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Bev Goldman

Last of 2014 – 7 great reads for New Year





Week Ending 31 December 2014


1. What the Palestinian Authority did not tell the UN Security Council

Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, 29 December 2014

What the Palestinians did not tell the Security Council is that the state they seek to establish is one that does not respect public freedoms, first and foremost freedom of expression. It will be a state where the president or any of his senior officials could order the arrest of anyone who dares to speak out against lack of democracy or reforms.  Nor does the Palestinian Authority want the international community to know that 2014 witnessed the worst assaults on freedoms since its establishment two decades ago. The PA is trying to send a message that no one is immune to arrest or harassment, even women.



2. Diplomatic victory

Editorial, Oman Tribune, 29 December 2015

Palestine’s UN membership is looming ever larger, triggering panic in Israel.  As could be expected, the grossly anachronistic US opposition is, perhaps, the only hindrance to Palestine gaining full UN membership. The US threat to veto the Jordanian resolution in the UN Security Council goes against international opinion. Statehood is something that the world promised to the Palestinian people.


3. Why Israel cannot ignore the world any longer

JJ Goldberg, The Jewish Daily Forward, 27 December 2014

In today’s interconnected world there are no independent players. Nations need each other for markets, credit, landing rights, raw materials, spare parts and countless other exchanges. They’re vulnerable to each other’s germs, material shortages, migratory pressures and cyber-punks. A bad wheat crop in Russia can spark a revolution in Tunisia and topple a regime in Egypt.  Heading into 2015, Israel and the world Jewish communities will be buffeted by forces beyond their control, which essentially have nothing to do with them — yet will shape their destiny in unique and profound ways.


4. The destruction of the Middle East

Denis MacEoin, Gatestone Institute, 27 December 2015

Ethics were defined by what Allah said was good or evil in Sharia law. The Islamic State’s behaviour is solidly rooted in Islamic ideology, law and practice. It is only when this fundamental fact is grasped that we will be able to address what confronts us.  There are many wise and sensible Muslims who favour a shift to a more updated way of thinking. It is their mosques and shrines that are being crushed; it is their heritage. Today, such Muslims use the freedoms bestowed on them in the West to write, network and debate their opposition to fundamentalist interpretation of Islam by the Islamic State and other supporters of murder and destruction.


5. Israel, a Jewish Republic?

Kai Bird, The New York Times, 25 December 2014

Israel has an identity problem. Is it a Jewish state that provides legal and material preferences for citizens of Jewish ancestry? Or is it a secular nation-state, but rooted in Jewish culture and the Hebrew language? For more than six decades Israeli politicians have maintained a useful ambiguity about this deeply existential question. But no longer.  In elections in March, Israel’s voters will be forced to confront stark choices about the country’s national identity. In the absence of a formal, written constitution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embraced a game-changing “nation-state” bill that would award “national rights” only to Jewish citizens.


6. Stop babying Israel at the UN Security Council

Lara Friedman, The Jewish Daily Forward, 23 December 2014

The region is in turmoil, but a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be a security boon to Israel, and could have significant positive effects further afield.  Deferring to the preferences of Israeli leaders, or the expediency of domestic U.S. politics, rather than U.S. national security interests, is not a responsible way to make policy.


7. The countdown to the next Gaza conflict has begun

Yaakov Lappin, The Jewish Press, 23 December 2014

For now, it seems, Hamas in Gaza will try, as it has been doing in recent months, to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank, on the opposite side of Israel, while upholding its truce in Gaza. If Hamas’s standoff with Fatah continues, however, and the host of factors that pushed Hamas into the last war do not change, the countdown to the next war may be shorter than many think.

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