• Model UN Diplomats: While correspondent Danna Harman was in Doha, Qatar, reporting the story on Qatar's relations with Israel (see story), there was a regional model United Nation's program going on in her hotel. She sat in on a session.
"I participated in a model UN when I was in high school, and I never stayed in a five-star hotel," she huffs. But she notes, these students were very impressive. "They were smarter than we were as kids," she says. "The stereotype is that Arabs don't know or understand the Western perspective. But I saw Arab girls, covered from head to foot, who were incredibly well-versed in other country's positions – including the US." Danna watched an "emergency Security Council Meeting" where a Palestinian boy from Ramallah, represented Britain and argued that Israel had a right to strike back at Hizbullah when its soldiers were kidnapped.
• Timing Is Everything: Philip Claeys of the right-wing Flemish Interest party was as polite and articulate as anyone staff writer Robert Marquand has spoken to in Europe. But Bob had initially tried to talk with the president of the new far-right Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty coalition, Bruno Gollnisch, for today's story (see story). He was repeatedly rebuffed in a hurried and worried manner. Finally the reason became clear: He was calling on Jan. 27, which the UN designated as Holocaust Memorial Day. Mr. Gollnisch is awaiting sentencing for denying the Holocaust, including the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Later, Gollnisch's office agreed to an interview provided Bob didn't ask anything about the Holocaust trial. But by that time, Bob had scored an interview with Mr. Claeys.
David Clark Scott