The Global Village

 

The John F. Kennedy I Remember

By John Parisella on November 21, 2013

Parisella.pngFifty years ago, I was entering university when a tragic event with worldwide repercussions occurred: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.  Many who lived through that day and the following three days can recall where they were, what they were doing and how they felt.
Besides the United States, Canadians probably felt the pain most vividly.  JFK had visited us earlier in his presidency and described us as neighbors, allies, partners, and friends.  No relationship was closer and more interdependent.   He had effectively seduced us on that visit.

Dare To Care: A Testament To Memory And Witness

By Beryl Wajsman on November 21, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgI think it is fair to state that what brought my colleagues and I into lifelong commitments to social advocacy was that we came to maturity during a period when we knew –viscerally - that the best people we would ever see in public life had been murdered. But it was not simply their killings that made us rage, though that would have been enough. It was not simply that the energy, charisma, eloquence and courage of Medgar and John, of Martin and Bobby had been ripped from us. It was the reason why these bold and resolute men found themselves in the line of fire. After all the theories of who or what killed them, it was really only one thing…they dared to care! 

JFK: 50 YEARS AFTER – WHY HE STILL MATTERS

By Beryl Wajsman on November 19, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThere could be no more poignant day to remind us all that submission to this bodyguard of lies is not a strategy against existential threat. A threat that has been driven as a stake into the hearts of almost every western capital over the past dozen years.
During Kennedy’s Presidency Europe threats of similar magnitude, though of different origin. Kennedy went to Berlin to address that threat and to send a message to the enemies of freedom. On a glorious June day in 1963, some five months before his murder, he delivered his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” address in Rudolph Wilde Platz facing the then recently constructed Berlin Wall. 

40 ans après la guerre de Kippour et 20 ans après les Accords d’Oslo : vérités historiques et réflexions

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on September 25, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem, Israel - Le general Moshe Dayan ministre de la Defense declarait en avril 1973: « Je ne crois pas que dans les dix prochaines annees, une nouvelle guerre eclatera avec les Arabes ». La guerre de Kippour est declenchee brusquement quelques mois plus tard, et Dayan evoque dans une allusion biblique la fin du troisieme Temple. En depit de certaines informations alarmantes et d’un serieux avertissement du roi Hussein de Jordanie sur un eventuel conflit arme, les Arabes ont surpris Israel pour la premiere fois. En ce jour du Grand Pardon les Israeliens ont vu la mort en face !

Puzzling Our Way Through Syria

By David T. Jones on September 25, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - When someone throws a drowning man a life line, he grabs it--and doesn’t worry whether it is firmly attached at the other end.  Putin tossed such a rope to President Obama with his proposal to arrange international control of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons (CW) stockpile; the lifeline was accompanied by a sanctimonious op-ed in the New York Times.
It is not that Putin’s op-ed platitudes were entirely wrong, e.g., noting the United Nations as sanctioning agent for any military action other than self defense, but that he blithely ignored the many Moscow maneuvers to prevent UN collective action on Syria.

Obama hits the pause button on Syria

By Robert Presser on September 7, 2013

Presser_Robert_new.jpgAfter intelligence evidence emerged that Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons on his people, the Obama administration ramped up its military presence in the Mediterranean and initiated efforts to build an international coalition to attack key strategic sites in Syria.  That was up until Friday August 30th.  On Saturday afternoon, Obama and VP Joe Biden appeared in the Rose Garden and announced that the administration would seek Congressional approval to use US forces to attack Syria.  A resolution was drafted and sent to Congress indicating that vital US security interests in the region are at stake, necessitating decisive action.

Syria: Playing the Waiting Game

By David T. Jones on September 7, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - Having yielded the Syria-missile strike portfolio to Congress, President Obama spent a few days in Russia for a G-20 meeting hosted by President Putin.
It might have been useful (albeit marginally) to meet with Putin over a range of bilateral issues on the periphery of the G-20.  However, the president, in what must be considered virtually a fit of sandbox-level pique, earlier cancelled their meeting when Putin’s provided sanctuary/refugee status to Edward Snowden, who stole and released massive amounts of highly classified U.S. electronic intelligence data and collection plans/techniques.

Kristallnacht in Cairo--Prelude to a Christian Exodus?

