As Europe sets its eyes on the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election, will the continent find its geopolitical clout unable to influence the calculus of Washington’s foreign policy for the region and beyond?
As a point of demarcation, it is essential to remember how the world looked when President Barak Obama took office three and a half years ago. Recalling the basic thinking the United States had about Europe at the very start of the Obama Presidency sheds light on how transatlantic ties have evolved over the course of his first term.
To catch a glimpse of Medieval xenophobic rage, simply google ‘Russia elections Jews’ (in Russian, of course). Hundreds of blog posts, YouTube videos, forum discussions and more offer the following unlikely story: the Jews are out to destroy Russia’s peace and stability by preventing Vladimir Putin’s reelection. Moreover, you will find people saying that in conjunction with vicious liberals from the EU and US, Jews are threatening Russian prosperity by imposing detrimental values on Russian society. While this is certainly not the position of the Russian majority, the mere presence of such a group within Russian society should be extremely disconcerting.
In Africa, natural resources have always been both a blessing and a devastating curse. For hundreds of years, Europeans were colonizing African land and making profits from its wealth, as well as forcing indigenous populations into slavery. The second half of the twentieth century raised the hope that after reaching independence, the situation of African countries would change for the better. However, it wasn’t about to happen, not at all.
Nowadays Africa is mostly governed by dictatorships. African people cannot fully benefit from their goods just for themselves. Africa has many opportunities in the economic field to join the leading and outstanding world powers. Despite the wide range of natural resources, Africa’s most important resource is their youth, who want to work and explore the continent. However, children usually do not have the chance to grow up in loving and caring families that could shape them into the strong minded society. Instead of books they too often are given guns. One of the most horrific examples, not the single one though, is the Lord’s Resistance Army – the rebel group of Joseph Kony that since 1987 “stole” around 30,000 children. Young boys are trained to kill in cold blood and turn girls into sexual slaves.
Jon Schweitzer, a Jewish young professional in Chicago, blogged from the Chicago Young Atlanticist Summit, the premier public diplomacy event that took place alongside the NATO summit. The Young Atlanticist Summit was organized by the Atlantic Council and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In total, over 60 young professionals from 35 nations gathered for three days to hear from NATO officials, Presidents and Ministers of NATO nations and leading foreign policy analysts.
I am a women, a mother, a Jew. I have been educated at University and in my Jewish home. I see things happening around me, both the good and the bad. However, one would imagine that in today’s society there is a certain level of freedom, tolerance, respect, the ability to live without fear, to feel safe and to have human rights protected.
Who gives someone the liberty to humiliate, bully, or harass another human being, especially a younger person? Surely this is not fear but possibly some combination of a lack of education, discrimination, hyper-nationalism, extremism, and self-anti-Semitism within the one country that Jews were waiting for. Why is this happening?
Naama’s story reached many people in the world, through the written press and TV outlets. After reading about the story you ask yourself, “is this actually possible”?
(This article was originally posted in the Jewish Week and can be found here: http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/we_need_more_dirty_laundry_conversations_about_israel)
When I invite guests for dinner, I clean up my apartment, and put the dirty laundry in the closet. But it’s usually in full sight when I’m home with family.
Jews have traditionally acted similarly regarding Israel. In public discourse, support for Israel is forceful on issues related to war and peace. Within the family, though, there often is lively discussion of fears and hopes, with recognition that choices are very difficult and outcomes uncertain.
Conversations reveal the deep loyalty that many Jews have toward Israel and the palpable sense of their stake and role in Israel’s future.
We must be willing to stand up and take our society back from the ultra-Orthodox.
Seven months ago, my daughter was born in Jerusalem. For both sides of the family she was the first one in many generations to be born in Israel, in Jerusalem no less. My joy at her birth and her upbringing in Jerusalem is tempered however by fear and concern as to what kind of city and country in which she will grow up. As one who chose to live in Israel, my Zionism did not end with my aliyah here, rather it only begins now by playing an active role in shaping the Jewish State, the place where I chose to live my life and raise my children.
[This article was co-written by Ms. Caroline Szyber, member of the Swedish Parliament for the Christian Democratic Party.]
The unacceptable situation of increasing human rights abuses in Iran has become even more serious in recent years. Despite the United Nation's important role in promoting the conservation of both human rights and world peace, after nine years of sanctions and international pressure, the worrying developments in Iran have not diminished in their intensity - quite the contrary. The question that the international community now should ask itself is: what will a regime that has repeatedly proved to be unscrupulous in violently curtailing its own citizens' freedoms and rights, be capable of doing against its sworn enemies, should they have access to nuclear weapons? The United States has recently decided to increase the intensity and scope of its sanctions that will now also target Iran's central bank and financial sector, in order to pressure the Islamic Republic to abandon its plans for a nuclear weapon potential by strangling its oil revenues. More countries should adopt this example and be clear in their determination and resolve towards hard-hitting sanctions to strike against Iran’s appalling human rights record as well as its aggressive military ambitions.
The piece below was written by Oliver Worth, Chariman of the World Union of Jewish Students.
The World Union of Jewish Students’ first Congress was held in Antwerp, Belgium in 1924 when 76 Jewish student leaders from 17 countries got together to discuss the problems affecting Jewish students around the World. The result of this Congress was astounding and unprecedented. As well as having invited Albert Einstein to be the first president (which unlike his invitation to become the first President of Israel, was accepted), new programs were developed to redirect Jewish students from Hungary, Poland and Russia to universities in Western Europe where many more opportunities were at that time available.
>> Over the Green Line
Day Five began with a visit to the home of Hebrew University mathematics professor and former Member of Knesset Alex Lubotzky in Efrat, about 7 miles south of Jerusalem on the other side of the Green Line.
Efrat, home to nearly 10,000 people, was in the news earlier this month when Israel approved the construction of housing units there – a move that drove the international community mad, but that Israel explained as necessary to accommodate the natural expansion of the local population.
Alex described the history of Efrat and talked about its future. He explained that in a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians, this settlement and others in the area are likely to be traded (swapped) for other land.
Some of the mayors and senior staffers were surprised that this settlement looks like – as one mayor put it – a suburban housing development.