There is no unanimity among historians - and, in particular, among those who can claim to be experts about the origins of the First World War - about why and how the initial limited conflict, for which the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand served as a pretext, escalated into a war which drew in combatants from more than one continent and led to the deaths and maiming of millions of human beings. There is however a broad consensus about the factors which led to the creation of the League of Nations and which included not only the widespread suffering and devastation brought about by this “war to end war” but also the impossibility of re-establishing the old diplomatic order, which partly resulted from the destruction of many of the old empires.
Even if the United States had not followed a policy of selective isolationism and had become a fully fledged member of the League of Nations, it can be convincingly argued that this institution’s goals were too ambitious and that there was no realistic way, most of the time, of resolving conflicts according to the elevated principles it was supposed to represent. It also happened on...More >>
It doesn't matter how many times Israel's leaders say they want peace, or how many times the Palestinians' leaders (whether in the West Bank or Gaza) say they will accept nothing less than the destruction of the Jewish state and a new Palestinian state on its ashes. In the minds of Israel's critics, the formula is always reversed.
The best way to counter this perverse contradiction of reality is to keep telling the truth, Jonathan Danilowitz says:
The Hamas Charter explicitly calls for the annihilation of Israel. As does the Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (established in 1964 by Yasser Arafat), not to mention the charters of assorted smaller but similar Arab terrorist groups. When next you hear someone explain that the “settlements” are the obstacle to peace, do remember that the PLO was founded at least 3 years BEFORE the 1967 6-Day war
I recently began a computer driven course run by Duke University, for external students. The course subject is basically how to argue, how to use language tools, how to identify false premises, how to respond, what key words to look for – stuff like that. Besides the lectures and exercises, the course also offers students a series of discussion groups, some of which include the lectures, working groups, problem solving and more. One of the discussion “groups” is open to any and every subject, so someone began a discussion on the Arab-Israel conflict.
Yes, the Arab-Israel conflict is being discussed by students in a course on the tools of arguments. At first sight it might even seem logical; use the tools of argument on this thorny issue. The opening premise presented by the ‘someone’ immediately took an anti-Israel slant. I looked forward to a high level intellectual debate, until I saw the level of some of the arguments: “facts” created by thumb sucking, theories based on false premises and biased media reports, and even offerings on the level of “the Jews use the blood of innocent Christians...More >>
The vote at the United Nations today to recognize Palestine as a non-member state ("We recognize that we don't recognize you") is yet another bit of lunacy at the world's most perverse bureaucracy. Did anyone notice that little flare-up between Hamas-run Gaza and Israel this month? After all those tens of thousands of headlines, the countries of the world are going to pretend it didn't just happen.
That dustup proves yet again that this "Palestinian state" isn't united and that Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction can barely hold on to their West Bank kleptocracy, much less claim to rule over Gaza's terrorist-run theocracy. And yet... most countries in the world will indicate that they support a Palestinian (non-member) state.
That's just great. Well, I support full member state status for the Kingdom of Narv, carving a little slice out of my Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Vancouver. The borders aren't defined yet and I really can't claim meaningful sovereignty over much territory, but apparently, those things don't matter. Besides, my kingdom would have two major advantages over a Palestinian state: First, I'm not presently trying to blow up my neighbors. Second, employment in the Kingdom of Narv is 100 percent and I'm...More >>
When last I heard (about 8 days ago – just before the Gaza/Israel conflict flared up), about 40,000 Syrians had been killed by their own government. About 35,000 are apparently still missing. (Shades of President Assad’s father when the senior Assad was also President, and massacred some 25,000 Syrians at Hama when he brutally put down a Muslim Brotherhood rebellion in 1982. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Thousands more Syrians have fled the country seeking refuge in Turkey, Jordan and even Lebanon.
Yet Syria has disappeared completely from the media map. I’ve not heard or seen any TV, newspaper or radio reports that mentioned Syria since the terrorists in Gaza starting firing rockets at Israel in earnest.
Speculation is rife now as to why the Gaza conflict suddenly flared up. “Bibi (Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu) wanted it for vote catching”. “Ditto Ehud Barak” (Israel’s Minister of Defense). “President (of the Palestinian Authority) Abbas needs the war to strengthen his position vis-à-vis Hamas”. “Both the Arabs and Israel see the war as a mechanism to jump-start their economies”. “Hamas needed to revive its image”. Etc. etc. etc.
At least 21 wounded in the terrorist attack on innocent civilians in Tel Aviv. The Wall Street Journal says "This happened as ceasefire talks are happening in Cairo and this is sure... this could complicate things."