News and Analysis (12/18/11)

Hamas spokesman spokesman, Taher al-Nounu affirmed an understanding that “all Palestinian factions operating in the Gaza Strip have agreed to halt the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel”:

Even as it admits to (and regrets) the loss of civilian life engendered by its 11,781 Libyan bombing missions, NATO leaves “the responsibility of initiating any inquiry” as to  to Libya’s interim authorities, whose survival and climb to power were made possible largely by the airstrike campaign”:

“After nearly nine years, $800 billion, 4,500 American dead and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi dead, the war in Iraq is over — at least for the U.S. military”:

“The most secular state in the whole Muslim world, Turkey, used to have many oppressive laws, banning the Kurdish language, criminalizing ‘insulting Turkishness’ and limiting Christian worship; all as a result of secular nationalism, not Islam. … not secularism then, but liberalism … should be sought in both secular and religious sectors”:

“The Official 1931 Census of Palestine, conducted under British auspices, counted 850,000 Palestinian Arabs – both Muslim and Christian – and 175,000 Jews…. The egregiousness of Gingrich’s statement isn’t simply in its inaccuracy, but in its objective” — former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu:

During hundreds of years of Muslim rule the Christians of Palestine were allowed freedom of worship, but an Israeli mayor, seemingly auditioning for the role of King Herod, is banning Christmas trees from the Nazareth Illit suburb of  the Messaiah’s (peace be upon him) home town:

As violent clashes in Egypt continue into their third day, “Senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy said Sunday that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is obliged to arrest those responsible for recent clashes that” killed ten and injured hundreds:

The National Council of Churches rejects the Florida Family Association as “a fringe Christian organization” promting “bigotry and ignorance”:

Having fled Pakistan after receiving death threats, the model says, “I agreed to a photo shoot and having an ISI tattoo in a humorous way but I did not have any nude photos. My pictures have been morphed” but the editor of the magazine responds, “We have not photoshopped or faked the cover,” suggesting she is scapegoating them to avoid “a backlash”:

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