For months the American government has averted its gaze to the nefarious activity of the Iranian government. As the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, one might assume our national policy would be designed to counter this Iranian threat. In fact, it is no longer accurate to describe the war in Syria as conflict between Assad’s regime forces and the rebels. It is a war directed and fought by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah with Assad playing a secondary role.
The negotiations in Vienna to restrict or prevent Iran from enriching sufficient fissile material to build nuclear weapons, raises the specter of yet a new round in what some have described as “the second nuclear age.” For the uninitiated, the first nuclear age was the period in the Cold War when the U.S. and allies confronted the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. The second nuclear age is defined by the multiplicity of nuclear powers linked together by varying levels of cooperation and conflict.
Images of distinguished rabbis hacked to death in a blood soaked synagogues floor during a prayer service are about a hatred so deep that any rational discourse cannot assuage it. These images evoke memories of the Holocaust and the flight from Europe to a national home. Israelis’ are assailed by the same venomous loathing they sought to escape and the same international indifference to their plight.
While the wizards of new technology wax lyrically about the wonders of technological development, there is another side, one often overlooked in the avalanche of new products. Clearly computers have changed our lives, opened new horizons of learning and have abbreviated research efforts, but there are hidden societal costs that are unnoticed or intentionally ignored.
November 24, 2014, looms as a strategic date in world history. At that time, a deadline for a deal with Iran will be reached. And, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others, has said “no deal is better than a bad deal,” it appears as if President Obama’s team and the so-called P5+1 group — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany – are seeking any deal rather than no deal.
If you follow big time college sports as I do, it has been apparent that the student-athlete in Division I schools is an oxymoron. There are occasional stories of the college graduate who reads at the third grade level or the football star who couldn’t find a classroom on campus. Now, however, a scandal has been reported bigger than any previously mentioned. It involves bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina encompassing more than 3000 students over two decades.
In the international effort to undermine Israel every avenue of attack from the military to the cultural is being employed. The Arab world is continually stirred to a frenzy pitch on imaginary or exaggerated threats. Palestinian Authority President Abbas (seemingly president for life) spread the unfounded incendiary rumor that Israeli settlers were “desecrating” Al-Aqsa Mosque and noting “we must stop them (the settlers) from entering by any means possible.” But there isn’t a scintilla of evidence that this claim is true?
It is something of an old saw to contend that if a woman says “no,” she means “maybe.” If she says “maybe” she means “yes,” but if she says “yes” she is not a “lady.” Similarly if a man says “yes,” he means “maybe,” if he says “maybe” he means “no,” but if says “no,” he could not possibly be a negotiator in Vienna for the Obama administration.
Although it isn’t binding, the British parliament voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.” The remainder of the parliament’s 650 MPs abstained.