Glenn Beck to hold Jerusalem rally

Just when you thought Mike Huckabee's departure meant the world was safe from having an advocate of ethnic cleansing in the 2012 U.S. presidential race, soon-to-depart Fox News host Glenn Beck seems to be stepping up to the task of making it as embarrassing as possible to be an American supporter of Israel:

Conservative US media figure Glenn Beck will hold a rally to "restore courage" in Jerusalem this August, he announced on his radio show Monday.

Beck said the aim of the rally is to "stand together with Israel" and "to show the world what living a life of faith and honor really means," according to a statement on his website.

The rally is slated to be held one year after his "rally to restore honor" in Washington last August.

Beck visited Israel last week where he broadcast a special edition of his radio show. Obviously, he can hold rallies wherever he wants, but it's troubling to hear Likud MK Danny Dannon describe this gold-shilling huckster as a "a true friend of Israel who is willing to speak out when so many are often silent." Having support for Israel, as a U.S. political issue, associated with Beck's brand, can only be a bad thing for the future of the relationship.

For a taste of Beck's views on Middle East politics, check out this now classic rant from January drawing a line from Bernadine Dohrn and the Weathermen to the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings to a "Mediterranean on fire.":



French website must prove Uzbekistan is a dictatorship

We've taken a few shots at Uzbek President Islam Karimov's socialite/pop star/CEO/potential successor Gulnara over the years, but apparently it's younger daughter Lola who's the touchier one. Lola is currently suing the French news site Rue89 over an article describing her as a "dictator's daughter." Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists expains:

Written by Augustin Scalbert and published on May 20, 2010, under the headline "AIDS: Uzbekistan represses at home but parades in Cannes," the article described how Karimova, the "dictator's daughter" and Uzbekistan's ambassador to UNESCO, was "whitewashing the image of Uzbekistan" by inviting jet-set celebrities to her glitzy philanthropic events. The article also mentioned that she had paid actress Monica Bellucci 190,000 euros (US$270,000) to appear in one of her charity balls.

The trial, which will take place just a few days after the sixth anniversary of the Andijan massacre, appears likely to backfire spectacularly for the Karimov family, giving the editors of Rue89 a high-profile public venue to make the not-very-hard-to-make case that Uzbekistan is, in fact, a dictatorship. 

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