Greetings to readers of The Washington Note from Tripoli, Libya. This is a place I never really thought I’d get to — but I’m here. And after just an hour, I’m finding all sorts of things of interest.
When I was last in Istanbul and in Beijing, I couldn’t get on to YouTube — and frequently when I travel, I have a tough time accessing Facebook.
Libya passes the Facebook test and YouTube test with flying colors. No blocks that I have run into yet. Twitter works too.
On another front, I just saw that an interview I did with NPR’s Michele Kelemen just appeared on line.
Here’s the link to the whole transcript and show but also a teaser:
Mr. ROBERT SATLOFF (Washington Institute for Near East Policy): I think the idea that the Israelis somehow have to meet an American test to show their commitment to peace is quite odd and strange in credulity.
KELEMEN: Satloff is hoping that this is just a passing storm, though he does have lingering concerns about a trust deficit in the relationship. The initial AIPAC response didn’t say anything about what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could do to restore trust. So, Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation decided as a joke to rewrite to the AIPAC statement for his blog, urging Israel to take immediate steps to diffuse tensions with the U.S.
Mr. STEVEN CLEMONS (New America Foundation): I just kind of did a 180-degree flip, and I actually did it in four minutes. I re-wrote it in four minutes. It got a lot of play on the Internet.
KELEMEN: Clemons says it’s time for well-meaning supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship to encourage more responsible behavior from this Israeli government, particularly on the issue of expanding Jewish settlements.
Mr. CLEMONS: The whole notion that there’s no space or no light between the U.S. and Israeli positions is a ridiculous formulation because we’re both sovereign governments with interests that often converge and some interests that diverge, and we’re going to have to occasionally wrestle over those.
— Steve Clemons