By David T. Jones on August 28, 2013

Washington, DC - Kristallnacht or “crystal night” or “night of broken glass” identifies the German attack on Jones_David_bw_new.jpgJewish synagogues, properties, and homes on 9-10 November 1938.  Virtually every synagogue in Nazi Germany and recently annexed Austria was comprehensively destroyed; looted and/or burned with tens of thousands of Jews beaten, abused, and imprisoned.  Mercifully, the direct death toll was relatively small (officially 91), however, several thousand are believed to have committed suicide and/or died in the concentration camps, although most were released within a few months.  Those who remained went back to the camps and their deaths later.

The day hope lived "Today we commemorate, tomorrow we agitate!"

By Beryl Wajsman on August 27, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgOn this day  fifty years ago, America witnessed the largest public manifestation for the dignity of mankind it had ever seen. The March  on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, led by The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw 250,000 people descend on the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Black and white, men and women, old and young, all faiths and all creeds. On that day we heard Dr. King deliver what is arguably the greatest piece of oratory in the English language. "I have a dream!" he thundered. And we all dreamt the same dream. No one -  even if they were a child - who saw or heard it was left unmoved or unchanged. The words and the spirit swept us up on gossamer wings. 

Beijing Commitment To :Reduce Dependency" On Organ Seizures Is Not Enough

By The Hon. David Kilgour on August 23, 2013

Kilgour_David_bw.jpgReuters news agency in Beijing reported on August 15 that the Chinese government has committed to “reduce dependency” on its longtime practice of seizing vital organs of prisoners for transplantation without setting a final deadline to end the commerce.
China is the only country on earth that systematically uses organs from persons convicted of capital offences and prisoners of conscience—usually convicted of nothing-- in transplant operations, a trafficking in organs that has drawn almost universal international condemnation. 

Martin Luther King and modern America’s defining moment

By John Parisella on August 23, 2013

Parisella.pngFifty years ago (August 28), Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his legacy “I have a dream” speech. Events are planned in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, and elsewhere, commemorating this landmark address. Speakers are expected to highlight Dr. King’s philosophy for promoting change, how the civil rights movement and its accomplishments defined modern America, and the work that remains to be done. President Barack Obama will speak, honoring the work of Dr. King.
Five years ago, the Democratic Party chose as its nominee, Barack Obama, who went on to become the first African-American president. Hope and change were in the air. 

An attack against Egyptian Society

By Rev. Majid El-Shafie on August 23, 2013

El_Shafie.jpgAs the situation in Egypt continues to unfold, the evening news continues to bring you stories of how hundreds of people have been killed over the past few days by Egyptian security forces firing live rounds against “peaceful demonstrators”. We cannot stress enough that we are against killing – we do not rejoice in the killing of any human being and certainly not innocent civilians. Moreover, we are not against Muslims – we are opposed to extremists. With this in mind, the news reports require some context and background.

L’union européenne brouille les cartes et s’embrouille avec Israël

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on July 30, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGA chaque fois que le processus de paix avec les Palestiniens pietine ou se trouve  dans une impasse, nous entendons a Bruxelles le meme son de cloche. Comme de coutume, la commission europeenne prefere entendre un seul son, et dans ce cas, il est bien difficile, voire quasiment impossible de juger equitablement toutes les parties dans ce conflit. Depuis plusieurs decennies nous nous sommes  habitues au  jugement partial, aux lecons de morale et a des avertissements, mais cette fois-ci, le double jeu est si transparent qu’il l’emporte sur la realite quotidienne. Avec maladresse, l’Union europeenne a brule les etapes du processus de paix, a brouille les cartes et a inflige un camouflet injustifie a Israel et aux Americains.    

Démocratie arabe et l’Islam politique

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on July 6, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem, Israel - L’Egypte plonge vers l’inconnu et l’incertitude s’aggrave dans la tourmente. Nous ne pouvons apporter ni contribution ni intervenir, et laissons donc les Egyptiens decider eux memes de leur propre avenir.
Certes, nous suivons les evenements en cours avec inquietude et nous avons l’impression que dans ce theatre de l’absurde nous assistons a une repetition de la chute de Moubarak. Il est incontestable que l’armee joue un role crucial et unique dans un monde arabe en ebullition. Contrairement a la Syrie les militaires en Egypte sont avec le peuple. Ils sont avant tout des patriotes sachant parfaitement maitriser la situation mais aussi savent diviser pour regner. 

