because working conditions in Syria have improved. One likely explanation is that few reporters, and even fewer who reach Western audiences, are still covering the war. This would be disastrous under any circumstances, but it is especially calamitous now.

He also laments how thoroughly the chattering class has politicized the crisis:

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Faces Of The Day

Aug 27 2014 @ 6:16pm
by Dish Staff


Yes and Better Together supporters exchange views with one another as Jim Murphy, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (not seen), speaks on his soapbox during his “100 Towns in 100 Days” tour on August 27, 2014 in Dundee, Scotland. Mr. Murphy, Labour MP, is touring Scotland on behalf of the Better Together, spreading his message about the benefits of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom and informing the public of the risks that independence poses for the country. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Naava Mashiah finds that as some European Jews, fearing anti-Semitism, move to Israel, some Israeli Jews are moving in the opposite direction.

So I see two sectors of the Jewish population, one in the diaspora, one in Israel, which believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. You wonder whom is deceiving themselves and whom will actually follow through and make the move. Will the exodus from Israel be larger than the inflow of immigrants from Europe? Will the immigration from North America still continue to make up the gap? Even as I write this, after the beginning of the cease-fire, a plane has landed with a planeload of new immigrants.

The Israelis whom move to Europe, as I did four years ago, will find out that the policy of the Israeli government will inevitably affect their life in Europe, even a small remote village. For the local population will remind you that you are Jewish and therefore connected to this homeland. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with the Israeli government’s policies. … Many in Europe say that it reminds them of Europe in 1936, and are reminded of those whom were proactive and departed, ending up as survivors. Some do not think we have reached such a drastic situation. While in Israel, it is no longer considered ‘against the stream’ to emigrate as it was in the 70’s when the immigrants were considered traitors to the country.

Here in the States, though, surely things are different, right? Perhaps for the most part – and anyone who thinks anti-Semitism is this country’s principle bigotry has been living under one of those proverbial rocks – but then there are moments like this, in response to a NYT story about rising European anti-Semitism:

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Cool Ad Watch

Aug 27 2014 @ 5:11pm
by Dish Staff

The city of Toronto lets the litter do the talking:


One more:

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Parental Whoa-vershare, Ctd

Aug 27 2014 @ 4:46pm
by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Alex Goldman rounds up some responses to the latest parental overshare debacle, and provides a note of clarification:

The original article was written mistakenly as though the [author] had written about his son using his son’s real name. He was, in fact, using a pseudonym for his son, though critics note that his son’s real name can easily be found online with the information given in the article.

Slightly less nausea-inducing, then, but not much. Goldman sort of defends sharing of this nature, because stigma:

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Mental Health Break

Aug 27 2014 @ 4:20pm
by Dish Staff

For teens that don’t think they have anything to learn from Mozart:

A War Without A Winner, Ctd

Aug 27 2014 @ 3:55pm
by Dish Staff

Juan Cole casts doubt on how much of a victory the Gaza ceasefire really is for Israel:

[W]hat the Israeli military was going for was a result similar to its 2006 war on Hizbullah in Lebanon; since that conflict Hizbullah has not fired any rockets into Israel or Israeli-occupied territories like the Shebaa Farms (which belong to Lebanese farmers). It is not at all clear that the war produced any such similar cessation of hostilities between Gaza and Israel. In part, there are undisciplined small groups in Gaza perfectly able and willing to construct some flying pipe bombs and send them over to Beersheva and Sderot (former Palestinian cities from which Gaza refugees hail that are now Israeli cities). One drawback of Israel reducing Hamas’s capabilities is that it also reduced its ability to police the Strip. Hamas itself has in the past honored cease-fires as long as Israel has observed their terms. In part, that 70% of Palestinians in Gaza are refugee families from what is now Israel and that 40% still live in squalid refugee camps means that they are very unlike the Shiites of southern Lebanon, who are farmers with their own land.

The Dish looked at the hazy definition of “victory” in Gaza during the previous ceasefire earlier this month. Mitchell Plitnick observes how Netanyahu failed to achieve his strategic goals:

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A Zoolander Award? Ctd

Aug 27 2014 @ 3:41pm
by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

I guess my beat here is known, because everyone is passing along the following:

Where European anti-Semitism meets offensive fashion, indeed. As Elena Cresci’s piece (like so many of the many, many others discussing this) mentions, this is only Zara’s latest oops-my-bad:

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Rubio Plays To The Base

Aug 27 2014 @ 3:21pm
by Dish Staff

Kilgore remarks upon Rubio’s immigration “course correction“:

It really is amazing the extent to which partisan and ideological predispositions can affect how one interprets the same data. I look at Marco Rubio’s behavior on the immigration issue over the last sixteen months and see an unusually shameless flip-flop by a man willing to do almost anything to become president. Byron York looks at the same behavior, and even acknowledges the remarkable extent of self-contradiction going on; yet he purports to see Rubio as a brave and realistic pro-immigration-reform leader who is executing a “course correction” because he understands “the people” need some good vicious border enforcement before they’ll calm down enough to accept the mass legalization, a.k.a. “amnesty,” that conservative activists are sworn to oppose to the very last ditch.

Allahpundit yawns:

The fact that Rubio’s now endorsing a piecemeal, sequential “security first” option is getting media attention today but it’s really nothing new. His retreat from comprehensive reform has been a long one. He was talking up a sequential approach last October, with the ink on the Gang of Eight bill newly dry, after he temporarily became border hawks’ public enemy number one.

But Chait posits that the “newest iteration of Rubio is the opposite of the figure he and party leaders envisioned last year” and that the “transformation ought to terrify them”:

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by Dish Staff

Just one day after Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko met in Belarus to discuss a resolution to the Ukrainian conflict, the NYT is reporting that Russian forces have invaded southeast Ukraine near the city of Novoazovsk:

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. Exhausted, filthy and dismayed, Ukrainian soldiers staggering out of Novoazovsk for safer territory said Tuesday they were cannon fodder for the forces coming from Russia. As they spoke, tank shells whistled in from the east and exploded nearby. … A Ukrainian military spokesman said Wednesday the army still controlled Novoazvosk but that 13 soldiers had died in the fighting. The behavior of the Ukrainian forces corroborated assertions by Western and Ukrainian officials that Russia, despite its strenuous denials, is orchestrating a new counteroffensive to help the besieged separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who have been reeling from aggressive Ukrainian military advances in recent weeks.

The Interpreter’s live blog rounds up reports of other incursions:

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