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St George and the Dragon, Paolo Uccello, between 1458 and 1460 Britain Israel USA 

Britain gets it right. Twice. What gives?

Extraordinary! The British government has started making bold and good moves. No fewer than two such sets of developments have been spotted in as many days. On Sunday, at the Paris conference called to get the Middle East peace process back on track stick the knife into Israel good and proper before Obama leaves the White House, Theresa May’s government refused to sign its closing statement. “There are risks,” said the UK Foreign Office,“that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for…

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us-consulate-jerusalem Israel USA 

Change the nameplate now!

How should anyone respond to threats, intimidation and blackmail? By giving in? Surely not. The appropriate response would be to bring the matter before an appropriate authority equipped to deal with this through condign action against the perpetrator. And what if the target of such threats, intimidation and blackmail is that appropriate authority itself? US President-Elect Donald Trump has said he intends to move the US Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In response, the Fatah Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said such a move would “destroy the two-state…

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knesset Israel USA 

The capital of nowhereland

One of the more bizarre ways in which the west subjects the Jewish people to double standards is to tell them that they alone cannot decide for themselves the identity of the capital city of their own country. Thus we find General James Mattis, President-Elect Trump’s pick for Defence Secretary, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing that as far as he is concerned the capital of Israel is Tel Aviv. “The capital of Israel that I go to, sir, is Tel Aviv, sir, because that’s where…

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meryl-streep USA 

Meryl Streep’s broken heart

Meryl Streep is a very great screen actor. That is all President-elect Trump needed to say in response to her extremely disobliging remarks about him at the Golden Globes. Such public magnanimity would have made her look sour, mean and diminished by comparison. It would have been the smart thing for him to do. Instead he got down in the gutter, calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”. Which she certainly is not. In revealing such a thin skin he displayed vulnerability and thus weakness. This will…

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blm USA 

Will Obama become the agitator-in-chief?

After he was first elected president Mr Obama launched Organising for America, a formal infrastructure of activism built upon his campaign’s extensive database of supporters. In his second term, this turned into Organising for Action. In other words: agitating. This now has the potential for a permanent grassroots insurrection against the Trump administration involving many different constituencies. Who better to spearhead this in one form or another than America’s very own community organiser-in-chief, soon-to-be-ex President Obama? My column in The Times of London (subscription only)

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unknown Britain Israel USA 

Mrs May’s screeching U-turn

You can virtually see the skid marks. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has issued what’s been called an unprecedented rebuke to the Obama administration over the Israel-bashing speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday. The Prime Minister’s spokesman criticised him for not only attacking the composition of Israel’s government but disproportionately focusing on the issue of Israeli settlements “when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is so deeply complex.” The US State Department said it was surprised since Kerry’s remarks “were in line…

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unknown Britain Israel USA 

Obama’s malice, May’s shame. Drain the UN swamp

President Obama’s refusal to veto the sickening UN Security Council resolution against Israel yesterday was an act of pure malice. The resolution, demanding an immediate halt to all Israeli “settlement” construction, was proposed by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal after its original sponsor, Egypt, had withdrawn. No-one can be in any doubt, though, that the resolution’s real sponsor was Obama, acting behind the backs of the US Congress and the American people. Clearly it makes a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians very much harder, since the Palestinians…

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new-white-hiuse Britain Europe Israel USA 

The western reset

We don’t quite know yet what shape US President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy will assume. It’s a fair bet that at this stage, President- elect Donald Trump doesn’t know either. We know he thinks the nuclear deal with Iran was a terrible error. We know he admires the cut of Vladimir Putin’s jib while taking a dim view of China. We know he supports the State of Israel, and wants to try to bring peace there by up-ending previous American policy towards the Arab-Israel impasse. Beyond all that, what he…

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perplexity USA 

Gotcha – or so what?

Three days ago, no-drama Obama said this about the alleged Russian hack of Democratic National Committee chairman John Podesta’s emails which were published during the US election by WikiLeaks: “None of this should be a big surprise. Russia trying to influence our elections dates back to the Soviet Union.” Obama dismissed the hack and the leaked emails as “not very interesting” and lacking “explosive” revelations. He puzzled as to why it was an “obsession” by the news media despite the knowledge that the Russians were responsible. “What’s happened to our…

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winter-spring Britain Europe USA 

Western spring or European winter?

Europe is convulsing. Neo-Nazis and racists are pushing at the doors of power along with less alarming populists and nationalists. Austria may have failed to elect as its president the neo-Nazi Norbert Hofer, but the threat from his Freedom Party is far from over. Hofer won more than 45% of the vote, and opinion polls suggest the party may win the most votes in parliamentary elections before the end of 2018. In France, Marine Le Pen not only promotes something akin to National Socialism but her strenuous attempts to distance…

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