Another Look at the Snowden Saga

By David T. Jones on July 6, 2013

Jones_David_bw_new.jpgIndeed, the panting media pursuit into the summer media doldrums suggests that what is a serious (alleged) criminal action and massive breach of USG intelligence security is devolving into farce.  (Oh where, oh where will poor Edward find a place to lay his (allegedly) traitorous – or is it heroic?—head on a semi-permanent basis?)
First, the secret flight to Hong Kong; then followed by the adroit exit flight to Moscow (during which the Hong Kong officials managed to locate technical flaws in USG extradition documents preventing action against Snowden).  And now…Moscow.

A Third-Way out of the Syrian Impasse

By Rouba al-Fattal on June 26, 2013

Al-Fatal_Ruba.jpgOttawa- The latest move by President Obama to arm Syrian rebel groups is a clear indication that his administration is wandering aimlessly in the dark when it comes to the Syrian crisis. But as most political analysts can tell you, arming rebels in these types of conflicts is a doubled-edged sword.
One might then ask, is there an alternative to arming the rebels, or should the US just stand idly by and do nothing while thousands of innocent people are killed every day in this conflict? Framing the questions in this black-and-white fashion, either support for Assad or for the Syrian rebels, is not only misleading but unproductive. There is a third-way solution to the Syrian crisis which, at first glance, might appear so simple that it gets overlooked.

Of Water, Zionism, and Indigenous Rights

By Ryan Bellerose on June 26, 2013

An organization called Justice for Palestinians (JfP) is attempting to organize, in conjunction with the Council of Canadians, a public conference titled Indigenous Perspectives on Water: Canada and Palestine. The objective is clearly to portray Palestinian and native rights issues as one and the same.  Indeed, it has come to my attention that JFP is seeking a native speaker to participate in the conference and, ideally, one from Idle No More (INM), a native rights movement in which I have been active.  

La victoire de Rohani : un cadeau empoisonné pour l’Occident

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on June 16, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGLa victoire imprevue d’Hassan Rohani et la participation massive des Iraniens aux elections prouvent que les sanctions occidentales imposees a Teheran sont douloureuses et efficaces. Le peuple iranien souhaite vraiment le changement et a ras-le bol de l’isolement de son pays dans l’arene internationale. Il a trop souffert de la politique desastreuse  mene ces dernieres annees par le grotesque et l’extravagant illumine Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Second Amendment--Iconic Millstone

By David T. Jones on June 16, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - In the wake of the Newton elementary school massacre (overtaken by the Boston Marathon bombing), the usual suspects bayed and snarled.
And given a unique opportunity, President Obama misfired.
There is a military maxim associated with instructions to an Army Second Lieutenant, “Don’t just stand there; do something.  Even if it is wrong, do something.”  American politicians attempted to “do something” with little or no thought about process or consequences.


RFK: A ripple of hope

By Beryl Wajsman on June 9, 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgThis past Thursday we commemorated the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. He was shot on June 5, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he was celebrating the California primary victory that would have led him to the Democratic presidential nomination. He died the next day. For many of us who were coming to political maturity in that turbulent time, hope seemed to die with him.


La Russie de Poutine alimente la guerre en Syrie- le dilemme israélien

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on May 30, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem - La derniere rencontre de Benjamin Netanyahou avec Vladimir Poutine n’a pas reussi a dissiper les graves preoccupations israeliennes, et il semble que la Russie soit determinee a poursuivre ses livraisons d’armes sophistiquees a la Syrie et a soutenir, coute que coute, le regime de Bechar el Assad.
Depuis la « Guerre Froide », la politique etrangere du Kremlin n’a pas vraiment evoluee. L’ex-Union sovietique possede l’art de faire monter les encheres et de raviver la tension dans le monde, mais a ce jour, elle n’a pas dispose de moyens operationnels pour mettre un terme aux crises regionales ou faire progresser un processus de paix equitable.

