President Barack Obama struggled to explain his planned veto of UN recognition of a Palestinian state just a year after he welcomed the idea. His speech was a painful example of a leader knowing what is right and calculating that he can’t do what is right, notes Lawrence Davidson.
At the United Nations, President Barack Obama tried to square the circle of U.S. support for democracy and freedom across the Middle East with his threat to veto statehood for the Palestinians, a cause he championed just last year. In an open letter to the President, author Marc H. Ellis critiques Obama’s depressing double talk.
Though the World War II victors promised that the Nuremberg principles would apply not just to the Nazis but to everyone, today’s reality is that international law follows two standards: a lenient one for the West and its friends and a stringent variant for adversaries. This hypocrisy is now being institutionalized, Lawrence Davidson notes.
The Arab Spring uprisings and Palestine’s bid for statehood at the United Nations are reshaping the political dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean region, but perhaps nothing is more important than the newly assertive role of Turkey and its split from Israel, reports Danny Schechter.
Departing political leaders offer two kinds of reflections: self-serving rationalizations by those still protecting their reputations and blunt truth-telling by people who realize they should have done more when they had the chance. Both are galling, though in different ways, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Often in the application of international law, it’s not what a country did but who its friends – and who its enemies – are that count. In that light, Israel, a close U.S. friend, got the blessings of a UN report for its attacks against Gaza-bound civilian ships on the high seas, a stamp of…
Hard-line Israeli defenders have tried to shut down protests over how the Palestinians have been treated by accusing critics of “anti-Semitism” and by labeling dissenting Jews as “self-hating.” These intimidating tactics are now common on U.S. college campuses, Lawrence Davidson writes.
The clock is ticking on what could be the next explosion in the Middle East, if Palestinians press their demand for United Nations recognition as a state and the United States and Israel continue to spurn this acknowledgement of Palestinian rights. But Adil E. Shamoo says this political bomb can be defused.
Israel is experiencing a protest movement for “social justice” as are other countries in the Middle East and Europe. But the Israeli version seeks a more equitable society for Jewish citizens while sidestepping the plight of Palestinians, what Lawrence Davidson sees as the result of intense anti-Arab indoctrination.
The massacre of 77 people in Norway by a Muslim-hating extremist has prompted soul-searching among some Christians and Jews, but also has provoked rationalizations from some in Israel and elsewhere who view fear and loathing of Muslims as key to their political cause, writes Lawrence Davidson.