Les vrais visages du Hezbollah et de Hassan Nasrallah

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on May 12, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem - Le dernier engagement d’Hassan Nasrallah d’aider la Syrie à libérer le plateau du Golan, et former une résistance populaire dans le cadre d’une « bataille pour la Palestine » intervient quelques jours seulement après la publication d’informations sur des raids massifs de l’aviation israélienne dans la région de Damas, et juste après la visite secrète de Nasrallah à Téhéran.
Depuis la seconde guerre du Liban, déclenchée en juillet 2006, Nasrallah cherche en vain le soleil ; traqué par les services israéliens, il vit en effet sous terre tel un animal hypogé mais dans des conditions préférentielles de palace avec toute une technologie de pointe.

Why the Arab Uprising Will Not Lead to Democracy Any Time Soon

By Rouba al-Fattal on May 7, 2013

Al-Fatal_Ruba.jpgDuring a break in a conference I attended recently I was asked by several pundits what I think about – what has been erroneously named – the “Arab Spring”, and whether the populations in these countries are ready for democracy. My short answer was, “No, they are not ready”. However, because this is a very timely and complex question, I have decided to give it here more than a terse, short answer.
Democracy, by definition, is “the rule of the people” from the Greek words “demos” (people) and “kratos” (rule). The will of the people is manifested most visibly through the electoral process.

The Pivot Toward Asia: Overshadowed or Missing In Action?

By David T. Jones & Paul Tyson on May 7, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - With much fanfare, the United States announced a comprehensive and wide ranging “pivot toward Asia.”  And within Asia there is a “sub-pivot” toward Southeast Asia.
There hasn’t been much public discussion of this reordering of U.S. foreign policy, but now that the President and the Secretary of State have made Middle East excursions, let us consider our Asian shift.
One notes the first trips of the second incarnation of the Obama administration were not/not to Asia.  So one can question the pertinence of the “pivot.”

La frontière israélo-syrienne risque de s'enflammer

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on April 30, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGVoilà déjà  deux ans que la Syrie est ravagée par une guerre civile meurtrière et les puissances occidentales n'osent pas intervenir.
Contrairement aux prédictions simplistes des experts et des observateurs, Bachar el Assad est toujours au pouvoir et son armée demeure fidèle au régime alaouite. En dépit des massacres quotidiens, la Russie continue à fournir des armes et notamment des roquettes et des missiles sophistiqués pouvant atteindre une cible située à 300kms. Elle entraine également les soldats syriens dans les combats de guérilla.

A Marriage of Convenience: Iran, al-Qaeda and the VIA plot

By Rouba al-Fattal on April 30, 2013

Al-Fatal_Ruba.jpgA week ago two men were arrested in Canada on suspicion of planning what officials describe as an al-Qaeda-backed plot to derail a VIA passenger train traveling from Toronto to New York. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officials said the alleged plot had support from al-Qaeda in Iran, although there was no sign of state sponsorship. The Iranian government quickly denied any links to the two men in question. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, also said “al-Qaeda's beliefs are in no way consistent with Tehran's”. 

La singularité de la Shoah et l'indépendance d’Israël

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on April 7, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGLe mouvement sioniste existait depuis Theodore Herzl mais c’est la Shoah qui a rendu la création d’Israël urgente, obligatoire, vitale et immanente. La création de d’Israël est le triomphe de la vie sur la mort, la victoire des prières entendues. Juste après la guerre, les Européens, encore troublés et culpabilisés, ont préféré tourner la page furtivement. Le Vatican a fermé ses archives. Les portes du souvenir ont été bouclées à double tour. Personne n’osait franchir les murs d’acier et vérifier les arcanes du monde de l’indifférence, remuer un passé flou et douteux. Derrière le rideau de fer, les camps de la mort résonnaient encore des cris des âmes pures et innocentes. Les cendres de nos proches, de nos coreligionnaires, ont été absorbées, englouties dans le sol européen. 

The Road to Syria: Are We There Yet?

By Rouba al-Fattal on April 5, 2013

Al-Fatal_Ruba.jpgAl-Fatal_Ruba.jpgIt has been two years since the Syrian Government’s violent crackdown on protesters started. According to UN reports, the conflict has claimed more than 70,000 lives, displaced four million people internally and forced about million people to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where many opposition leaders have taken refuge. Thousands of civilians have also been detained arbitrarily and there are reports of executions and torture. Also since the uprising many schools were damaged or forced to close and Syrian civilians suffer the lack of basic services such as electricity, clean water and hospitals. Moreover, the situation in Syria has created a fertile ground for trans-national terrorism to rise.

Turquie-Israël- réconciliation et intérêt stratégique

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on March 31, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem - La visite du président Obama dans notre région aura sans doute des retombées politiques locales, régionales et internationales. La première conséquence est considérable car elle met un terme à plusieurs années de tensions, d'incompréhensions, de haine et de dégâts bilatéraux entre la Turquie et Israël: deux puissances régionales pro-occidentales ayant des intérêts stratégiques communs dans un environnement déstabilisant et explosif.  


Syria: Searching for a Way into the Quagmire

By David T. Jones on March 29, 2013

jones_david.jpgWashington, DC - Analysts are clever in finding (and repeating) aphorisms.  One is the definition of insanity as “repeating the same negative action believing that this time it will have a positive result.”
And thus the Syria syndrome.
We have watched the Arab Spring degenerate into a noxious weed patch when we believed flowers had been planted.  We have watched the consequence of removing the Libyan tyrant Qhadafi (vicious but not directly invidious to USG interests) and reaped the results in Benghazi and Mali.

HABEMUS PAPAM

By Father John Walsh on March 16, 2013

father_walsh.jpg

The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes from or where it goes; so it is with every person who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)  A puff of white smoke!  A new Pope!  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, becomes leader of the Roman Catholic Church.  On the balcony overlooking Saint Peter’s Square he addresses the people of the world.  His first words are memorable. In times of uncertainty, disruption, division, and alienation, he offers the image of a “camina,” a walk, pilgrims together, and then, spontaneously he includes all people of good will with the faithful. 

 

Realities facing Scotland and Quebec are worlds apart

By Jim Wilson on March 13, 2013

Scotland has many historical links with Quebec .Montreal, with its street names and institutions, provides signposts to that past. Despite the connections, in their quest for independence the two are literally and metaphorically oceans apart. Quebec’s additional difficulties compared to those facing Scotland are numerous; in politics, history, culture or geography, there are substantial differences. However, in the crucial matter of the economy, both face similar challenges.

Obama en Israël- amitiés et réalités

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on March 13, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGJerusalem - Le Président des Etats-Unis sera reçu en grande pompe et avec tous les égards dus à la politesse et les respects du protocole. C'est naturel et normal pour accueillir le chef de la plus grande puissance de la planète, celui qui nous dicte l'ordre du jour mondial.
Obama a enfin choisi Israël pour marquer son premier voyage officiel à l'étranger. Il avait manqué le rendez-vous historique lors du précédent mandat et sans doute a commis une erreur stratégique en préférant le Caire à Jérusalem.

L’Europe et le « Parti d’Allah »

By Amb. Freddy Eytan on February 16, 2013

Freddy_Eytan.JPGLe Hezbollah a été créé en 1982 juste après la Première guerre du Liban. Plus de cinq mille Iraniens membres des « Gardiens de la révolution »  se sont installés dans la région de Baalbek au Liban pour « remporter la victoire d’Allah ». L’idéologie est claire : la révolution islamique devrait s’installer dans tout le Moyen-Orient balayant ainsi les monarchies arabes et chassant les Sionistes de toute la Palestine et notamment de Jérusalem !
Pour aboutir à son objectif, le Hezbollah emploie des méthodes de terreur et de terrorisme contre des cibles occidentales, israéliennes et juives. Depuis 1983, le Hezbollah a enregistré des dizaines d’attentats spectaculaires, des prises d’otages, et des missions suicidaires à travers toute la planète.  

A Wise Time for Going, A Good Way to Leave

By David T. Jones on February 12, 2013

jones_david_01.jpgFar be it for non-Catholics to pontificate (so to speak) on Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire from the papacy on February 28th.  There are those who might consider any comment at best gratuitous; at worst, intrusive.
But the Pope is a global change-maker and political figure at least as much as a religious leader. Certainly, that was true for John Paul II whose long tenure defined the strengths and challenges facing 21st century Catholicism.  
Consequently, we see Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire as wise. His tenure as Pope is already being called a transitional period, but history is yet to speak.


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